Month: September 2007

My Pantene day…

Well, well, well… For a start, the final pictures are not yet available as it must be a total surprise for the viewing day. But Barbara, the one and only, kindly sent me pictures from the making-off – how class is that? – Some illustrate this article

Come on, here’s what happened next…

Monday evening

20h00: I’m hesitating. Do I wash my hair tonight to get there with my personality at its best or I leave it totally free-style so that the hair dresser has room for enhancement?

20h02: The man is of the opinion that I’d rather wash them tomorrow to have faith in myself. He also says it will look cleaner.

20h04: The man doesn’t understand free style at all.

23h00: Yet I’m super scared, fortunately I’m doing this for a humanitarian cause.

23h12: Let’s hope my nails will be long enough for a manicure.

Tuesday morning…

07h30: The man wakes me up with a weird face. He doesn’t stop shivering with cold because of hot water which is not running from our tap this morning.

07h34: I’m trying not to interpret this hard blow as a bad omen. On the other hand, no way I’m washing my hair with a 12°C water. Sebastien will see my personality right away: dirty.

07h45: After a 14 seconds cold shower to wash the essential – below the waist, in short – I see myself in the mirror.

07h47: It is said that, after 30, you grow old by stages, all of a sudden.

07h48: Too bad, my stage was last night.

07h50: The man assures I don’t look 10 years older than yesterday. He says I just look tired. He says styes are not helping.

07h56: I realise my brows are a mess and I don’t recall Barbara mentioning waxing.

08h00: I don’t dare calling her to ask. Even if she admires me for my humanitarian courage, I yet fear she’ll find I’m going to far asking for my brow to be trimmed.

08h12: Whatever, I do it on my own.

08h14: I have one brow twice bigger than the other but at least it’s neat. My hair is greasy but my brows are trimmed, one makes up for the other. Or maybe not.

11h00: I’m struggling to concentrate at work. Honestly, what I’m about to do is so militant that all these people seems small to me…

17h00: I escape and take the underground to Colonel Fabien station. I feel like telling every woman I pass I’m about to fight for her. They all are my sisters.

17h03: I feel like singing Julie Pietri.

18h00: I’m in front of the studio, in an inner courtyard. I’m beginning to be super scared. Maybe they’re thinking I’m younger. And slimmer. And that my hair is lighter too. Well, I mean blonde on the top of my head as my daughter would say. I don’t feel like throwing myself with all my might into the arena. I’m fat, ugly and I want to g…

18h01: “Hi Caroline, how are you? I’m Barbara, nice to meet you”. Shit, Barbara hurtled from nowhere as I was about to go. When it comes to diversity, she’s out of the league, that’s for sure. I wondering why she’s not the model for the shooting, it’s simple, that girl is a candy. Pretty AND kind.

18h02: Pretty, just like ALL girls in the studio.

18h04: Which is just like in movies. With umbrellas that must be used for something related to light. A white wall. A glass roof. Music in the background. And… ahhhhhh ! A hair fan. You’d think you were in « Un Dos Tres » the sitcom on M6 with Penelope Cruz’s sister.

18h05: On a stool, Caroline Daily is being photographed. With 12cm heels and a dress so small I could use it as a cardigan. She’s holding a crazy pose with a leg upright. Wow. She’s been doing this all her life or what?

18h07: Mlle E. is having her makeup done. In a pink Carrie Bradshaw dress to die for. Size 8 because size 10 is too big for her, she explains.

18h08: Where’s diversity?

18h10: Now I get it.

18h11: I AM the diversity. On my own I pull up the age and weight average.

18h14: Barbara feels I’m panicky. She holds me out a plate of macarons. They’re not from Ladurée but it doesn’t matter.

18h16: I kind of feel that eating macarons will not help me feel better in my too low-necked black dress. Anyway, what’s done is done.

18h18: Sébastien, the hair and makeup artist, is done with Mlle E., it’s my turn. He has me climb on a huge chair to wash my hair. I apologise for the state of my mane and explain for the hot water that stood me up right this morning.

18h19: It’s crazy, him too! Same issue, he had to shower at the studio. We look at each other and laugh. So much complicity could make me cry. I know I hold on to him like a buoy. But he’s the only one who’s not wearing a killer pink dress, so it creates bonds.

18h22: Sébastien says he wants to go easy on makeup. Now I’m reassured.

18h23: He massages my scalp and it makes me think of my friend Julie who told me one day she had an orgasm like this. So I pray it won’t happen to me. Emotional as I am, that would be embarrassing.

18h25: I don’t want to leave the shampoo area

18h26: I will never make fun of Julie anymore.

18h27: Sébastien agrees to a light messy blow-dry, Emmanuelle Seigner’s style. For my face, he will use only concealer.

