Friday, June 3, 2011

Francophone Friday: Je Ne Sais Quoi

 Skirt: France (? No tag and I can't recall the shop name) / Top: Charlotte Russe / Cardi: TJ Maxx / Tights: AE / Shoes, Earrings: Gabes (Relativity, Monet) / Sash: ? / Necklace: Nordstrom (Betsey Johnson, Valentine's gift)

Ashey, over at The Shine Project, has issued a challenge to define beauty. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to add a French twist and discuss inner beauty with the French phrase je ne sais quoi.

Je ne sais quoi translates to I don't know what. To Wiktionary,  it's "an intangible quality that makes something distinctive or attractive." Merriam-Webster defines it as "something that cannot be adequately described or expressed," and says it's "an indefinable, elusive quality, especially a pleasing one."

When drawn to someone without quite being able to explain why, you could say they have a 'certain je ne sais quoi.' The world has varied and changing definitions of beauty and obviously not everyone conforms to them. But everyone can have a certain je ne sais quoi, an inner beauty that shines through. Every person's je ne sais quoi would refer to something unique: a kind heart, a cheerful demeanor, a positive attitude, an inner drive to succeed, an innocent vulnerability, a will to live, a passion, a confidence, etc. It's that something special within that manifests itself without and is often described as a je ne sais quoi by one who perhaps doesn't know you well enough yet to describe it. That je ne sais quoi, I would argue, exhibits itself as beauty.

I used photos the Husband took of me this past Valentine's for this post. At the time, I'd decided to give fashion blogging a go but hadn't yet created the blog. It took awhile to make the decision then put it in action. I'm not always the most confident person. I have some scars on my face, my teenage awkward years lasted a ridiculously long time, and I certainly wasn't comfortable in front of a camera. But I think it was this shoot that nudged me to throw caution to the wind and go for it. I was working on something I felt passionate about {style, fashion}, and I felt loved by a dear Husband, who went home at lunch to leave this for me...

...and who was willing to go along with a rather vain vice and become my personal photographer. I was probably also a bit bewitched by the fact that it was a beautiful day for February, and that it was Valentine's and we were on our way to celebrate with dinner and these divine treats:

I felt happy and loved and, for the first time since we began outfit pictures, I also felt less posed and inhibited.

Perhaps it was a certain je ne sais quoi :)

To end, I can't help but add a few French beauty notes:

French Women's Beauty Tips and Secrets, from The Art of Being Feminine, a beautiful post about letting inner beauty shine by taking care of our bodies.

French Beauty, a documentary on the enduring image of beauty in France.

5 Top Beauty Secrets of French Women, by Mireille Divulges.

À bientôt, mes belles* :)

P.S. Post also linked up here to Frenchy's French Obsession Party!
*À bientôt, mes belles = Until next time, beautiful


Ashley said...

OH MY GOSH A FRENCH TWIST ON BEAUTY?!?!?!?!?! BRILLIANT! I absolutely love love LOVE this post!!! Thanks so much for linking up today!

The Cat Hag said...

You look super cute, love the skirt.

And I love reading how your Hubs is super sweet to you in your posts. ♥

The Cat Hag

Natalia Lynn said...

OH I j'adore ton blog! C'est magnifique! I am so happy to have found you. Not only do you have great style, you are a fellow francophone! Love your outfit posts, can't wait to read more. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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