10 years ago by

The other day, I was sitting there relaxing in the operating room (ok, not exactly relaxing)(I was about to get anesthesia and I DO NOT like the idea of that at all)(it was for a really harmless operation, I assure you) when suddenly, the anesthesiologist, who was putting an IV in my hand, tells me “Oh, funny – the skin on your hand is very, very supple.”

I sat up in my bed suddenly, and said to her: “Wait a second – suuuuppple? I mean – good supple or bad supple?” And she answered: “Just supple, more supple than most people. You know – tender! It’s not good or bad, just more supple.”
So I said: “Do you mean droopy? Stretchy? Flexible?”
To which she responded: “Alright, here we go – count backward from 10 – 10, 9…”

That’s when I remembered I was in the operating room.
Well, for about ten seconds, anyway, before the room around me faded away and I fell asleep.

Ah, there’s nothing like vanity to help me forget my fear of anesthesia!

A half-hour later, just after waking up (and feeling great – seriously, what do they put in those anesthetics?) I looked at my hand and realized that I was witnessing the arrival of something strange called… Drumroll, please…


Yeah, that’s a fact :

We I are am pretty dumb, and it happens at every age. Let’s take a look back at how my complexes started…

Some of them started all by themselves. Like my feet, for example. I don’t like them very much. I guess that’s kind of typical — one out of two people doesn’t really like their feet*, and this started when I was about nine years old and was starting to become aware of my body. So there you go. Ever since, I’ve put up with my feet, being extra careful not to wear shoes that reveal their flaws.

Some of them started from being made fun of. Aaaaaaah criticism.
We get made fun of in primary school, then in junior high, then in high school. I got away with not having to deal with it much, for the most part – my acne attack was manageable as long as I had eight tubs of Clearasil and 300 tubes of BodyShop Concealer** close by. But actually, I did go through a horrible episode of being made fun of that left my soul pretty bruised. When I was about 11, my breasts decided to jump about three years ahead of the rest of my body (and my mind!) and grew fully formed all in one go.
I can tell you that group of little brats in junior high didn’t spare me – they made fun of me and stuck me with a complex that I’ll probably have all my life.
Let’s just say being 11 ?

Wasn’t the easiest year of my life.

Some complexes come from friends. A lot of times, it starts with a sympathy complex. Your friend says:
“Uuuuugh, I hate the cellulite on my thighs!!!”
“But you don’t even have cellulite on your thighs! Where!? What are you even talking about.”
“Yes I do, right there. When you pinch there – right THERE, see?”
“Oh, come on, I guess if you pinch it, sure, but I HAVE THE SAME THING (see the sympathy complex rearing its ugly head?) do you think I should be worried about it? Do anti-cellulite creams work very well?***”
And there you go. A new cellulite complex that didn’t exist two seconds before is born right before your eyes. Ah, girlfriends. They’re the worst about handing out complexes.

Some complexes start with a photo.
WHHHHAAAAT!!! Show me that photo again? Is that really my nose / my butt / my shoulders? Nooooo, stop. Do I really look like that? Tell me, tell me the truth! You’re myfriendwhotellsmeeverythingandIcancountonyouthroughthickandthin: Does this photo really look like me? WHAT!? YOU THINK IT LOOKS LIKE ME!?” and so on…
We’ve all had complexes start with a photo. And with Instagram these days, you have to admit: We’ve all had a moment of utter terror seeing ourselves on someone else’s Instagram (and of course, THEY look perfect in the photo, the jerks!!)(Untag me right now, no seriously, untag me or I’ll unfollow you forever, I’m telling you!)

Some complexes come from the beauty / fashion industry.
Those complexes bother me because I don’t even know where they pull them from.
I swear, a few years ago, people were just fine having pores. And suddenly, we all decided we absolutely had to get rid of our pores and buy tons of beauty products to make them just as invisible as they are in overly airbrushed photos.
That one started so many complexes around me that I decided I just wasn’t going to participate. I decided to take a vacation from having complexes, and that I’d accept my pores and wouldn’t even sympathize with my friends who were obsesssing about them.

I’ve already got a good 10 to 15 complexes to deal with as it is, and I just adopted a new one that I didn’t even ask for (what!? the droopiness of the skin on my left hand – that counts!!!) (“But he said supple, Garance, supple – it’s not droopy!!”) and I’m sure there are more complexes just waiting to move in as the years go by, right?

So voilà. Now that we’ve completed our (in depth!) analysis of how complexes are born, do you think we can decide to get rid of them?
I’m trying to.


*And it’s not a matter of being objective, ok? I know a girl with feet that I think are, uuuuhhh, well – not so great – average at best (ok, I admit, I’m a little weird about feet)(and plus, the entire rest of her body is absolutely sublime, so don’t get mad!) and she won’t stop Instagramming her feet, that’s how much she loves them and thinks they are amazing.
So there’s just nothing objective about it! The important thing is that she likes her own feet, right?
(Ok, but I did kind of have to unfollow her, though – with summer coming, the foot storm was getting to be unbearable.)

