One thing that really stands out for me in Paris is the body types- or lack of. I have definitely noticed that Parisian women aren’t overweight (I’m obviously generalising a whole lot but this is just an observation) and people are on the slimmer (beautiful, thin and gorgeous) side. There’s even a book dedicated to the notion that French women don’t get fat.
I’m in the process of interviewing French women about the idea of what it’s like being a woman in France. From living up to the stereotype of the femme fatale to the world’s pressure placed upon them, even French women feel the pressure to live up to unrealistic ideals.
Trying and failing to look beyond the stereotypes, French women definitely have ‘it’. Their unique style, their woke-up-like-this hair and even the way they walk, some days I feel super self-conscious walking through the city.
I’ve always fallen between the cracks when it comes to women’s body size beauty standards. Being a size 12, I’m too big for catwalk models and too small for plus size, so I kind of float in the middle. Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit my dad’s long skinny legs and I also carry all my weight on thighs and hips- yay me!
Somedays I can’t help but stare at my legs and wish them smaller, to then catching my eye in a window and embracing my shape, curves and all. I guess the lack of diversity makes it hard to accept you look different from the perception of beauty.
I have to admit that my diet looks a little different to back home- potentially having a lot to do with the fact I was calorie counting and running 7km five times a week in prep for the wedding. I was chatting to @missparisphoto, a new Instagram friend I recently made about the idea of skipping the daily trip to the boulangerie for breakfast and opting for something healthier. To this, she replied, “you’re only here a year, enjoy now, keep up the walking and worry about it when you get home”- I like the sound of that.
I may have eaten more pasties and cheese in the past two months than I have in 29 years, but yesterday Florian and I explored the city and clocked up 17,000 steps. We’re shopping at markets and speciality stores using the freshest ingredients. My fitted jeans still fit and it doesn’t look like I’ve put on weight and a few afternoons a week, you’ll catch me doing a Popsugar Fitness class on Youtube.
I don’t look like a Parisienne because I’m not French. Chances are if I saw each individual piece of clothing of an outfit I envied in the street, I probably wouldn’t like it. I’m happy to be a size 12 if it means I can enjoy my manchego cheese with truffle (pecorino and truffle is so 2019!), French wine and daily chocolate croissants if I do a couple of workouts a week and explore the city on foot.