18h29: In my opinion, Caroline Daily’s personality was not worked on with concealer.

18h32: Sébastien says it would be surprising that my getting old stage happened last night. Yet he spends loads of time on my lion wrinkle.

18h34: Sébastien says he wants light eye makeup too. He explains that I have light eyes but small with a slightly sagging eyelid and too much eyeliner could have an opposite effect to the one we want. I say I agree even if the sagging eyelid doesn’t have me jump for joy.

18h38: A young lady does my nails while Sebastien gives character to my hair personality. I’m hysterical, she has black red. She says “garnet”. But it’s the same. She says my nails are fine even if they grow askew. Something tells me the askew part is not so great but at this point it doesn’t make much difference.

18h41: I hate my eyelid. Until now, I hadn’t noticed them, but now I see nothing but this, they sag, these sluts.

18h43: I look at myself in the mirror. In your face, getting old stage. Sebastien is a magician, he gave the 10 years from last night a real hard time. Sebastien says I’m pretty. And, I don’t know why, but I believe him. Well that’s right, there was huge room for improvement but now seriously I feel ready to roar in front of the camera. Come on, there we go, hair fan and all.

18h50: I’m going out of the dressing room and I don’t feel like doing this anymore in fact.

18h52: Nicolas, the photographer, arrives. He is 14, maybe 20 years old, maximum. He has a mocking look.

18h54: I prefer to sit for a start. I warn him, not a chance I’ll lift my leg.

18h56: Nicolas shows me the first pictures on his camera.

18h57: I will never allow any picture of me sitting.

18h58: I suggest going behind a white stand in order to hide the ten rolls I just saw on the pictures. I lean forward and decide to bet on my breasts. Taking the risk of being vulgar. Being vulgar is better than bulging out.

19h00: I check the result on the camera. I might have bet on my breasts too much.

19h02: I smile as much as I can. I tell myself if not pretty I’ll look friendly. Poor Pantene guys, they will regret the diversity idea.

19h05: Nicolas is super kind. He guides me and cheers me up. He says I don’t have to smile. He asks me to do again that look. He says he likes that one because it shows I don’t have to smile to seduce. I tell myself he is a good photographer, from all of his fifteen years of age.

19h30: Nicolas asks if I want to try with the hair fan.

19h34: I’m unstoppable, I want to marry the fan.

19h39: On the pictures, it looks like Bonnie Tyler.

19h45: Nicolas says he’s got it all.

20h00: I leave after a dance with Barbara on Rita Mitsuko and kissing everyone goodbye. I have no idea what it will come to but truly, I did it. I did it [1]and actually, it doesn’t mean nothing.


Edit: amongst the bloggers, there are Garance, Anne-So, Caroline Daily, Mlle E, Dietcoke, Géraldine et Cé. Sorry for the ones I’m forgetting, let me know and I’ll put your name as well…

Edit2: A big thank you to the whole team for their kindness and gentleness.

Edit3: The first to say something unkind about my green cowboy boots will be sulked.


[1] TN: in English in the original text.

The day I threw myself with all my might into women’s cause

Right, I have to tell you about the crazy afternoon I spent last week. The few hours during which I thought I was a Pop Star candidate getting a makeover, a Cinderella – a bit oldish Cinderella right – or even a candidate for one of those TV shows “I decided to give a boost to my hair salon while slimming down to become a star”. Long story short, last week, I had a meeting with… myself. Myself but wearing fancy makeup, with a hairdo and a manicure. Then I’ve been shot from every angle by a photographer. A professional photographer.

I know, it sounds like a fairy tale for desperate housewives.

Yet, there was a long way to go.

For you to understand better, I have to explain. And warn you straight away, I acted against my sacrosanct principles as I agreed to take part in a marketing event. Let’s not beat around the bush and call Chabal a sex on leg.

But I had my reasons, I sweaaaaaaaaar. Come on, wanna read about it?

A Monday, ten days ago or so…

12h00: I receive an email from a certain Barbara “Good day Caroline. I’m in charge of the new Pantene campaign and you came to our mind for a special event. Pantene is renewing its image and wants to feature women from every horizons, who dare to be women in every sense of the word. The idea is to work with people who assert themselves to show feminine beauty in all its diversity. Yourself and fourteen other bloggers have been selected and will thus have your makeup done, your hair styled and be photographed, everything in a real studio. A private viewing of the pictures, touched up by a graphic designer, will then take place in a Parisian gallery. Would you be in?”

12h02: Never. Not a chance I’ll be in an ad for shampoo. No but who do they think I am? I’m not for sale, Madam.

12h03: “Dear Barbara, I am very touched by your proposal but I am sorry, my ethics does not allow me to…”

12h04: Right, but, somehow it’s political that stuff.