**Bodyshop was SO my thing at the time – do you remember the White Musc perfume? It was a whole era.

***Answer: of course not.

Translated by Andrea Perdue


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  • J’ai eu plein de complexes quand j’étais plus jeune et lorsque je me regarde sur les photos, je me dis “Quelle imbécile”! Il a fallu que je me retrouve avec un ventre de shar pei après un accouchement gémellaire pour me dire que non, avant je n’étais pas grosse! A 40 ans je suis bien moi fraîche et bien foutue qu’il y a 20 ans, mais j’essaie de me dire que je ne veux pas encore me dire dans 20 ans que mes complexes n’étais que foutaises.
    Ma conclusion, donc, c’est que l’âge a cela de bien qu’on acquiert de la sagesse et que l’on arrive à s’accepter plus facilement et parfois même à aimer ses défauts. Et puis la beauté n’est pas réservé qu’aux jeunes et aux top models!

  • On a toutes des complexes! On envie toujours les autres, ses copines etc
    Mais avec le temps, on apprend à les assumer, on devient plus sûre de soi!

    Le monde des petites

  • i’m saying a loving fuck you to my shortcomings! :)

  • Mmmm, je vois : tu as lu ces articles où il est dit que la tonicité générale de la peau, et par conséquent l’état de son vieillissement, se lit en pinçant le dessus de la main. Si le pli disparait en un temps record, tu as encore 16 ans. Plus il met de temps, plus tu es vieille!
    Pour les mains : crème avec indice de protection solaire et éventuellement compléments alimentaires réhydratant la peau.

  • J’avais des complexes quand j’étais plus jeune, plusieurs en fait, mais maintenant que je suis dans mes quarantaines, il me semble que j’en ai moins, mes défauts ne me dérangent plus on dirait.
    C’est toute une question de pérception parce que realistiquement je suis sur que je suis moins belle maintenant puisque comme Mafalda mentionne après l’accouchement je n’ai plus le corps que j’avais avant, j’ai des rides, j’ai des blancs dans mes cheveux mais je me sens plus belle que quand j’étais jeune.
    C’est l’ironie de la vie .

  • Christal April, 2 2014, 9:33 / Reply

    Tellement vrai….

  • I have always been full of unnecessary complex, now I do not care anymore!
    Passa a trovarmi VeryFP

  • et maintenant pourquoi pas un article ou chacune dirait ses atouts ? Plutôt meilleur pour le moral… et l’ego ! Bises à toute l’équipe !

  • Et voilà une idée que j’aime bien. Je te propose de faire une liste de 15 choses que tu aimes bien sur toi, sur ton corps plutôt ;), et de la relire régulierement. Ca ne fera pas disparaître tes complexes mais tu te sentiras sûrement mieux. Et puis pour les problèmes du fin fond du psyché, on peut toujours trouver de l’aide – en demandant de l’aide…
    Bonne journée à tou(te)s!
    P.S. Et puis oui, attention au ‘sympathie complex’! Ca donne l’impression de renforcer l’amitié mais ça détruit ton équilibre…

  • hahaha the cellulite one is so funny and so true!! I say that to my boyfriend all the time hahah
    Xo, Belen

  • Merci Garance j’avais besoin de rire aujourd’hui…
    Je te soupçonne néanmoins d’avoir inventer cette copine aux pieds chelous parce que la pauvre si c’est vrai tu viens de lui filer un complexe A VIE!!!

  • I really can’t look at feet ; I get nightmares from other folks feet. And now Summer is coming, a whole bunch of ugly feet will hit me in my face again. Especially the ones that are untended and never heard of pedicure. Those are the worst and most of the times the ones without complexes ! Aaargh.

    I don’t like my feet either but when I see other feet, I can live with mine. At least they get a monthly pedi and polish on top.

    My biggest complex are my calves ; they look masculine and sporty. And I don’t play football or compeet in the Tour de France. Hate them. And there’s not much you can do about that. You can diet as much as you want, the muscularity stays.

    So, this is an appeal ; if you know a secret remedy to get rid off firm calves, please let me know ! :)

  • Youth is totally wasted on the young! Mafalda a tout à fait raison, on devrait envoyer valser nos complexes, y compris en salle d’op!

  • this is so cool! i am not a complex type of person at all lucky me!

    but the body shop white musk you mentioned!!! the smell of my adolesence!!!!

  • Je n’ai pas encore lu ton article (hate car j’ai trop de complexes lol) mais qu’est ce que ton illustration est CANON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3 <3 <3

  • Je t’adore Garance! Je te rassure je pense que ta peau des mains est trés bien c’est le mec qui fait ce boulot tous les jours et tate tous les types de peaux donc il est plus attentif à ca.

    j’ai une histoire qui me fait penser à la tienne! un jour je parlais avec quelqu’un qui me sort ” tu as de trés belles veines” QUOI???? j’ai de belles veines? est ce que ca veux dire que mes bras sont limite bleu tellement que mes veines sont apparentes! la hantise!! comme tu dit un nouveau complexe venais de naitre.Je ne voyais plus que mes vaines!! Mais seulement dans la soirée je me suis rendu compte que la personne travaillait au don du sang et du coup c’est limite le premier truc qu’elle regarde chez les gens. Donc apparemment j’avais juste des belles veines pour donner du sang mais rien de vraiment trés visible! juste lui pouvait remarquer ca.

