What Parisians Do Instead of Self-Care

“Self-care” has become one of the trendiest buzzwords among millennials. We’re not afraid to spend money on scented candles, at-home facials, matcha lattes, and quinoa. Meditating is on trend, and if you’re not glowing with the confidence that comes with the “I Woke Up Like Thisathleisure style, then you’re not doing it right. We Instagram our “true selves” with #nofilter, and post mirror pictures of our fat rolls because models and fitness bloggers made it fashionable.

While all of these recent trends are promoting important and even revolutionary ideas in body-positivity and health that I myself am addicted to following every day, it’s undeniable that the concept of this self-care is almost void in typical Parisian culture.

Self-care is not in the immediate vocabulary of the average Parisian, regardless of her age or generation. Parisians do not spend fortunes on health treatments and workout classes or cook with the latest health-food craze and write lists of reasons they love themselves in “Self-Love Journals.” The way they care for themselves is simply muted, private, and not trend-driven at all.


Source: Bloglovin


1. They indulge regularly in what they enjoy.

They do not choose what to eat or drink based on health articles they read in fashion magazines. A Parisian is not afraid to have a glass of wine with lunch or an Èclair au Chocolat after work, for no other reason besides that she wants it. Because she doesn’t fight her cravings, you’d rarely find a Parisian overindulging. She enjoys every bite because she does not restrict herself from eating what she wants or hate herself when she indulges.


2. They accept their flaws rather than try to fix them.

No woman, Parisian or otherwise, is totally exempt from insecurities and pressures. But there is a difference in how we think about our differences. Instead of covering or fixing her flaws, a Parisian knows how to accentuate, appreciate, and live with them — maybe even love them. Instead of getting braces, a Parisian woman knows her tooth gap is a chic and endearing quality, and fashion is used to show off curves rather than hide them. Plus, Parisians know that there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about a woman who’s confident in what makes her unique.



3. Speaking of fashion… They wear what they like and what they feel good in.

Parisians are famous for their style, not because they’re inherent trend-setters, but because each woman knows what looks good on her and sticks to the same styles with a limited closet of basic pieces, only updating with minor seasonal changes. She would never dare to even wear a t-shirt or pair of shoes that didn’t emulate the ideal self-expression that the Parisian strives for in everything she does. Fashion trends are appreciated, but typically only followed if they work for personal style and comfort.


4. They are choosy with friendships.

Among Americans, the French have a reputation for being rude, which I would argue is strongly invalid. It is true they don’t smile at strangers or make fast friends with everyone they meet. They would never be “fake-nice” to someone they dislike out of politeness, and having frenemies is ridiculous. But friendships are always deep, meaningful, and lifelong. They find the people they click with and are fiercely loyal to them. They are putting all their time and energy into friendships that enrich their life and the people that truly matter to them.



5. They have rituals that they stick to.

Parisian women are not totally exempt from popular self-care methods of long baths or at-home facials. The difference is that they don’t typically pay attention to the latest fads that health blogs are posting about. Instead, they have tried and true go-tos for when they’re feeling extra stressed or their pores need unclogging. They don’t dedicate time and effort to keeping up with wellness and beauty trends, but they listen to what their body needs and know what fixes will make it feel better.


Source: Sorakeem


6. They appreciate the small things.

There’s a reason the infamous french beauty routine consists of moisturizer, a swipe of mascara, and red lipstick; Parisians find beauty in simplicity. Another example is in their small, but flavorful, meals. Parisians are ingrained to find joy in small and simple details: a cup of espresso, a freshly made bed, a spritz of floral perfume, a bouquet of flowers, a warm croissant. They do not rush through life or eat on the go. They quite literally stop to smell the roses, or, in the Parisian’s case, a bouquet of pink peonies. They find pleasure in the small things, and spend their money on the highest quality of fewer things, instead of the cheapest, biggest, and fastest that we’re known for appreciating in American culture.


7. They know their beliefs and aren’t afraid to defend them.

Topics, like politics and religion, that are usually taboo in American chit-chat are encouraged and normal in brief conversations between two people, no matter how little they know each other. Parisian women stick to their passionate beliefs that they are not afraid to (politely) argue with someone in order to defend. In everything from the presidential election to the men they date, they stick strongly to what they believe in and deserve, and they will not be a part of a conversation, job, or relationship if it does not align with their values or what they want.


