On Being Beautiful, In Any City

by Brigitte Weill

On Being Beautiful, In Any City

There’s something that happens to me every time I’m in Paris.

Maybe it’s because I’m a veteran people watcher in a great people watching city. Maybe it’s because I’m a Matchmaker and I’m looking for love for all of you. Maybe it’s because I’m obsessed with how men and women define beauty and attractiveness which ultimately dictates their preferences and desires. (Read this last line again, it’s important).

I grew up spending summers up until I was 25 with my French grandmother in Paris. As I went through my 30s and 40s, my summers with my her became shorter due to the realities of work, marriage, motherhood, and other real-life commitments. And post-divorce, my special summer time with her had become even more limited.

On Being Beautiful, In Any City

I recently traveled to Paris this week with the express purpose of spending five solid days with my grandmother who just turned 104.

From the time I was able to sit up by myself, our summer mornings started with her in front of her huge vanity with three mirrors from where she began her morning routine: it started with her careful placement of eye liner and lipstick and assorted powders, followed by jewelry and then coordinated clothing where shoes always matched a color in her blouse or her skirt. This daily morning routine was a big process, one she did with patience and pleasure, while I studied her from my small cushioned stool next to hers.

On Being Beautiful, In Any City

And there was always perfume. And lastly, a scarf, tied differently each day.

She did this every day, whether we had elegant lunch reservations, a picnic at a park planned or a day filled with mundane errands.

She did it as a young bride, a mother, a grandmother, and a great grandmother. It was never about pleasing anyone, other than herself.

Every time I come to Paris, I invariably fall into a mini-version of her routine. I take time to dress, look in the mirror, I pull out make up that I pull out from the very bottom of my beauty bag and I put more time and effort into this ceremony.

I do it because when I’m in Paris, and I look around, it seems like everyone else does it too, men and women alike.

They honor themselves because they know something that I seem to forget each time I leave Paris: taking this kind of care of ourselves makes us feel special, and beautiful, and we are more attractive to others as well, when we feel attractive ourselves. Because I spend hours coaching women to get ready to date, I’m keenly aware of the connection between dating and self-confidence.

It’s a radical difference to my NYC life, where I sometimes never make it out of my yoga pants until the evening or ever pull my hair into anything other than my messy bun.

Every time I come to Paris, I give myself this gift of time and ceremony, and every time I come to Paris, I feel beautiful.

What’s wrong with feeling extra pretty? Or girlish? Or creating some extra morning time to primp before stepping out?

Absolutely nothing.

Want to join me and my little experiment I’m vowing to continue when I get back to the city, to bring a little bit of this beautifying ceremony with me?

Let me know how it works out for you.

PS My Grandmother STILL does it, and she’s lived to 104 and still going…she’s gotta be doing something right.


Brigitte Weil is a Matchmaker, Dating Coach, Weight Loss Expert, and the founder of The I Hate Celery Sticks Strategy, a life-changing Coaching program that redefines old conventional views of dieting and promotes an approach designed for lasting success without crazy diets, silly gimmicks, or giving up the foods we love. Brigitte is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, a Paris-trainer pastry chef, a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, and remains committed to developing private and group Coaching programs that support her philosophy of balancing passion of food, fitness and falling in love to create the lives we desire.

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9 Responses

  1. Ye, my grandmother (Motherdear) was the same. Always dressed each and every day in pastels, jewelry, makeup/no eye liner/ I never saw her slopping around no matter. My parents also always showered and dressed each day upon waking….. It does make a difference to a day…..

  2. My mother and grandmother were always careful of their appearance and I am the same. I get so
    many compliments on my appearance and being chic and stylish are important to me. I am among
    the first of the babyboomers and I think I shall always take pains with my appearance. It’s
    important.

  3. TORE says:

    Your pearls of wisdom ring well with me: “They honor themselves because they know something that . . . . .taking , , ,care of ourselves makes us feel special, and beautiful, and we are more attractive to others as well, when we feel attractive ourselves.
    Whether or not this fits with Shakespeare’s pearl of wisdom: “To thine own self be true,” I think it’s appropriate.

  4. Rosanne Conoscenti says:

    My mother is 99 years young, and is still going strong. Due to a few physical issues, she doesn’t “dolly up” everyday, but always has a scarf and earrings on. When we are headed out to an event, whether a lecture at a local community college or a more formal event, she loves to primp, and eventually presents with full makeup, lovely jewelry, an “outfit”, and holds her head high! And with only three teeth left, her lovely smile reveals her innermost beauty. She has said to me more than once, “if I ever stop wearing my jewelry and a scarf and don’t bother with makeup, then I’m nearing the end”. I recently saw her get her winter scarves out, so I guess she’s good to go for the winter!

  5. Brigitte Weil says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful Mother’s routine and it sounds like she’ll be the best-dressed and scarved lady about town this winter.

  6. Rosanna DiTaranto says:

    I remember your beautiful Grandmere Meme Margot she was my mother in law, and I so admired her routines and her take care of herself first attitude because beauty starts with us first… she always had that young sparkle in her eye, and you could see she was still young at heart… she has found the secret for a long and happy life… remember Number One, Every Day!
    my friend Dorothea said “prepare yourself first, beautify, dress up, clean up, perfume primp and all the things You need to feel good, then you can handle the rest” …”cause ain’t no one else gonna do it for you!”,
    This article has touched me deeply and I have been doing my daily routine, since but some days I don’t have the energy, but the days I do, I find I love my self more…

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