    Je pense que c’est peut être le cas de ton anesthésiste! Il doit tatter des peaux toutes la journée pour pouvoir piquer du coup quand il a vu que tu avait un peau souple il a juste fait une remarque comme ca car peut être qu’il pique que des vieux à la peaux rigides! ahaha :)

    C’est mieux d’avoir une peau souple qu’un peau de crocodile donc t’inquiete pas :)

    Gros bisous


    Sophie de Aroundlamode

  • Tellement vrai ce post! Luttons!
    Vive le white Musc (prononcé depuis ces années à l’américaine par la moitié de mes copines: mais non voyons ce parfum n’est pas “meuské” il est musqué avec un U !) qui a enfin succédé au tout aussi écoeurant extrait de Vanille!

  • I have all the types of complexes you’ve mentioned. If you discover how to get rid of them, please let me know!

  • Moi je crois qu’on apprend à vivre avec… sauf peut-être pour les nouveaux-nés ;D
    Mais les vieux, les imprimés, les cicatrices, là, hein…. ça se digère, mais ça pèse toujours un peu sur l’estomac. Chez moi les plus vieux, c’est presque comme des vieux potes, quand je me vois je sais ce qu’ils vont me dire, je les devance, je leur offre deux ou trois concessions et une ou deux avancées. On se marre, quoi!

  • Caroline April, 2 2014, 10:53 / Reply

    tu as oublié le complexe par anticipation.
    j’ai tellement peur d’avoir la peau qui pend sous les bras (=bras chauve-souris – quelle horreur!) dans 10 ans que je me suis mises aux altères !

  • my nose is my complex…I hate is so much! nobody sees it but me!!

    doing a giveaway on my blog!

  • Bah les complexes c’est nécessaire, bien mieux que l’ultra vanité…genre je suis tellement belle gosse que je n’en peux plus…soulant. En revanche, ils ne doivent pas nous bloquer ou nous empêcher d’avancer. Et puis aujourd’hui il y a plein de petits trucs que l’on peut faire, si vraiment ils prennent une proportion ingérable. Un jour mon fils m’a dit “oh maman, c’est pas beau le gros trait que t’as entre les sourcils”, je n’y faisais pas plus attention que ça ! Une injection de botox plus tard c’était réglé. Personne n’a remarqué et c’est vrai que ça donne l’air moins sévère. Bon à 40 ans passé, chaque semaine, tu découvres un nouveau truc alors il faut y aller mollo quand même ! :-)

  • This post was really just perfect. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Les complexes me collent a la peau depuis mon adolescence mais la difference est qu’avec l’age je m’en moque. Je me regarde dans le miroir, les complexes surgissent, je leur fais une grimace et je ris !

  • P.S. Tres beau dessin. J’aime beaucoup la coupe de cheveux.

  • Garance, while it’s comforting to know that even you have your insecurities, you really should not! You are such a role model and the best girlfriend the Internet has ever had. You are incredibly successful, chic, smart, talented, hilarious, and I’m sure your hair looks amazing even on days when your readers can’t see it.

    As for me, girls in my elementary school used to call me “Big Lips” because of my full(er than average) lips at the tender age of seven. It really upset me, but my Mom, who has really thin lips, always told me to just wait it out because one day I was going to be really happy I had them. And then one day Angelina Jolie happened, and the rest is history.

  • Garance, I’m a physician and I use “supple” to describe healthy/resilient/normal skin and soft tissue. I think it’s definitely a compliment to have your skin described as supple! Trust me:-)

  • aaah amazing article. Love it Garance! I always have to laugh about your posts.

  • je suis complexée par mes pieds…Quand je me regarde dans la glace sans chaussures, surtout quand j’ai les jambes nues, mes pieds me font penser à des mains (comme dans la pub kenzo), ça me fait flipper…je n’ai que des sandales qui couvrent les orteils . Je déteste tellement voir mes pieds que j’ai un plaid sur le fauteuil, pour planquer mes orteils dessous, même s’il fait 40 degrés.
    En été, je regarde systématiquement les pieds des gens, ça me rassure quand je croise une fille sublime avec des pieds moches…C’est mesquin mais hyper sécurisant….

