Carla Bruni has endured a lifetime worth of scrutiny between her modeling career and her role as French first lady, but that doesn't mean she's grown superhuman thick skin.

The 45-year-old opens up about her struggles in the June issue of Vanity Fair. Her first order of business? Settle those pantsuit rumors. While husband Nicolas Sarkozy handed off the presidency to Francois Hollande last May, Carla was criticized for wearing a "deeply unflattering" pantsuit in lieu of her usual femme look. So was she sending some sort of message?

“Good riddance. I’ve had it,” she said. “Not at all. Those were the only pants I could get into!”

Of course, Carla's referring to the period of time just after giving birth to her daughter Giulia, when the press wasn't exactly playing nice. “They say, ‘She’s fat.’ They get really nasty. Nothing is out of bounds,” she said. “It was a very fragile moment in my life. I’m kind of tall, with good-size shoulders, and when I am 40 pounds overweight, I don’t even look fat -- I just look ugly. Having children when you’re older is not easy.”

D'accord, sister. Since leaving her post at the Élysée Palace, however, it looks like Mrs. Bruni-Sarkozy has enjoyed a sort of professional renaissance, jumping back into modeling, releasing a new album and even trying her hand at editing a fashion glossy. Fashion-wise, the former première dame has adjusted to her new lifestyle, opting for a more casual, boho look.

For now, it seems that the press around Carla is more about what she's accomplishing than what she's wearing. And we're sure she doesn't mind one bit.

Read the full story at Vanity Fair.

The pantsuit in question:

carla bruni fat

carla bruni fat

See Carla's full style journey:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Olga Rego 1995

  • Versace Haute Couture Spring/Summer 1996

  • Christian Lacroix Haute Couture Spring/Summer 1996

  • Yves Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 1996

  • Paco Rabanne Spring/Summer 1996

  • Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture Spring/Summer 1996

  • Valentino Haute Couture Spring/Summer 1996

  • Christian Dior Fall/Winter 1996

  • Christian Dior Fall/Winter 1996

  • Swish Jeans Fall/Winter 1997

  • McQueen For Givenchy Fall/Winter 1997

  • Yves Saint Laurent Fall/Winter 1996

  • Versace Fall/Winter 1996

  • Yves Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 1997

  • Dior Spring/Summer 1997

  • John Galliano Spring/Summer 1998

  • Jean-Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2002

  • Jean-Paul Gaultier Fall/Winter 2002

  • YSL's Farewell Show in 2002

  • February 2006

  • April 2007

  • March 2008

  • March 2008

  • March 2008

  • March 2008

  • April 2008

  • August 2008

  • December 2008

  • March 2009

  • April 2009

  • April 2009

  • April 2009

  • June 2009

  • September 2008

  • January 2011

    Getty photo

  • January 2011

    Getty photo

  • January 2011

    Getty photo

  • January 2011

    AP Photo

  • January 2011

    Getty photo

  • March 2011

    Getty photo

  • March 2011

    Getty photo

  • May 2011

    Getty photo

  • May 2011 in a Chanel Haute Couture ensemble

    Getty photo

  • May 2011

    Getty photo

  • May 2011

    Getty photo

  • May 2011

    Getty photo

  • July 2011 on vacation in France

    Getty photo

  • October 2011

    (Splash News photo)

  • December 2011

    (AFP photo)

  • December 2011

    Getty photo

  • December 2011

    (AFP photo)

Want more? Be sure to check out HuffPost Style on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram at @HuffPostStyle.
--
Do you have a style story idea or tip? Email us at stylesubmissions@huffingtonpost.com. (PR pitches sent to this address will be ignored.)