It can be difficult to explain, but there is an effortless chic and grace that seems to accompany a French woman, no matter where she is or what she is doing. For all of the rumors and assumptions that often accompany the persona of France and French people, let it not be lost on anyone that there is a reason that people who visit often find themselves falling in love with the City of Lights.
I'm one of those people. I admit it. I fell for hard for Paris and if I'm being honest, I've never recovered. I often think back fondly to my trips to France, lingering in the museum's, sipping wine outside, not being afraid to eat bread - it's been far too long since I've had the pleasure of going back.
I was 17 the first time I went and lived with a French family. Young and insecure, I had big hopes and dreams of seeing the world. And Paris was everything that a young girl from Iowa like me needed. It was a reminder that being "cool" wasn't about arbitrary high school clicks, and a promise that if there was an entire world out there waiting for me. I discovered what a "girl crush" was years before the term became commonplace, cool, and accepted.
Broken into sections - Beauty, Skincare, Hosting a Party, etc. - 'How to be a Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style and Bad Habits' is written by three French women - Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret and Sophie Mas. Each with their own point-of-view on the subject, but blending together their tips, tricks and honesty seamlessly. Wanting to a bit more Parisian isn't about giving up your individuality to become like someone else, but if you can look at the big picture than you realize it's giving you the blank canvas. The tools to yourself a life and routines that are little more natural and effortless.
You see, the secret to being "Parisian wherever you are" is not a checklist of things you must do, but rather it's appreciating who you are, the life you have, and your health. When you give yourself the gift of grace and kindness you find yourself naturally slowing down and taking better care of yourself.
The book is cheeky, witty, and pointed. I walked away with an "I'm not here to make friends" sense of self, but not in a mean girls way, rather in a "you have got to be honest with yourself and take care of yourself" way, which allows you to balance being selfish and caring at the same time; something I think gets lost of many women who are so busy caring for others that they constantly put themselves last.
If you can find a balance with taking this book seriously (as in seriously - take care of yourself because you are important and have one life to live), and also not take this book seriously (appreciate the tongue-in-cheek humor), than you'll enjoy this book, and quite possible become just a little bit more stylish.
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