  • Il m’est arrivé un truc super dingue : j’avais un gros défaut dont je ne me rendais absolument pas compte jusqu’à mes 30 ans.
    Et un jour, une assistante de mes deux me demande si ce défaut ne me donne pas trop de complexes.
    Donc en moins de 2 j’étais foutue. J’avais un complexe énorme pour un truc qui m’avait jamais effleuré l’esprit pendant 30 ans…

  • T K Park April, 2 2014, 11:35 / Reply

    This post made me laugh so much. I have never really had any long term complexes (my very distinct nose between ages 8 and 12 or so but that’s it really)…but now I am thinking that maybe there are things I should be more concerned/worried about!…cellulite, feet, pores…oh my! I’m afraid I feel a complex coming on…my complex that I do not have any complexes (and so must oblivious to what is soooo obvious to everyone else) oh boy…and now I think I should go and take a closer look at my nose again, too. lol

  • Madeleine April, 2 2014, 11:42 / Reply

    Can we just talk a second about the French and anti-cellulite cream?! Once the weather starts warming up, you literally cannot walk past a pharmacy without at least one ad with a girl with 0% body fat advertising the latest and greatest new cream that will banish those nooks and crannies until the end of time. With all the products and quick fixes we’re bombarded with in the States, I just don’t feel like cellulite cream is anywhere as high on the list.

  • Hotmamma April, 2 2014, 11:45 / Reply

    Ohlala WHITE MUSC en version huile avec la petite languette en plastique!! C’est comme une madeleine de proust! Ça existe encore?

  • WEll… Like you I used to hate my feet and avoided sandals for years or any kind of shoes that would show too much of them. Until my friends started making fun of them, and they actually became a trait like ‘Maria, the one with ugly (and too big) feet’ :) opposed to ‘Big nose Catarina’ or ‘Short legged Sofia’ (both of them my friends) so I still think my feet are ugly but I don´t hate them anymore, I just don’t care or see them as I used to anymore, they’re my complex but my trait as well…
    Anyway… I embraced my complex! :)

  • I think Maria’s onto something about embracing your complexes.

  • LOL….love it! love the post…and the illustration XOXO

  • Love this post, Garsnce! It couldn’t have come at a better time : I’ve noticed that my hands are starting to look just my grandmother’s! I’m trying very hard to just embrace them and the natural way that my skin is aging but it’s not easy…
    Thank you for making me laugh and try to ‘lighten up’ about this whole aging process!

    xx from LA,


  • i share the above complexes. but darn, i am still trying to go with ” underthink-ing ” from your New Year’s posts….

  • Ah la la les complexes, c’est la première fois qu’ils me font autant rire. Merci Garance :)
    Ma technique pour essayer de me débarrasser de mes complexes, c’est une sorte de “thérapie” en photo. J’apprend à maîtriser mon image et donc mes complexes et j’apprend aussi à la partager sans être embarrasser (J’ai finalement ouvert un blog et cela m’a aidé. Je fuis un peu moins les appareils photo (l’appareil photo de ma sœur ne compte pas, je sais qu’elle ne me trahira pas ou du moins mon image ^^ et puis elle sait quand il faut ou non supprimer) et les regards.)
    Bonne journée :)

  • Yes let’s get rid of them all! Good news for the young ladies here, the older you get, the less complexes you will have :-) but well, I’m still dealing with some, my Celluite that does never really go away and my breasts that didn’t profit from breast feeding for totally 4 years of my life! But the thing is, I would do just the same all over again! Rather enjoying the joy of feeding a baby than not having to deal with some silly complex ;-) xxx

  • rorococoeugvic April, 2 2014, 12:35 / Reply

    Mouah ah ah ah !!!
    Complexes +++ et, entre autres, non pas mes pieds que je trouve fins et mimi et tout et tout … MAIS complexée … des petits orteils … oui oui oui … que je compare à des petites saucisses ! Et donc : je fais TRES attention à ne mettre que des sandales ( Kjacques et Cie ) où une ( petite ) lanière les cache bien ! Voilà voilà …
    Qui dit mieux ?!

  • The complexes issue. Arghh. Where should I begin?? It all started in highschool. An average teen with acne, braces, very thin legs (or at least that’s what I thought back then), a big nose and terrible hair. Six years to go, a lot of drama. The years passed and I learned to accept myself, painfully and hard. I still have tons of complexes, but hey, there comes and age when you just have to accept it and work with what you’ve got, most of the times our flaws are nothing next to our attributes, I swear.

    And of course, there are a lot of products now to help us get rid of what we don’t like. I went to a dermatollogist who solved my skin problems, kinda, and make-up does the rest, I made peace with my nose, wich wasn’t easy because hey! the thing is right in the middle of my face, but I learned to turn my head just a little to the right, and voila!, my pictures look just fine and if doesnt, hey, there’s always the -untag- option. And my then super thin legs, have turned in the favorite part of my body actually.

    I guess time gives you the chance to look everything in perspective. You stop worrying too much. I’m 23 now and I feel amazingly happy of not being a teenager anymore, yeez, those years are really a pain in the ass. I still have a lot of confidence issues but not as bad as I did 10 years ago. We’re not perfect, we are real. We are not Daria Werbowy either!! haha. And that’s a good thing.

