If you ask me about my trip to Paris in the spring, I’ll probably spend so much time talking about the flaky croissants and melt-in-your-mouth duck confit that you’ll begin to roll your eyes and regret asking. But if you can gently steer me away from the topic of food (no easy feat, I’ll warn you), you might be able to find out another area or two in which Paris really resonated with me, besides with my stomach.
I might tell you about the parks, and how glorious it was to sit for hours in them with my feet propped up on the edges of ponds, people watching with nowhere better to be.
Or I might go on about the majestic and quaint architecture, and how every street looks like a postcard, and how you can hardly stand how pretty it is and your senses just want to resign out of overwhelm.
But beyond all those expected things, you know what I really loved in Paris?
Now, bear with me a moment here before you close your browser in disgust, and see if your sensible Mennonite upbringing (if that describes you) doesn’t resonate with what I’m going to tell you. See, the French ladies are known for their effortless style- for looking like they don’t care how they look, but still bowling over The Americans Of Walmart with their elegance and grace. Of course, those Americans who actually care how they look also want to be as chic as the French, and so the internet is full of tutorials on how to copy their effortlessness with great amounts of effort. They will instruct you how to spend hours making it look like you just rolled out of bed like that, and so on. You apply several quarts of product to your head, and after an hour with a curling iron, and an additional hour with a flat iron, you can also look like you did nothing with your hair, or so the tutorials would lead you to believe.
So, I would definitely describe myself as low- maintenance. I once woke up at 7:51 in my own bed, and clocked in at work at 8:03, still managing to be the first one there by some twist of fate, fully clothed and sort of in my right mind. I confess I am somewhat pleased with my own ability to get ready for the day in no time, and have considered adding it to my resume. But there are times when my lack of self care causes me to look at my not-straight, not-curly hair which turns into a small bush when I pay it no attention, and sigh a little. It definitely doesn’t fit in with the American idea of Good Hair, which is either sleekly straight, or curled just right, framing one’s face with adorable ringlets. And honey, I ain’t gonna spend all day straightening or curling it. Ain’t nobody got time for dat!
Imagine my delight then, when I started roaming the streets of Paris, and realized that half the ladies there had heads looking just like mine. They didn’t bother to straighten every bit of frizz perfectly, or put gallons of products on their heads to make the curls sit just so. They carried their frizz with elegance and aplomb, and so I let mine blow in the Parisian breeze as well, and never have I loved my hair more. It would appear that the well kept secret of the French ladies’ “don’t care look” is really as simple as it looks; keep it clean, and stop fussing so much with it! (Don’t tell the world though, or Pinterest might come crashing down.)
I realize that this may seem silly, and it probably is a little, but for all you fellow frizz-heads who have looked in the mirror and said with a small sigh, “Well, this is as good as it’s gonna get,” take heart. You can let your voluminous waves fly about, and look as French chic as the day is long. Who knew!
A Year Ago:
Two Years Ago:
Some photos courtesy of Lynette.