Then, my Texan friend Stacey @LubbocksLaquer gave me the Versatile Award please read her post here.
In short, 40blogSpot : A French Yummy Mummy in London is on fire, all thanks to you!
Anyway, before starting this week’s debate, I need to clarify something: last week, I certainly wasn’t joking when I wrote that, in France, the State pays for at least 20 hours of abdominal re-education once you have delivered your baby. It is all about getting your flat tummy back (and I am a living proof that it works!). To be precise, I am talking about one-to-one lessons sessions with a physiotherapist here. Shall you need it, the State also pays for what it politely calls perineal re-education. I won’t get into graphic details, but let’s just say that it involves putting sensors down there, and dissecting your urinating habits (It felt a bit weird to talk about it to a complete stranger). To cut a long story short, France expects women to look the part and certainly pays for it.
This all sounds very nice and I am sure that some of my readers will be green with envy. But the other side of the coin is that, in France, there is a strong pressure on women to look good. Simply put, you are not expected to let yourself go and become fat. You simply can’t because people would look down on you. Most of my friends were so skinny that it (sometimes) made me feel guilty. They would never admit that they were on a diet, but they were barely eating. Or if they had had a good meal, they would skip the next one and eat like a bird for the next week or so. I even had a friend who told me that she couldn’t quit smoking because it would make her fatter (she was so skinny that she was almost transparent).
It gets worse. The French seem to have invented a massage technique called the “Palper-Rouler” to get rid of the cellulite. If it sounds like some sort of torture, it is because it is. Why else would you lie down to get pinched in all your delicate wobbly bits? As for me it was, “Thanks, but no thanks”.
Having work done is obviously common practice in France, but you need to look natural at all costs, whatever you do. If someone asks you whether you have had Botox/a facelift or even your hair dyed, you need to vigorously deny it. Even your best friends must not know. You will explain that you have good genes, that a change of eating habits did the trick or even that the sun has made you blonder.
Living is London is simply liberating because the pressure to be skinny is not as strong as in Paris. Here, I can enjoy my food without feeling guilty. I just love it.