7 years ago by

Yesterday on the beach, I was having fun people watching, and I realized there really are lots of different body types. They’re all beautiful in their own way.

But not all of them are fashionable right now. That’s what my sister and I said to each other when we saw a young girl, super pretty, with firm, voluptuous curves and a round butt.

“That’s the body that’s in right now.”

Then we saw a super skinny, pale girl go by who wasn’t very muscular: “Late 90s!” I kept placing people in their decade as I watched them go by. Me, I’ve always known I had an 80s body – late 80s, early 90s, athletic, bold shoulders, narrow hips, kind of like Stephanie of Monaco.

At the time, I was unfortunately too young to understand how lucky I was. For a few years there, I could have enjoyed the bliss of having a trendy body.

The swimsuits back then fit me perfectly, girls in magazines looked like me and I got compliments nonstop.

I was hot, okay? Duh. Hahaha.

Then Kate Moss arrived, and once again I was much too immature to understand it was just fashion that was changing. I quickly realized I would never be like her, and boom, just like that, I probably tried to lose weight, probably never really managed to do it, and with no warning, I was no longer hot. Elle Macpherson (another one of my idols, someone I could identify with) totally disappeared from the glossy pages of magazines and just like that, my glory days were gone forever.

Even so, I kept following trends as they went by, observing them with a certain kind of detachment. It’s funny. In my mom’s heyday in the 80s, it was going to the gym and having rock hard abs that was all the rage. Small, muscular butts. And bag balm sun tans. In the 90s, super models had womanly, healthy-looking bodies, but that didn’t last long. By the end of the 90s, everyone wanted to look skinny, fragile and pale with tiny breasts, tiny asses and minuscule shoulders. Then in the 2000s, bodies changed again — Gisele arrived and we all wanted long, lean Pilates muscles AND boobs—in other words, unrealistic bodies (when you’re super skinny and super muscular, it’s rare to have boobs) with a nod to the new improvements of plastic surgery.

And now in the 2010s, girls who couldn’t stand their butts before suddenly cherish them, shake them and thanks (yes, thanks) to girls like Kim Kardashian, curvy bodies are starting to make a comeback in the media.

Yep, life is kind of silly that way, because while following trends when it comes to shoes and coats can be fun, it’s hard to make heads or tails (haha) of body trends. Even so, it’s easy to not get influenced and feel the pressure. Thankfully we now have Instagram and Ashley Graham, but even she can’t stop what’s happening right now—the obsession with muscles and crazy fitness.

It’s too bad because the truth is, no matter what decade it is, every body type has its own beauty, and we can’t sit around waiting for our bodies to be validated by a trend… It’s up to us to find assurance within ourselves (I assure you, I have a hard time with this myself) and it’s up to us to define our own ideals and make them a reality. It’s up to us to stop all the self-criticism and judgement. It’s up to us to find our own beauty and ignore the rest. That’s what Ashley Graham does, and that’s why we like her—it’s not about her waist size. It’s because she pushes boundaries and doesn’t apologize for it.

A body wrapped up in self-love is always a beautiful body.

On that note, me and my bikini will let you go. We’re headed to the beach to try and practice acceptance, self-love and shakage of the non-booty. Hehe.


Add yours
  • Un article qui fait du bien :)


    Amélie – Charles Ray and Coco

  • Love this article, soo true. ????????

  • Hello Garance ,

    Te voilà de retour dans ton beau pays (ahhhhh la Corse!) .

    Je n’avais jusqu’alors , pas pensé à mon corps en fonction de : est-il à la mode …ou pas , mais plutôt comme : est-il suffisamment ferme , suffisamment bronzé voire mince ? Et ça qu’elle que soit l’époque .
    J’ai plutôt des fesses rondes (très pt modèle / KK !!!) mais je crois que plutôt que KK c’est l’âge qui me fait mieux accepter mon corps (bon allez ça dépend des jours ! ) : un des avantages du temps qui passe ?! ;-)

    Profites bien de cet intermède en famille !

