Posted by / Category Cultural Differences /

Me, Happy Me

I am often asked why I don’t want to come back to live in France. Seriously, what is wrong with me? My roots are there, I should come back. Well, I can confirm that I am not coming back. Because over here, in London, I feel like a Goddess. And, best of all, I did nothing for this. Absolutely nothing. But somehow, just by crossing the Channel, I became a vamp. Let me take an example: in France when I wear my torn jeans, I look scruffy. Over here, I am stylish. Effortlessly sexy, even. How did this happen? I have absolutely no clue. But it sure did.

I love it here. I receive, once or twice a month, flattering emails and also tweets mentioning how good I look. This simply never happened in France. Ever. When I was sixteen, one of my best friends managed to have three boyfriends in a year. I didn’t manage to get a single one. I remember thinking that I would live like a nun for the rest of my life. Thankfully, I didn’t. I ended up having a British husband (Cheers to happy-endings!). My then-friend stayed in France where despite being skinny she feels fat and diets all the time. She eats nothing, and her face is full of worry-wrinkles. The fact that she smokes didn’t help, I think. Apologies for being so mean: I used to like one of the guys she went out with. It looks like I haven’t forgotten. I am still meridional after all these years, after all. Anyway, in London, I stuff my face with full-fries and red velvet cakes at every possible opportunity, and I feel great, because I can go for a run in the park to eliminate afterwards. And all this good food is making me look plump -no wrinkles just yet. YAY! I am convinced that if it makes me happy, it can’t be that bad, right? Maybe I learned to live guilt-free over here. And it must show. Just a thought.
To top everything up, every time I say something even remotely interesting about food or wine, people listen to me and coo. Apparently, I am soooo knowledgeable (Ahem…I am not). To top it up, somehow I always feel thinner than the other women at dinner parties. There is a conspiration against women in the UK: once you have kids, you are led to believe that it’s ok to put on weight. You will be told that this is how women are supposed to look, and if you remain normal-looking you will implicitly be judged, because surely it means that you don’t put your children first. 

Well, as I am French, I didn’t listen to this rubbish. We French women have been taught never to let ourselves go (too much). So I didn’t. And as a result I have it all in London. Friends find me vibrant and beautiful. In France, I just feel normal. Don’t get me wrong, normal is good. But I have to admit that I am getting used to the extra attention. Come on, nobody ever confused me with Juliette Binoche in my home country.
What can I say? I feel special here -and in a good way. No need for expensive clothing or fancy manicures. Just being me is enough. What’s not to like?
In short, I found my inner Goddess this side of the Channel. What about you ? How did you find your inner Goddess?

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London