  • Caroline April, 2 2014, 12:55 / Reply

    Bonjour Garance,

    Je pense que tu as bien résumé les différentes étapes de la formation d’un complexe…
    Effectivement, ça vaut la peine de les comprendre et surtout de comprendre que la société nous impose des injonctions contradictoires. La cellulite, par exemple, est un mot qui a été inventé dans les années 20 (avant, ça n’avait pas de nom) et non, il n’y a pas que les femmes qui en ont, au contraire… mais nous sommes les seules pour qui cela pose un “problème”.
    Aussi, tu parles de tes pieds. Effectivement, ce qui est considéré comme étant joli, ce sont des grandes mains fines et des petits pieds. Sauf que c’est impossible : soit les mains et les pieds sont petits (c’est mon cas, et je n’aime pas beaucoup mes mains…), soit on a de longs doigts fins sur lesquels les bagues peuvent s’empiler et on chausse du 40. Bah ouais.
    Une fois qu’on a compris certaines petites choses simples, genre l’anatomie basique, le corps, les “imperfections” naturelles, on se prend moins la tête. Et vivement la trentaine pour ça, personnellement, pour rien au monde, je ne retournerai à mes 17 ans et à mes questions dans tous les sens.
    Merci d’avoir lancé ce sujet en tout cas.

  • Garance, je compatis mais alors TELLEMENT au complexe des seins a 11 ans… J’ai eu droit a la meme chose et je n’etais pas du tout prete dans ma tete ! Merci la puberte… J’ai beau avoir grandi, avoir mieux assume mes complexes, il reste que comme toi, je crois que je ne m’en remettrai jamais totalement et je reverai toute ma vie d’etre une de ces filles qui arborent un bonnet ni trop grand, ni trop petit…
    Bref, ce post me fait t’aimer encore plus !

  • Carole April, 2 2014, 1:06 / Reply

    lol u wrote this so well i was with u the whole time…..the last time i was put under….new anesthesiologist older man …i asked where he worked before and he gave me a list of different states…then i thought …Dr DEATH…as u can see i woke up LOL I drive my self crazy LOL

  • Nicolette April, 2 2014, 1:22 / Reply

    I loved what you shared, as I too have a number of worries, complexes, etc. due to some of my very own self-created obsessive issues :-) Thanks for making me smile! I was led to your blog by a wonderful review I read at on your appearance at The French Institute. Glad I checked in here today!

  • Thank you for that link! That’s a very nice article.

  • Hi Garance!

    I do indeed remember White Musk perfume but for some strange reason I preferred the peach one and then there was the Grapefruit shower gel which I used to treat myself to once in a while – oh the nineties!

    It’s a pity about though complexes isn’t it?! it’s where your imagination can really work against you!
    I remember never much considering my breasts at all growing up (I’m sorry about your story though, girls can be so mean!). I was happy with them don’t get me wrong I just never gave them much thought. then one evening at dinner at my friend’s house in my early twenties my friend’s mother referred to my breasts as being small (At dinner, yes!)! I was like – what, me?! Small?!! I know it’s funny really being 34b and sometimes even 34a and not even thinking you are ‘small’ but hey! I’m still happy with them though and my boyfriend is too so hey here’s to breasts you didn’t even think that much about being called small! and here’s to breasts that sprout overnight too! Here’s to our wonderfully fabulous bodies that we all should love so much more. x

  • I loved it!
    I’m posting looks from Los Angeles and accessories:

  • Amalia April, 2 2014, 2:44 / Reply

    When you’re young(er) you have complexes about all sorts of things but then you get old and a whole new set of issues (wrinkles, jowls, greys) override the old ones…I’m looking forward to the day I wave my white flag in complete submission…time will always win the battle, but defeat can be accepted graciously.

  • Garance I laughed a couple of times and nodded in agreement with you! This might seem really stupid but I am fair skinned and I didn’t like the fact that you could see blue veins on my breasts and chest. Ok, fast forward a couple of years… my boyfriend is crazy in love about them :)))

  • You just have very well moisturised hands, Garance!!

    Your post has me thinking… I don’t know how it not happened, but I don’t really have any complexes with my appearance. But I do think I make it up with some other anxieties I think, haha (better to laugh about it ;)).

  • I think I’ve made it through life so far without too many complexes, and most of mine are about my character rather than my appearance (and are maybe just basic existential-type identity questions). Each one adds a self-consciousness and a stiffness that is so exhausting, and inherently unhealthy. Going too far in the other direction, and vehemently loving your body also seems like too much to me. I prefer that middle path of appreciating what I like about myself, tolerating what I do not so much like (maybe making an effort to minimize its appearance, maybe not, depending), and not getting too worked up in either direction. However it may be , it is certain to change.

    Also, though, having one powerful complex can, in a way, protect you from having any others. So I pay a lot of attention to my skin, and, in comparison, don’t really care as much about anything else.

    Was thinking recently about a similar thing, of when, and under which conditions, I’m willing to make an effort to look really nice (makeup can take time!), and how invariably tied to issues of feminism it must be, as many of the complexes so common in Western society are, too.