    Des biz

  • I’ve found the Olympics to actually be a really body-positive experience for me this year. There are women of so many shapes and sizes, and all of them have bodies that are shaped to be perfect for the goals they are achieving. Tiny women using their bodies to leap into the air into gymnastics. Women with big shoulders catapulting across the pool. Women with strong thighs powerfully sprinting across the track. I’ve never felt more amazed by what our bodies can do. You don’t see the swimmers crying because they’re too tall for gymnastics – you see them using their bodies to their full potential, going out there and reaping the glory from all their hard work their body is doing! They all have unique attributes that they have made into assets.
    It’s been a really good reminder to me, who’s been a little too obsessed with the scale lately. The number on the scale only measures one thing – my weight. It doesn’t measure my strength, my power, what I’m capable of. It’s been so inspiring!

  • Laura,thank you!

  • Lisa Walker August, 10 2016, 1:16

    Well said! You’ve completely articulated my experience, if not more, watching the Olympics. Thank you!

  • How nice to read a post from someone who is looking at their body / contemplating it for what it can do as opposed to just how it looks!
    Our body is just A.M.A.Z.I.N.G and if we give it just what it needs to function optimally depending on what we want to do in our lives, this approach does so simplify things. Takes awhile to get there though! Have a great summer everyone, Rxx

  • YES to this and all the body types no matter how it looks! What matters the most is what you’re capable of doing with what you’ve got already, it’s a bliss to already have all of your body parts, organs and everything in between!

  • Ai-Ch'ng August, 11 2016, 8:01

    No words to add to Laura’s perfectly worded, loving appreciation of the human body and all its glorious abilities.

    If we applied the same mantra to our bodies, that we do to our homes – that it’s what we can do with a space, rather than just how we make the space look – we could get on with the most important task of living life itself.

  • That photo is so gorgeous!

    I think one of the positive things with social media is that you can find people with your own style of beauty or kind of body and surround yourself with them — follow those kinds of images on Instagram, Pinterest, blogs.. It’s not like the 90s where it was just what was in magazines and even alternative magazines kind of conformed to a certain look.

    And in a bikini you can see everyone’s body type clearly, but I think with dressing, you only really make a “mistake” if you dress in styles that don’t flatter your shape or that reveal you don’t fit the “type”… with many stylish people, you don’t notice their body type at all or that it might have any “flaws” because they dress in such a way that they just look great!

  • Definitely agree–while there are still “body trends” overall, thanks to blogs/social media, I think there is more of an available diversity, so you can seek out body types closer to your own and see how beautiful all shapes and sizes are.

    I remember growing up in the ’90s, someone having a big butt was a huge insult–it’s what catty girls would say about each other. And now I see nasty comments on Instagram saying, “That girl has no butt!” Probably in another few years, it’ll all flip-flop again–or, hopefully, people will realize that all different “types” of bodies have something beautiful to offer, and stop picking people apart when they don’t match the in-trend “look.”

  • Ana @champagnegirlsabouttown August, 10 2016, 10:08 / Reply

    For me everything changed when I hit 35. I was suddenly on “yaaas, I look hot” ;) territory . Not sure where it came from as I’ve struggled with body image all my life, lurching from super skinny to wanting to have boobs to wanting to be flat again. But I like it now. I used to want to have an hourglass figure whereas now I love my slim hips. Times change :)

  • Isn’t it crazy how there are body types that are “in”? Something so impossible to change, so out of our control.
    I never did like the late ’90s sickly look. How does such a thing even become popular? General insanity.
    I think it’s great to have a focus on exercise and being healthy. An athletic look is a big umbrella that accommodates many body types. We can’t all be Olympians, but a focus on moving is so much better than a focus on self-starvation.

  • Oui je suis tellement d’accord avec toi!
    Je pense que c’est un peu pareil avec l’intelligence. il y a plein de types d’intelligence différentes! Et que tout le monde est intelligent! Les designers ont une superbe intelligence créative que n’ont pas les médecins, les artisans une impressionnante intelligence manuelle, les personnes hyper sociables sont dotées d’une intelligence relationnelle, etc.
    Bon après-midi,

    Julie, Petite and So What?

  • Can we credit Jennifer Lopez with the curves rather than Kim K? Thank you!

