Bruni spoke candidly about the topic of self-image and her appearance during an interview published this week with French magazine Madame Figaro.
The 54-year-old shared that she doesn’t have a “particular relationship with beauty, neither that which is attributed to me, nor that of others,” according to a translation of the interview.
She emphasized that while “sublime beauty” can “fascinate” her, she prefers “grace and charm”.
The model then reflected on her own appearance, as well as the “endless efforts” she undertakes to maintain her looks.
“I have a silhouette and style, perhaps, but I make endless efforts to stay thin: two hours of sport a day, the bar, the elliptical, a little Pilates,” she said, adding: “Beauty is also a constraint.”
Bruni, who recently walked the catwalk for Balmain and starred in YSL’s spring summer campaign, returning to modelling has made her especially self-aware, recalled feeling “destabilised” and “too old” when she modelled the luxury brand on the runway last year.
“I think it’s not of my age anymore,” the singer said, before explaining that it was “bizarre” for her to realise she was old enough to be the mother of the other models, despite being the “youngest” in her family.
However, she did note that the fashion industry will remain her family, as she has close relationships with other models, as well as the seamstresses, hairdressers, makeup artists and photographers.
Bruni previously shared her praise for the newest generation of models during a 2020 interview with Vogue, in which she described the opportunity to connect with the younger generation as “lovely”.
“Fashion isn’t very nostalgic, but on occasion the young guard feels inspired by us. It’s pleasant because it gives meaning to the work that you’ve done. Being a model is such an odd job, and it doesn’t last long, so much of it is about youth. So it’s great when your work can become part of this larger story that we’re all writing together,” she said.
During the interview with Madame Figaro, Bruni also discussed her relationship with her looks while growing up and how, prior to puberty, she was tall and lanky and “felt invisible”.
After she went through puberty, Bruni said her relationship with her appearance changed and that she noticed she was being looked at differently when she went to the beach. According to the model, the experience taught her the “pleasure of seduction”.
“I like to please,” she said, adding that she is interested in pleasing and seducing “without any sexual purpose,” and that pleasing people is “much more interesting” than being beautiful.