Unlike the blog of many french women out there, I am going to touch upon a very sensitive subject but one I feel compelled to address: that of self-acceptance. I am a 5’2 French/American woman of North African descent. I grew up in Paris, France a country that worships skinny white women and at a time where women like me weren’t included in this narrative. As someone who is neither tall or white, finding a place in a society that worships a certain type of women made me feel undesirable and unattractive. It also led me to develop unhealthy body issues and feeling embarrassed of my ethnicity. Seriously, I faced countless microaggressions and internalized this to the point of becoming severely obsessed with becoming skinny to gain acceptance.
It took a lot of work, self-introspection and positive affirmations to realize that I have been socially conditioned to hate myself. Thankfully over the years, I have come to accept my thickalicious brown body in all of its glory. It’s been somewhat of a bumpy road to self-acceptance especially here in Los Angeles where beauty standards are extremely high. In this sense, Living in Los Angeles is no more different than Paris, however, unlike France, women in the US are paving the way and smashing old European beauty standards by featuring women of all sizes, celebrating different body types and being more inclusive in contrast to French women who are culturally conditioned to follow European Standards of Beauty.
Does this mean that I am advocating for unhealthy eating habits? Of course not! I believe that being healthy is truly important, but also believe that self-acceptance is just as important. It is also important for me to offer a different POV at a time when women are running under the scalpel to fulfill someone’s else fantasy and meet some impossible beauty standards! This is the kind of toxic archaic patriarchal bullshit that we must collectively take a stand against, this means RESIST this nonsense! I am tired, exhausted of having to defend myself against the derisory gaze of a society that does not have my best interest at heart. Self-acceptance and self-care are critical acts of self-love and to quote one of my most cherish feminist sheheroin, the greatest Audrey Lorde ” Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
The following photography shots were taken by my good friend, super talented photographer Pedro Oros, a Compton-based artist with the goal of showcasing a different type of French woman: one who is comfortable in her skin and unapologetic about her thickness and her brown body.
Photography credit: Pedro Oros
Artistic Direction: Kenza Johnson