  • Love this! I can so relate to the bra/boobs thing. I think its completely fine to not love every physical aspect of your body, but you have to be okay with not liking it, accept it and move on. :)

  • Je viens de toucher la peau de ma main pour voir si elle était souple…
    résultat: elle est dur et difficile à plisser
    Suis-je normal?


  • Frédérique April, 2 2014, 3:36 / Reply

    Ca s’appelle de la.. tiens toi bien… de la dysmorphophobie! Ouais. J’en suis atteinte aussi. C’est ma super géniale acupunctrice qui m’a ouvert les yeux là dessus. Je lui disais de me piquer pour faire dégager le putain de gras qui se stock dans le haut de mes cuisses depuis que j’ai dépassé la trentaine… Alors que je fais du 36/38. Là, elle m’a dit ouais ouais… t’es parfaite comme ça. Tu es juste atteinte de dysmorphophobie. Elle a ajouté que les femmes à tendance créative/artistique en souffre plus que les autres… quête de l’absolue perfection! Courage!

  • Haha when I was younger, a nurse was giving me a shot and knew I was afraid of needs and to distract me said “Oh, you have such pretty almond shaped eyes” and I immediately was like what??? I do???? So vain haha

  • Tellement vrai! Je pense qu’on doit chercher le côté positif de ses caractéristiques physiques; certes, il n’est pas du tout facile.

    … mais je ne peux penser à rien d’autre que le fait que je déteste les pieds aussi et que moi aussi je serais obligée à unfollower une personne qui publie des photos de leurs pieds. “Une rafale de pieds” … LOL

  • anne-c April, 2 2014, 4:16 / Reply

    white musc….mon parfum depuis toujours, toujours 3 bouteilles d’avance…

  • Teresa April, 2 2014, 4:41 / Reply

    So many interesting and funny things you mention here:

    Feet: it is maybe weird, but I don’t like much feet with colored nails, I prefer natural look. Of course, well kept but I guess your feet and nails look better natural and at the same time they have to be really beautiful in order not to need nail polish. Maybe because I do yoga and are used to be barefoot, I see a different beauty in feet. Also, do not pay attention to looking at them that much. I also like my feet a lot, hahaha

    Complexes, it is funny but also the Karma factor can be present. I mean, some of the kids who were mean at school, have become really unattractive people and some of the ones who were teased are even more beautiful now.

    I think in my school I sometimes felt like the ugly duckling but when I found my group of swans, I felt the same!

    I am sure the skin in your hands is just soft, and maybe that is what the person meant it.

    Anyway, you have so much beauty in and out, that do not need to worry. Still, I value your courage to put yourself out there and share with us.

  • I have plenty of hang-ups about my appearance–my little double chin, my stubby hands, my middle section in general–but lately I’ve been trying to focus on what my body can do instead of what it looks like. I’m an opera singer, and I find that if I think about the fact that the way my body is built allows me to make incredible music, it’s harder to criticize its appearance.

  • garnace-i love your post but as an older woman, i can tell you that you will look back on this time and
    say “what was i complaining about!”

  • sara bolt April, 2 2014, 5:07 / Reply

    Ajh la la, complexes.

    1rst complexe ever, I was 11, running in my bikini with all my friends (we were at a pool party) when my mom call me, grab my leg and say “Sara t’as de la cellulite!” and that was it. Its just now, at 28, that i assume a little bit better that yes, I do, even if i’m skinny and in shape, cellulite is a friend for life for me.
    And the 2cd, my boobs grow when I was 12, at the size they are now: i’m a D, so you can imagine what was that! so no showing legs, no showing boobs. I use turtle neck so much that now i can’t tolerate them.

    But we learn, we grow, and heureusement! we have some amazing things to be proud of that to.
    And heureusement, I think i’m smart, because if to all of that we add the dumb complex, then we’re really f**** up.

  • Hahaha! L’autre jour, j’étais en train de chercher un nouveau sérum (Prescriptives, when will you start delivering to Canada!) – j’ai pas beaucoup de rides mais ça commence… Et la femme au comptoir, tout en me couvrant la main de cette crème super lourde, m’a remarquée ‘Et, dis, mais ça va vraiment aider avec ces marques rouges qu’on trouves partout sur votre visage!’ Mais quoi!!! Il fait un grand zéro degrés dehors, neige partout, je marche vite pendant toute la journée… j’suis très fière de ma teinte ‘Icelandic snow maiden’ et on veut me traiter de quelqu’un de visage rougeâtre! Fin…j’ai pris le sérum…il y avait un petit cadeau avec…

  • LOL oh my , I’ve laughed a lot with your history, i saw myself reflected, its amazing we all have something in common about this kind of things.


  • Ahh… Dear Garance, trust me, you’re not the only one. I have like 30 complexes about my body. And I’m a guy!

  • So true!!

    Forget feet, think nose, and getting bigger as I get older. One doctor friend swore blind that noses don’t get bigger, just your face getting smaller, nonsense, but then he is a psychiatrist, what does he know? One consolation, bigger my nose, the smaller the rest of me is looking.

