What Being Plus Dimension In Paris Taught Me

Once 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, change into a wine connoisseur, know how one can whip up an ideal soufflé—all in a metropolis that was famend for its trend, meals, and aptitude. And but, the duty felt like an unimaginable, inauthentic pursuit.

Usually, the Metropolis of Lights felt harsh and unwelcoming. The hunt to suit into the Parisian splendid 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 actually stay the joie de vivre I yearned for.

But there was one quote from trend 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 browse after I wanted the affirmation. I in the end integrated it into my novel, Plus Size in Paris, impressed by my expertise there.

Plus Size in Paris by Erin Zhurkin

The ability of Chanel’s phrases additionally helped me uncover how I might 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 this 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 price and disconnecting it from bodily look, we free ourselves to interact with the world on a deeper degree.

Appreciating our essence and distinctive contributions to any atmosphere we discover ourselves in – like being a plus measurement lady in Paris – we change into extra highly effective than the norms that limit us.

Plus size woman on the couch
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Reconnect with Pleasure

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

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

Don’t Attempt to Match In

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

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

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

Take Small Dangers

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

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

Image via Natural Woman Collection via Canva
Picture by way of Pure Lady 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 turned about unbecoming the layers of expectations and norms that weren’t genuinely me.

With the assistance of Chanel’s phrases, I realized 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 actually 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. Together with her artistic voice now on the forefront, she’s residing life throughout cultures and being impressed each step of the best way.

Up to now, she’s lived in six totally different international locations, together with Eire, the UK, Russia and France. Due to these wealthy and generally exhausting life experiences, she feels known as to jot down tales that resonate throughout cultures, bringing to mild the sensation of dépaysement that happens. She presently lives in Seoul, Korea together with her household and two cats, Coco, and Fifi.