  • Vraiment lumineux cet article. Je ne savais pas les modes/tendances corporelles variaient aussi drastiquement sur des périodes de temps aussi courtes qu’une décennie.

  • ah mais tellement ! Merci pour ce billet ! A 39 ans, j’apprends enfin à aimer mon corps qui est beau à sa façon et qui plus à certains que d’autres…mais c’est surtout à moi qu’il doit plaire ! Bonnes vacances dans ton île paradisiaque !

  • Thank you for this article – great points. But that is why I love coming here every day to check out what you’re offering up. There are always different images of different types of beauty. It feels inclusive and broad and inviting. I fit in somewhere into this mix and can relate to something mostof the time. Your unique perspective is welcomed and applauded. Thank you for being you (and you are perfect just as you are..)

  • Cameron Russell has some very interesting points on this topic, not so much about body shape but about how the ideal model image doesn’t exist at all anymore. Basically saying that all the talented artists involved in creating fashion spreads create that image and the model is molded as a part of the overall vision into being an aspiration or fantasy (both in pre and post production). Her Ted talk summarizes her points pretty well. I was thinking about this when I heard Linda Rodin on the the PMF podcast say that models would do their own hair and makeup in the early days of fashion shoots. Having a longing for days-gone-by aside, I wonder if we will eventually get to the point where we view fashion shoots as a wholistic work of art, rather than focusing on the model’s face/body/shape.

  • EbonyVybz August, 10 2016, 11:53 / Reply

    Super post!

  • Je n’avais jamais réalisé à quel point chaque décennie a vraiment SON modèle. C’est fou. C’est comme être un Lego triangle et vouloir coller sur un Lego carré : impossible et inutile ! Merci pour cette petite minute de philosophie, car oui tous les corps sont beaux.

    Maya Joys

  • Lisa Walker August, 10 2016, 1:02 / Reply

    It’s great to break it down, and I love what’s shared here, but it really doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, most men, most guys, enjoy someone with a big smile. Liking yourself might be so cliche, but it is true. All this body worship is a waste of time. Kate Moss will never think she is pretty enough either, sizing herself up against some image of someone her dude said was hot, etc. Each day we fixate as women on this topic, is one day less hot for all of us.

  • It’s funny, I feel like most of the body issues I’ve struggled with are related to fashion more than self image. I am petite, with a long torso and short limbs. Flat chested with curly hair. It seems that I get enamored with looks that don’t compliment my figure or haircuts that are for women without curls. Sleeves and inseams are ALWAYS too long. Or I want to wear palazzo pants and they look silly instead of chic when your legs are short. I try to focus on working with what I’ve got and dismissing my mother’s lament about how I got her wiener dog body : )

  • L O L
    I do recognize myself in this article. I’m born 1968, and never been fashionable during my lifetime. And that’s extra hard, as I work with fashion. But, when in Rome some years ago I realized that I’m born 2000 years too late. When I saw the ancient statues, I saw myself. Small breasts, soft rounded belly, no visible muscles, wide hips, small butt and, most funny of all, long toes! (Always hated my feet for those long toes) Even my husband agreed and said: That’s you!
    I learned that everyone is beautiful, even me. Just in another millenium :-)

  • Natalie August, 10 2016, 2:59

    Marita this made me laugh so much! xx Natalie

  • very nice article and photo! thank you G. and nice comments by the people from this website!

  • Salut Garance :)

    Ton article m’a beaucoup fait réfléchir. Je n’avais jamais réalisé qu’un type de corps pouvait être à la mode, pourtant c’est le cas. Je suis personnellement assez maigre, je fais 1m66 avec de toutes petites épaules et les fesses plates. Beaucoup de gens me disent que ma maigreur est moche, que je serais bien mieux avec des formes -comme si j’y pouvais quelque chose. Mais tu m’as fait prendre conscience que si j’avais vécu en même temps que Kate Moss, j’aurais été considérée comme “belle”. Bref, tu m’as rassurée, et je t’en remercie.

    Fanny, de Une petite robe noire

  • Great article and soooo true!! As an ex-model, I know how those body trends come and go. I was the right age in the wrong era, 80’s body modelling in the Kate Moss body time. But it doesn’t matter what the trend is. As a model you find your market and as a non-model, like you say, be comfortable in your own skin. Every shape is beautiful!