    Oh and another thing, necks, suddenly crepes up on you, oh and loss of eye sight, bam , just like that over night, mind you consolation number 2, I so, look better in the mirror! Oh and what I hate most, those bloody thread veins, who needs maps on their legs, ah well, thank God for Sally Hanson cover up, major tip!

    I cannot go on, on the positive side, I don’t give a hoot, listen to young girls’ talk, Jees it’s good not to be young again, bring on the years of feck it all, been there, done that, felt that, we older women have never looked so good!!


  • Mariateresa April, 2 2014, 6:42 / Reply

    Garance, force et courage! Bisou par Bari, Italy!!!

  • Lindsay King April, 2 2014, 6:51 / Reply

    Ahhhh! These complexes are all around us! Looming! Makes me feel a little bit better though, reading your candid thoughts on the topic. Some (for some reason) can be easier to ignore, while others (although may be insignificant or irrational) are hard to get rid of. If you figure out how to shake these nasty lil monsters let me know! Xx ps- every picture I’ve seen of you on Instagram, Facebook or online is sublime!

  • I hate my feet. I loved them what seems like ages ago but then I started modern dance and ballet in college and now they just are urghhhhh. Anyhow I guess I can deal with them. It’s probably my biggest complex now. I think it’s natural?? Some complexes I have been able to get rid of. I have Lupus and as a result have scars across my face. When I was a child I had such issues mostly due to insensitive kids and adults. But now? I love my face. It’s who I am. People can either accept me or not. Their problem, I’ve decided it’s no longer mine.

  • jenjenchoo April, 2 2014, 10:43 / Reply

    dear garance, i love how you always make me feel like i’m not the only person fretting (secretly of course) about my flaws – i’ve had my share of complexes from wearing long sleeves endlessly because i hated my arms and not wearing rings because i hate my hands to not looking at myself in the mirror in the rest rooms because i found it too depressing to deciding ok i’m going to be single forever because i don’t want a new man to see me naked – i still deal with my body and face issues every day – but i remind myself that even though my arms may not exactly be super toned and i do have celllulite on my thighs and that my legs will never be sublime unless i stop eating and attend pilates every day that everything works – i can walk on my own, my hands work fine, i’m get like a cold once a year and all my faculties function – for that i feel very blessed:)

  • Literally laughing out loud. You un-followed for feet?! I totally get that.

    Your neuroses are on par with Larry David, so of course I love this post! I admire you for trying to quiet the complexes, we all need to do this.

  • mariaelina April, 3 2014, 1:29 / Reply

    Someone once told me that “maybe the things you think are your weaknesses are in fact your greatest strengths”. That stopped me cold, and since then that’s been how I’ve viewed my idiosyncrasies and so called imperfections. So empowering.

  • sophia April, 3 2014, 2:21 / Reply

    I hope you are ok now…get well and good recovery from surgery, nothing is more important than health…

  • Quand j’etais plus jeune, j’ai eu plein de complexes mais maintenant elles se sont estompes.

  • Oui, trois fois oui ! Les miens (et j’en traine des caisses, oui, oui) je les ai rangé dans un coin de ma tête. Et j’ai essayé d’apprendre à m’aimer. Malgré mon nez, mes mollets, mes cheveux…. bref je les ai regardé bien en face tous ces complexes, et je leur ai dit droit dans les yeux : maintenant, vous allez arrêter de me pourrir la vie, je vous aime, vous faites partie de moi, alors ça suffit. je leur ai mis une claque, je me suis redressée, la tête haute, j’ai dégagé les épaules et je souriais à la vie. Depuis, je m’aime. Il m’a fallu près de 40 ans, mais ça y est.

  • Body Shop White Musk!!! That was my thing too! I loved that entire line and its beautiful fragrant! I don’t know why but for me White Musk embodied total sensuality in my teens lol

  • Tu te rends compte que tu viens d’entraîner une bonne soixantaine de filles à pincer la peau de leur main pour vérifier l’avancement de leur vieillesse ???? :-) quel pouvoir tu as sur nous … ;)

  • ah ben ça je dois dire que je compatis… des complexes…y en a à la pelle dans ma petite tête! Mais je dois dire qu’avec l’âge, certains passent… mais au profit d’autres (aka la “souplesse” de peau de ta main gauche)… je ne connais AUCUNE FILLE qui n’ai pas un complexe dans sa tête! Je crois qu’il faut faire avec et minimiser au maximum cette petite voix vicieuse qui se réveille à chaque fois que tu enfiles cette jupe un peu moulante (fesses? ventre? cuisse? etc.) ou bien cette bague que tu aimes tant (doigts boudinés) ou ces nouvelles sandales multi-brides que tu rêvais d’essayer et quand tes pieds sont dedans tu as l’impression d’être au rayon charcuterie… Je n’ai aucune idée de comment on s’en sort sinon par un peu d’autodérision et de confiance en soi surtout quand on se voit dans le regard de son amoureux et ça ça fait un peu oublier tous les complexes… même si je suis lucide sur le fait que non JAMAIS je ne serai un clone de Gisèle ou Anja ou Cameron (cf. le dernier VOGUE france)…

  • Tu as raison! Our complexes come from different sources and the standards that we slowly embrace by living them.
    My bum was always made fun of, even by closest family members, and I became so conscious of it. It’s round, slightly bigger in comparison how tiny my whole body is. I stared covering it, wearing longer shirts, appropriate or even baggy jeans, high heels so that I could feel better about it. On the other hand, all the guys who I’ve dated loved it, and always encouraged me to show more of it. It’s strange when the thing you hated the most becomes something worth having.

