What Being Plus Dimension In Paris Taught Me

After I first arrived in Paris as an expat in 2014, I used to be instantly caught up within the whirlwind of making an attempt to assimilate into the quintessentially Parisian lifestyle. I felt like I had been thrown into a frightening race to completely grasp French, turn out to be a wine connoisseur, know easy methods to whip up an ideal soufflé—all in a metropolis that was famend for its style, meals, and aptitude. And but, the duty felt like an not possible, inauthentic pursuit.

Typically, the Metropolis of Lights felt harsh and unwelcoming. The hunt to suit into the Parisian ultimate of magnificence was like making an attempt to squeeze right into a mould that was by no means designed for me. It was limiting, taking away the enjoyable to relish within the bountiful, delicious meals that Paris is well known for, and really dwell the joie de vivre I yearned for.

But there was one quote from style world goddess Coco Chanel that comforted me:

“Magnificence begins the second you determine to be your self.”

Coco Chanel

I wrote the quote on an index card that I positioned in my journal, able to be pulled out and skim once I wanted the affirmation. I in the end included it into my novel, Plus Size in Paris, impressed by my expertise there.

Plus Size in Paris by Erin Zhurkin

The facility of Chanel’s phrases additionally helped me uncover how I may keep true to myself whereas being an outlier in a metropolis as polished as Paris. These insights might help anybody be who they’re wherever on the planet:

What Being Plus Dimension In Paris Taught Me

Embrace Your Interior Magnificence

Embracing one’s interior magnificence is step one towards fostering a real appreciation for the sweetness that surrounds us. By recognizing our value and disconnecting it from bodily look, we free ourselves to have interaction with the world on a deeper degree.

Appreciating our essence and distinctive contributions to any atmosphere we discover ourselves in – like being a plus dimension lady in Paris – we turn out to be extra highly effective than the norms that prohibit us.

Plus size woman on the couch
Picture by way of Canva.com

Reconnect with Pleasure

Rediscovering what brings us pleasure is a robust method to improve our experiences in unfamiliar locations. Participating in practices that faucet into our interior knowledge guides us in the direction of fulfilling adventures.

By nurturing a day by day reference to our genuine selves, we open doorways to new alternatives and experiences that align with our true needs.

Don’t Attempt to Match In

Moderately than making an attempt to evolve and slot in, the trail to significant connections lies in embracing our true selves. Belonging doesn’t require altering who we’re however quite being unapologetically ourselves.

Plus Size Woman Laughing Michael Poley of Poley Creative for AllGo
Michael Poley of Poley Inventive for AllGo

By expressing our authenticity, even in a international atmosphere, we will foster connections that transcend cultural boundaries, creating alternatives for growth, progress, and mutual understanding.

Take Small Dangers

Taking small dangers permits for private progress with out feeling overwhelmed or depleted. By letting go of self-consciousness and permitting oneself to benefit from the second, connections may be fashioned in essentially the most unlikely locations.

Taking small steps outdoors of our consolation zones usually yields large rewards and expands our horizons.

Image via Natural Woman Collection via Canva
Picture by way of Pure Girl Assortment by way of Canva

Chanel’s phrases guided me again to my core, reminding me of my individuality, my creativity that had been overshadowed by the calls for of motherhood and societal expectations. The essence of my journey in Paris grew to become about unbecoming the layers of expectations and norms that weren’t genuinely me.

With the assistance of Chanel’s phrases, I discovered to understand Paris from an observer’s standpoint, respecting and admiring its tradition with out dropping my essence within the course of. It was a liberating expertise, one which introduced me again to my artistic roots and jogged my memory of my identification outdoors societal expectations.

To anybody venturing into unfamiliar territory and struggling to really feel like you slot in, bear in mind these phrases. They might information you as they did me. Regardless of the context, what really issues is being true to oneself.


Erin Zhurkin, writer of PLUS SIZE IN PARIS, is an American abroad. After climbing the company ladder for a few years when the expat life got here calling, that ladder was put into storage and her artistic life got here down from the attic. Along with her artistic voice now on the forefront, she’s residing life throughout cultures and being impressed each step of the best way.

To this point, she’s lived in six totally different nations, together with Eire, the UK, Russia and France. Due to these wealthy and typically onerous life experiences, she feels referred to as to jot down tales that resonate throughout cultures, bringing to mild the sensation of dépaysement that happens. She at the moment lives in Seoul, Korea along with her household and two cats, Coco, and Fifi.