  • Je ne savais pas qu’un corps pouvait etre “a la mode”. En ce qui me concerne, une bonne sante physique et morale est bien plus importante qu’une plastique parfaite. Je me prends a admirer mes mains et mes pieds, pas parce qu’ils sont beaux (loin de la) mais pour tout ce qu’ils accomplissent sans defaillance. Et comme on l’a dit plus haut, je suis emerveillee et emue par les gymnastes des J.O. Quelle beaute !

  • Well guys, this article just opened my eyes! It is just so true. It’s hard to believe that body types can change that much… following the VIP of the moment…
    So today I decide to be happy with what I have (even if I can’t handle my big caves…), so Today I’m wearing a skinny jeans and I just feel so good about myself. Guys thank you so much for this :)

  • Very interesting to hear you talking about body trends! I never would have thought about it that way like I do with fashion. Also, I’m excited to hear about your SEX Pardon My French podcast. Is it tomorrow? We’ll have to see!

  • Good post! Feel the same :)

  • Je n’avais jamais songé à la “mode” des corps et pourtant maintenant que tu en parles ça prend tout son sens !

    Comme une des filles en a parlé plus haut, c’est vrai que les JO actuellement permettent de bien se rendre compte des différentes morphologies que l’on peut rencontrer, ces filles sont souvent impressionnantes !

    Bref, encore un beau sujet très bien traité :)

    Des bisous Garance !


  • Bel article. Ashley Graham c est juste une bombe, un canon, une beauté. Elle est juste magnifique. Elle a un visage et une allure incroyable. C est drôle j ai le même parcours que toi niveau corporel. On a le même âge et on me comparaît à Stéphanie de Monaco ou Sophie Marceau mais ça c était avant…????

  • lilyrush August, 11 2016, 7:29 / Reply

    Magnifique. Merci.

  • Cet article me parle beaucoup. J’ai juste 1 an de plus que toi et au début des années 90, juste avant le tsunami Kate Moss, j’étais mince, avec de jolies formes, et gentiment musclée (merci la danse et le volley). Je faisais quasiment le fameux 90-60-90 qui était LA référence à l’époque. Les super models respiraient la vie, la joie, la nouvelle folie de la mode, et j’étais bien dans cette époque.
    Et puis je me souviens parfaitement quand Kate Moss est arrivée. Au resto U, on médisait sur elle “elle aurait bien besoin d’un bol de soupe”, et l’allure maigre-droguée – ça nous semblait réellement comme ça – comparé aux modèles healthy n’était pas compréhensible. Je trouvais ça moche et surtout super triste ces yeux entourés de noir et vide de vie, ces corps d’addict aux drogues dures, je pensais que ça n’allait pas durer : comment une allure (Kate ou les autres qui ont suivi dont je ne connais même pas les noms du coup) aussi morbide peut faire rêver ?
    J’ai eu faux sur toute la ligne. Kate est, plus de 20 ans après, toujours LA référence, ce qui est vraiment dingue en soi (dans le sens positif, bravo !). Les filles rêvent toujours d’être plus maigres, et moi j’ai 5 kilos de plus qu’à l’époque (et encore je viens d’en perdre presque 3 car je me suis cassé le genou et que mon corps change après 3 mois de béquilles, humf). Je ne fais plus du tout 90-60-90 (mais 90-70-103 oui madame), je n’ai plus du tout 20 ans non plus, je ne fume plus, je vais plus au resto, etc. Bref j’ai un corps avec des épaules et des bras sportifs, une taille fine et super plate, des hanches de femme, un cul rond, et une culotte de cheval avec des jambes qui gonflent (mais comment on gère ce truc ?!). Ca ne correspond à rien. Alors j’ai caché mes jambes pendant 2 décennies. Maintenant j’ai dit fuck (grâce à un coaching au féminin super chouette) et je porte des jupes courtes été et hiver depuis 1 an.
    Je ne trouve pas que les formes rebondies soient revenues à la mode. Le fessier rebondi de Kim Kardashian a des mensurations qui ne semblent pas naturelles par rapport au reste de son corps. Elle ne ressemble plus à celle qu’elle était il y a quelques années : c’est donc du travaillé, ce n’est pas un corps (naturel) à la mode mais une allure sculptée pour être regardée sous tous les angles (c’est un choix, elle fait ce qu’elle veut tant que ça lui plait, pour moi c’est comme choisir la forme de sa jupe). J’ai l’impression que ce n’est pas un type de forme de corps qui existe naturellement. Du coup personne ne pourra être comme elle (à peu près).
    La conclusion c’est que comme d’habitude, on doit tout faire pour accepter qu’on doit faire avec ce qu’on a ! haha.