    I remember that scene from SATC when the ladies were talking about their complexes: Miranda, Carrie and Charlotte. And when Samantha had to open up about hers, and she was silent. Hahahah I love how some women have that much respect for themselves.
    Because, the more you appreciate yourself, the less will other people notice it, and they will be ashamed of even pointing it out.

  • Je me dis toujours que personne n’est parfait , après il y a toujours un problème à sa solution :) il faut apprendre à s’assumer et à se mettre en valeur au maximum.

  • I would say it depends on you environment. If you’re surrounded by people who are a bit less attractive than you are, you feel like a star. On the other hand if you’re surrounded by vogue editors you feel like a country girl. Maybe feeling good is having the right people around you? But frankly saying it’s about acceptance. you can’t compare yourself all the time. media tell us all the time about fighting cellulite, fighting pores, fighting this fighting that. i wouldn’t even know that i have cellulite without all this communication…

  • Ah le white musc! je passais ma vie avec! maintenant je crois que je ne le supporterais plus!

  • So true … For me my hair ….. Don’t you love it when people tell you that your hair looks so much better straight . :)

  • My mom gave me my first one :you have your dad’s nose,big. (not true at all, my nose was/is perfect for my face). Then I got all sorts of complexes on my own. I was pretty good at it too. So, I ended up not liking my tits, my belly, my weight (50kg at 171cm!!).
    Now I only wish I was close to what Iused to be, I would be super happy.
    Yes, as someone said, youth is wasted on the young.

  • Bernadette April, 3 2014, 8:31 / Reply

    It’s funny, but I have more complexes/insecurities now, that I’m in my forties, than when I was a teen/twen.
    For instance: my hair. I didn’t give a sh## about how it looked (at least to others). Cut it myself (veeeeery badly, of course) and that was cool for me. I didn’t even care about body hair. OK, I’m not american and it was the 80s.
    Now it’s a totally different story. I keep obsessing about my now gray hair and how to cut it and and and… Pretty annoying.

  • rosemarie April, 3 2014, 9:13 / Reply

    mais de quoi exactement as-tu été opéré (E) , Garance?

  • Les complexes, c’est complexe :-) :-*** | Inside of a 30 years old, french designer.

  • j’ai presque envie de te faire un t-shirt “moi et mes pores on vous emmerde” ^_^ ?

  • Complexed as I have always been about my hair, weight, skin,attitude, emotion, I learned something from them! To cherish people that love my as I am !

  • Dottie April, 3 2014, 5:54 / Reply

    Hi Garance, love your blog. Totally agree with Sophia, health is the most important thing, hope you are well now. We all have hang-ups about bits of us, even really beautiful people, yet we are all beautiful in our own way. The silly thing is, no-one else notices (or even cares) if you have cellulite or funny feet, or whatever. So why do we fret so much. In getting older (in my sixties now) I have realised we should cover up the things we don’t like and accentuate those we do. Make the best of yourself, wear clothes and colours which look good on you, and step out with confidence. And by the way, I have been wearing White Musk for years and am still wearing it, it is the only perfume that doesn’t give me a headache and I still love it. x

  • The feet! It’s a French thing? When I was in Paris in June, wearing sandals, NO ONE WAS BEARING THEIR TOES. It was so embarrassing; everywhere I went, people stared at my feet!! Never again.

  • Ah, comme c’est drôle et tellement vrai! Moi aussi je déteste mes pieds, bcp trop larges, c’est la torture quand je dois acheter des chaussures! Mes oreilles de Dumbo, check, jeme suis fait opérée à 30 ans!!
    Mes cheveux fins de bébé? je ne sais pas quoi y faire, je les maudis tous les jours
    Ma rétention d’eau depuis mon 2ème ?BB, hopeless, je ne me regarde plus dans la glace. J’ai beau essayer d’aimer mon corps, je n’y arrive pas. Je ne veux plus être sur les photos! C’est grave, mais impossible de m’en défaire. c’est bon de voir que je ne suis pas seule! :)

  • Garance, it’s like masochism what we put ourselves through, no? With our secret complexes & humor, I feel that many of us have these irrational yet amusing thoughts all the time. You seem to live in my head. I just had a hand moment last night, I kid you not.

  • Super post, j’ai adoré! Et pour ce qui est des complexes, bien sûr j’en ai un paquet!!


  • Great blog you have here.. It’s hard to find high quality writing like yours nowadays.
    I seriously appreciate people like you! Take care!!

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