To a Parisian, there is no need to prove love for one’s self with trendy diets or wellness fads. There is simply a cultural goal to be true to one’s self.


Which of these values do you implement in your own life? Which are important to your own self-love and appreciation? Let us know in the comments below!

  • Taste of France

    Yes and no. Every French woman I know takes good care of herself. They exercise (yoga, Pilates, zumba, running, hiking). They get good haircuts but don’t do blowouts. They absolutely deny themselves, but they use portion control and rules like “desserts on weekends only” rather than crazy diets. If you treat yourself every day, it’s no longer a treat but a way of life. But on the occasions that ARE treats, they enjoy themselves without guilt.
    As for discussions about politics, they tend to be very well-informed (and fake news is still nascent here), which is the first step toward having an opinion worth arguing for.

  • I think No. 1 is so important – by denying ourselves little luxuries we end up binging and living through a self-loathe cycle, instead of self-love!

    xx Bry Jaimea || https://bryjaimea.com

  • I always love your photos, Everygirl!

    I hope you have a great Thursday,

  • Definitely #1! I always think it’s important to indulge in your favorite foods but remember quality over quantitiy =o)


  • I loved every piece of info here, regardless of where women are from, I feel like there’s a lot that we can learn from all cultures and cities. There’s a crazy emphasis on French/Parisian women which I think is a bit cliche, but that’s just my humble opinion 🙂


  • There are indeed healthy ways of life that I’ve picked up from living in France (disconnecting more from the internet and being present with people around me for example). But as with the previous comment, I feel like this article over-generalizes and rehashes the cliched “Parisian woman” trope. Surely we can talk about healthy ways of life without selling it as something particularly French 🙂


  • BetsyG667

    Being a Parisian and living my life surrounded by strong, Parisian family members, this could not be more spot on. These are all values I’ve grown up believing are true and good ways to take care of myself, as my mother, aunts, and grandmother have all done and taught me to do since I was a little girl. Always thought American ideas of self-care was funny. These are values very specific and important to french culture, i’d say. Very well done, Everygirl! Thank you for this.

  • Over-generalizations and idealization of Parisian/French women aside, I think the concept of “wellness” is more of a thing in American culture because American culture tends to go towards extremes and find as many ways to sell/market/commodify something as possible.

    Oh, you feel terrible or tired all the time? Buy this green juice, buy these Goop vitamins, buy this fitness membership, buy these workout clothes, buy these crystals, buy these green beauty products. This quick fix that you can buy will cure you. But at the same time, don’t stop working record numbers of days and hours, take your email home with you, God forbid you take vacation days and forget about paid parental leave and pffft to universal healthcare. Meanwhile, in France they have health care, more paid vacation days, paid parental leave, subsidized childcare, children get healthy meals in schools, etc.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like a lot of wellness stuff (being from Vancouver, the land of Lululemon, it’s hard not to!), but I feel like Americans buying into wellness are grasping for Band-Aid solutions to what are fundamentally structural, systemic, societal issues. And where society fails to accommodate people being unwell or being human or just needing to take a break, entrepreneurs step in to sell quick fixes.

    • YES!!!! x10000

    • Ayla Rodion Solal

      What a well-put insight! Your comment is worth reading, unlike the article that reads as a bunch of clichés to me. I live in Paris and I can tell the commercial concepts of “healthy lifestyle” and “wellness” are deeply ingrained in our mentality by now. I feel people and women in particular are always told they’re not doing it right. You’re American and you swear by HIIT and protein shakes? Oh, you should know French girls do it better! … Meanwhile, French girls are more and more obsessed with Californian trends and having “perfect” lean bodies. To that extent, this kind of article doesn’t help women to feel better AT ALL. You can’t pretend you’re helping women to deal with pressure and anxiety while fueling stress!

    • Hands down, best comment on this article. I agree with you 100% here.

  • Janet Fazio

    I love indulging in things I enjoy! These tips are words of wisdom for everyone.

  • Madison Grace

    The French way of life seems so dreamy. I’ve been to France a few times and the culture is breathtaking – every is more defined and the women especially seem quite strong in the way they live and what they believe. Just found this blog through bloglovin and it’s so good! So cheers to that! (Cue glass of wine.)

    mads xx

    MY BLOG: http://www.bymybedside.com
    MY INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/heybymybedside/
    Free cheetos if you check it out! Jks. Got ya.

