Monday, June 10, 2013

Ooh La La!

 I read every book I can find about the elusive Frenchwoman.  She's so serene, so lovely, so scarf adept.  Jamie Cat Callan's latest book, Ooh La La!, French Women's Secrets to Feeling Beautiful Every Day was such a joy to read.  I just love Jamie's optimistic "voice", her cheerful hints and tips on bringing a more French way of life into our everyday.

It may surprise you to know that most Frenchwomen are not traditionally beautiful.  Rather, says Jamie in her book, they are artful.  They delight in their traditions, their rituals, as they adroitly create art and beauty in their daily lives.  How they do it is the subject matter of Ooh La La, as Jamie steers us to accept our flaws, expound on them, and ultimately appreciate our own unique selves. 

Ooh La La tells us that everything a Frenchwoman knows can be learned.  We can learn how to eat smaller portions, appreciate and wear fine lingerie, modulate our voices, enjoy small everyday moments. And we can learn to find joy in love again. 

It seems to me over the past few years so many of us are rushing around trying to survive that we've forgotten how to live.  How many of us have lunches on the run, rush through events to get home and finish housework, leave ourselves off our lists?  Jamie tells us in Ooh La La how our French sisters take their time to simply be, how they look after themselves, and make time for enjoyment and for love.  Love of children, yes, but also love of our men and husbands.  The most interesting lesson of Jamie's book is that it is ok to make time for our man.

I also trust Jamie's advice because she is a woman of a certain age.  She understands the special challenges that women over 40 have in feeling lovely and dare I say, sexy?  She makes getting there  easy and fun.  A challenge, bien sur, especially if you are not use to taking care of yourself, but something that can be learned with her easy guidance.  She has after all, led the way with a French grandmother of her own who began her own French journey.

I love the breezy style of Ooh La La, I trust its honest authoress, and it's finally cracked  the Frenchwoman's code for me.  It's about self-care, a painterly everyday, cherishing one's uniqueness and even falling in love with your man again.

1 comment:

  1. I just finished this book and enjoyed it immensely. It is all about self-care and realizing that you are worth it. Too many American women take second place to everyone else in their lives. One is not considered to be selfish and self-centered by taking care of herself.