  • What a brilliant piece of writing.
    I never thought of it in that way. Thank you.
    Now I will take my princess Stephanie style body off to gym and be proud of how it looks, not worry that its neither a Kate Moss, nor a Giselle, but mine!!
    Just fab!

  • Haha, great post! I never thought about it that way, until now!

    The good thing, though, is that, while not all women’s body types are fashionable at one given moment, not all men are into fashion anyway. Each body type has its fans, regardless of the decade. Or the millennium… :)

  • Super article!

    Deus ex machina… Le plus important pour le corps, c’est qu’il soit en bonne santé et qu’il nous emmène loin, qu’il protège et élève ce que l’on est. Les jours où je me trouve bof, je pense :”Je préfère un gros cerveau à des gros seins!” (Mais KK m’a quand même aidée à accepter mon cucul ????)

  • J’aime bien cet article.
    Pas mal de femmes ont tendance à tacler les filles très minces, à la Kate Moss justement ; sous prétexte que le diktat de la minceur en fassent souffrir certaines depuis trop longtemps, ce que je comprends très bien, on rentre dans une tendance inverse, qui consiste à critiquer la minceur et maigreur (alors qu’elle peut être tout à fait naturelle, comme n’importe quelle autre morphologie). Celles qui critiquent sont aussi celles qui disent qu’on devrait s’accepter comme on est… Un peu paradoxal, non ?!! S’accepter oui, et accepter l’autre aussi, peut être, c’est pas mal! Encore faut-il pour cela être vraiment dans l’acceptation de son corps, de soi, si c’est le cas, nul besoin de critiquer ce qu’on est pas…

    J’adore cette vidéo, ça remet bien les choses en perspective sur le corps et les canons esthétiques au fil du temps… :

  • Ha! I was about 2 years ahead of the Kardashian/ Jenner butt trend. I’ve always had that butt, and as soon as the cellulite/aging set it, my ass was “in”. I’d be so on trend if I didn’t feel too gross and too exposed dressing like these little ladies.

  • I loved reading this! I am a curvy Dutch girl. Always have been and always will be. I just came back from California (my husband is from there) where there is so much body obsession, but people are afraid of nudity and showing their bodies. We live in Germany right now and here it is another story. Whatever their body type or shape, people are not afraid to show it off. They flaunt it in their bikinis and seem to be just comfortable no matter what. I agree with “a body wrapped up in self-love is always a beautiful body”.

  • I was just recollecting this picture upside down, Some of my friend is doing the same thing in my college days when we are learning swimming in the freshwater canal.

  • Apropos your post: What are our thoughts on thongs at the beach? It depends WHICH BEACH we’re on, doesn’t it? Miami — no brainer. Cape Cod — probably not. But Maui, ladies — thoughts?

  • Carrément d’accord. Un peu comme les chaussures en effet fait que là c’est pas drôle. Et les fringues pour beaucoup sont quand même coupées pour les minces.

    Plutôt mince donc j’ai pas ce problème. Mais en maillot on voit de très beaux corps moins conventionnels qui habillés ne sont pas mis en valeur pour la raison citée plus haut. Dommage

  • Slushee April, 15 2017, 3:26 / Reply

    I share you body type Garance. And overall I’m quite happy with it – elegant and strong!

    But I think every body has to follow its own rules to look good. Anything loose on top and it gains momentum from my shoulders and explodes over my boobs. So no. Also anything overtly feminine and delicate. I look as though I’m in drag. Maybe body types being fashionable is more about the prevailing styles. Seems to me. Seventies are my groove :)

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