Paris has over 126 million hashtags on Instagram – basically I can’t tell you anything that you can’t find out from another blogger or from Emily in Paris BUT I can answer two of your most commonly asked questions about Paris that you’ve asked me on social media.
Did you face any racism in paris because of your hijab?
Nope none. In fact I would say it was the other way around, a lot of people just came up to me to say they loved my dress etc and asked me where I’m from.
Fun fact – that first photo was actually taken by a photographer doing a shoot of the stunning Louvre Museum. So I was sat on one of the ledges in front of the Louvre having some coffee and I noticed a guy with a huge tripod and about 3 cameras taking photos of the Louvre.
All of a sudden he comes up to me and starts talking in French (I think). I ofcourse don’t understand French so I told him this and then he repeated in English “I couldn’t help notice how beautiful your red dress looks against the background, can I take one photo if you don’t mind?” He took the photo and transferred it immediately to my phone.
Unfortunately I didn’t have Instagram back in those days and I changed my phone years ago so I never stayed in touch – but if you are that photographer and you happen to see this please do drop me a message!!
And yes I did get random people taking photos. To be honest I was doing exactly the same with other people, there were so many bloggers dressed in beautiful outfits, I wished I had made more of an effort!
I actually loved how a lot of people actually approached me though – maybe the dress displayed some sort of confidence or approachability? I don’t know. But I do believe the way a person dresses is a huge reflection of their personality. Either way it gave me the opportunity to introduce myself as a Southasian brown Muslim hijabi girl and help (even a few people) break some stereotypes. And I’m always thankful for this.
2) Did you not feel uncomfortable wearing this dress in Paris?
Nope. The only times I feel uncomfortable in an outfit is if I think I don’t look good in it, if it’s a style I won’t usually wear or if I feel I can’t pray in it. And this applies to any place I travel to.
I think the way a person dresses can tell you a lot about their personality so it’s important to dress the way that reflects YOU. There is no rule in the world that says you must blend in with others unless that is what you’re comfortable with. I once read a comment on one of my previous posts where a girl basically said she would never wear this dress because it would make her stand out too much – and you know what that’s totally cool!
I truly pray the day comes when girls don’t have to plan travel outfits according to how much or how little racist a city is. Or how much they fear islamophobia or harassment. That’ll be one beautiful day.
The only outfit that you should be comfortable in is not one that you think will attract the least negative attention but one that you feel beautiful in!
Final thoughts on paris…
I admit that the Eiffel Tower wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be, but going to the top of the Eiffel Tower is quite interesting in itself and its nice to tick off the list I often hear a lot of people complaining about Paris being too dirty, full of pickpockets, not as charming as they expected and….overrated. I have to admit I found the city a bit underwhelming as well, however, I feel one of the main reasons people always have high expectations of Paris is because of how it’s portrayed on TV. Whether it’s admiring Emily as she strolls around Paris in stunning outfits, having breakfast in cute Parisian cafes and falling in love with handsome chefs or marvelling at the cinematic brilliance that was Moulin Rouge. I mean after all “the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and to be loved in return.” Movies have romanticised Paris so much that it will always fall short of your expectations. Almost as if the image you have of Paris is one with a filter on it and as soon as you arrive you realise it’s not as dreamy as you thought it would be.
The truth is that Paris has a very beautiful atmosphere in general, especially at night. Even if you’re not into sightseeing you can easily pass the day strolling along by River Seine or taking one of the amazing boat tours- even better with a loved one