  • I think all these are great and are such key factors in a healthy, happy life! I think #1 and 7 are so important – taking the time to enjoy the little things without guilt is such a wonderful habit. I think it’s so important to live by the mentality of trying to find beauty in everything (even the smallest thing) and to live a life of moderation!



  • Michele De Valk

    I really enjoyed Everygirl’s article, there are many points to consider to help ease the stress in our lives. I agree with everything said, especially the fact that lives are not based on whatever trend is out there, keep yourself healthy, but keep away from becoming swept up with the newest trends on the internet! We seem to have forgotten it is okay to question what we read. So make a cup of a favourite beverage, a snack to go along with it and spend time with some fresh air and be glad to be alive – whether you are French or Canadian like I am!

  • Diana Navarro

    It’s all self-care, no one culture or generation owns it…so please stop attributing everything to any specific subgroups. It’s a separation tactic that really does injustice to everyone.

    • The Everygirl

      Hi Diana – we agree! Self-care is important in all cultures and ways of life. Thanks for sharing!

  • Andrea

    Why you US people are obsessed with Parisians? It’s a bit ridiculous, just be yourself people.

    • The Everygirl

      Hi Andrea – we agree, sometimes we can get too wrapped up in what’s considered the “Parisian” way of life. Self care is important, full-stop. Thanks for sharing!

  • Helen Wakefield

    I definitely implement number 7! I always look for relationships to align with my values.

    Helen | The Little Giraffe

  • Peppermint Dolly

    Loved reading this, we could all do with taking a few pages out of their book!


  • Nikki Laraja

    Love this post, and so true that we should all follow these rules!


  • Love this post. I think it frames “self care” more as a regular way of life rather than a discrete activity that we have to schedule and plan like any other task in our calendar. This is a mindset shift that we’ve been slowly adopting as a company and on an individual level, and it’s encouraging to see it promoted here! Thanks for sharing. xo

    Be Pure Beauty

  • Wow, I love this post. I studied French in Paris for 3 years some time ago. I learned so much that A. when you make a friend, they are your friend for good. B. They love their differences and aren’t self deprecating if they are thin, full bodied, big busted, flat chested, they love themselves. They are educated, interesting and therefore interested in you. I’ve been back lots, planning a return soon. Never found them rude before or after I studied French. And they know how to dress, no trend following, buy quality and wear it well. Of course not all, but the true French girl can just pull off style. I need to go back, ahh!

  • Mariana

    This article is great, but you used a photo of a swedish blogger :p

  • Brittany E

    This was a great post… One of my favorites from this site! However, I don’t get everyone’s thinking over the “stereotypes” or “cliches”. as someone who is french and from a Parisian family, I think this is perfectly well done. There is no “stereotype” here. These are facts that are very culturally unique about France. This was not just glamourizing/using “paris” to get hits. This was a very well done cultural analysis that I think other cultures can look at to learn about the traits that are uniquely true of the culture (not saying other people in other cultures cant have these traits or practice these things… but ask any anthropologist, there are traits for each culture, and that does not mean every person in the culture have them or that theyre exclusive to that culture). Everygirl, I thank you for writing an article that mirrors and understands what i am proud of from my own culture and the major differences ive found with american culture. Very well done, very enjoyable, and great pics! 🙂

    • The Everygirl

      Thanks Brittany! 🙂

  • This actually sounds a lot LIKE self-care.

    I don’t want to be THAT person, but the wealthy white girl privilege in this article is strong. Have you spent any amount on tumblr where “self-care” is promoted as an idea that looks different for everyone because taking care of oneself IS different for everyone – self care for someone who lives in poverty, suffers from mental illness or disability, is a POC, etc is going to be very different from what a white girl who can afford to take yoga classes and buy the latest super food looks like

    Yes, self-care is about taking care of one’s health (mental or otherwise), but this doesn’t necessarily mean dropping $500 for the newest spin class at the gym down the street. Sometimes it means, “hey I’m having a bad depression day but I’m gonna get up, shower, and try to eat something that isn’t dry cereal.” It’s “everything is terrible and I kind of want to die, but I’ll put some mascara on and at least feel a little braver about facing the day.” Self-care IS the small rituals we go through to make it through life one day at a time.