Bod­ily di­chotomy

Milk Magazine (English) - - MORGANE DUBLED -

How big a gap there was be­tween this parox­ys­mal fe­male body and the con­comi­tant threat it rep­re­sents. “My fem­i­nin­ity had been ex­posed, ex­ac­er­bated, and sud­denly I found my­self “cas­trated” in the midst of this up­ward mo­men­tum. It was by no means in­nocu­ous. It was very dis­turb­ing.”

“My mother was a beau­ti­ful, very fem­i­nine woman. It had an al­most in­hibit­ing ef­fect on the lit­tle girl that I was,” re­mem­bers Mor­gane. “I learnt to feel com­fort­able in my body thanks to my pro­fes­sion: once I was made-up, with my hair done and clad in de­signer clothes, I as­sumed my role.” The chrysalis soon be­gan to play the game and her ca­reer took off. She ap­peared on one cat­walk af­ter another and worked for the biggest names in fash­ion. Her body be­came her ally, so much so that she joined the very se­lect co­terie of Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret An­gels. Her body was recog­nised as one of the world’s most beau­ti­ful, the supreme in­car­na­tion of fem­i­nin­ity. The ul­ti­mate sym­bol.

But Mor­gane is more than just a body. She has her head screwed on right too. Brought up to be­lieve that phys­i­cal ap­pear­ance isn’t all that mat­ters, she po­litely de­clined the first mod­el­ling of­fers she was made when she was only six­teen, de­cid­ing that it was more im­por­tant to pass her (science sec­tor) bac­calau­re­ate first. On leav­ing school, she was plan­ning on en­ter­ing a higher ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme, when she launched her­self into the fash­ion arena, re­gard­ing this as a hol­i­day job to pay her rent when she be­came a stu­dent. Due to her ma­tu­rity and knowl­edge of the French fash­ion busi­ness – her mother was a keen Gaultier fan and had given her a solid ground­ing – her mod­el­ling ca­reer took off like a rocket. So much so that she opted for the cat­walks in­stead of the lec­ture the­atre. Years later, her mother’s ill­ness and her own fu­ture prospects led her to ques­tion her­self about her fem­i­nin­ity. She de­cided to start afresh by re­sum­ing her stud­ies in art his­tory “an end in it­self, un­like mod­el­ling”.

Yet af­ter a fi­nal show for the Amer­i­can lin­gerie brand, Mor­gane grad­u­ally gave up mod­el­ling: her mother had been di­ag­nosed with ovar­ian cancer. Fly­ing back and forth be­tween France and the US ev­ery week was in­com­pat­i­ble with spend­ing time with her dur­ing this or­deal. Her grandmother had died from the same ill­ness. Mor­gane then learnt that she also had in­her­ited the same BRCA1 gene – now no­to­ri­ous be­cause it af­fects An­gelina Jolie – which means that, if she doesn’t choose to have her ovaries re­moved around the age of forty, she is likely to de­velop the dis­ease too.

And what about mother­hood? When she was preg­nant, Mor­gane put on twenty ki­los, which she grad­u­ally shed af­ter Joe’s birth. She quickly learned how to get her own body back. It had given her an un­usual destiny. “I prob­a­bly would have been able to make my way by do­ing some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent. But then this body also let me miss ten years of stud­ies!” she says with a smile. Yet, in her eyes, it is nei­ther a bur­den nor an ob­ses­sion. “I didn’t choose it; I can­not do any­thing about it and so I don’t dwell on it too much. I be­came a model be­cause I met cer­tain cri­te­ria in a cer­tain era. I am not an ex­am­ple of univer­sal beauty.” She feels a lot more com­fort­able in her body at thirty than at twenty and get­ting older poses no prob­lem for her – I dream of the day that I’ll be­come a great-grandmother”! She con­sid­ers her­self to­tally un­like fe­male stereo­types and ad­mits that her more volup­tuous friends at­tract far more at­ten­tion from men than she does. She even ad­mits that, like all women, she has sev­eral com­plexes.

This photo ses­sion with Joe, her sun­ny­na­tured lit­tle daugh­ter, was a big first for Mor­gane. “I wouldn’t have done it if she were older. Turn­ing her into a mini miss is not one of my plans,” she says. To­day, at two and a half, she’ll think this shoot is a fun game. And it’ll give us both some nice mem­o­ries!” When she’s with Joe, their dif­fer­ences make her hap­pier than their sim­i­lar­i­ties. “Joe’s got my head, but I’m de­lighted that she’s fairhaired with blue eyes, quite the op­po­site of me!” Of course she thinks she’s the pret­ti­est lit­tle girl ever, but mostly she tells her how won­der­fully kind and fab­u­lously funny she is!

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