12h05: I’m saying no to a hyper subversive campaign, shit.

12h06: When my public will learn I refused to lend my image to an advert defending women in their diversity, I fear deception will be too weak a word.

12h08: What’s the issue? I’m lacking guts here. Where’s the warrior, the Amazone ready for any war? No, here I’m hiding behind my middle-class morals not to stick my neck out. I disappoint myself. Come on girl, say no to comfort and put yourself in danger.

12h10: I call the man to inform him I’ve decided to throw myself with all my might into a fight for women respect.

12h12: The man can’t see the link between Rosa Luxembourg and Pantene.

12h15: “Dear Barbara, Thank you for thinking of me. I’m forcing myself to accept this proposal because limelight and I don’t really get along. But I’m not thinking of me currently, I’m thinking of those thousands despoiled women around the world whom I want to pay tribute to. You can count on me”

12h16: “Dear Barbara, hum, will we have a manicure done as well, or else?

13h00: “Ok Caroline, meeting-up is set for Tuesday 18h00, studio Zappa, Paris 19eme. Regarding the manicure, the answer is yes”

13h01: Tuesday. Tuesday is too far, I will never hold out, I’m too looking forward to throwing myself with all my might into my fight for women. It’s amazing how enhancive it is to forget yourself for a cause that’s bigger than you.

13h02: I hope they’ll have ‘Rouge Noir’ from Chanel.

13h03: Tuesday is tomorrow.

13h04: Throwing myself with all my might into my fight for women with those 5 extra kilos on the hips is out of question. I’m prepared to put women’s honor before my pride but actually, no.

13h05: I also have a pimple on the chin ‘cause I have my period.

13h12: And conjunctivitis symptoms as well. A complete package. When it comes to diversity, Pantene guys won’t be disappointed.

16h00: I explain to my boss I ABSOLUTELY need half a day off tomorrow because of an unexpected humanitarian event.

16h03: Big boss agrees but he says there’s no shame in suffering from a stye, if I’m going to the ophthalmologist I can say so.

16h15: Regarding my outfit, I decide I will play it super basic a bit like Angelina Jolie when she puts herself in danger in Darfour. Anyway, the outside doesn’t count, it’s the inside fight.

16h30: On the other hand, I think it’s important to show my breasts a bit and my little black dress will be perfect.

16h32: Moreover, it’s the only one that fits taking into account the small extra kilos issue.

19h30: Barbara tells me in an email that I need to call Sebastien to explain how I see my hairdo and introduce myself in order for him to discover my personality and enhance it through my hair.

19h32: Actually, my personality, currently, it’s mainly the kind who has at least 3cm long dark roots. Greasy on top of that, in relation with my period.

19h35: I mumble a voice message to Sebastien, I want my hair totally free and the idea is to be in communion with women’s cause. Basic and simple. Well now, if he insists, the pictures of Emmanuelle Seigner for Gap’s campaign are not super far from the essence of my personality which is truly willing to be enhanced.

19h40: I don’t want to go anymore. I don’t really see how Sebastien, who’s also a makeup artist, will manage to enhance my conjunctivitis.

20h00: I send an email to two other bloggers who will too throw themselves with all their might into the fight for diversity to tell them I’m not sure about the personality enhancement stuff.

20h02:Take it easy sweaty, don’t you see we’ll have a free manicure? “ answers G.

To be continued…

I don’t have abs, only glutes

Well well well, on Saturday, I took advantage that my parents were in Paris to leave my kids with them and go for a trial session at Club Med gym next door. When I say I couldn’t get up afterwards, it’s only slightly exaggerated. Since then I’m discovering parts of my body I didn’t even know about. Let alone my neck which is now definitely stuck, it apparently replaced my abs for most of the class. The only part that is not aching is my belly. Work that one out for yourself…

Want to read about it?

9h00: I wake up in a possessed state. Today, I’m doing sport. I shake the man to share my decision with him.

9h02: Now that he’s awake he has plenty ideas for physical exercise.

9h04: I rebuff him and explain that I don’t want to waste my energy with a calories inefficient activity.

9h06: I check the timetable for abs & glutes classes at Club Med gym. There’s one at 13h30. That’s it, I’m in. The man too, apparently it’s better when you’re with someone.

9h07: The man doesn’t feel like it.

9h08: I threaten the man to show pix from our latest beach holiday on the TV screen.

9h10: The man makes me swear I’ll empty my memory card and agrees reluctantly.

9h12: The man wants to know when we’ll eat.

9h14: I’m disappointed to see how he doesn’t take a step back when it comes to food. We’ll see, I say.

9h16: The man says he might want to take a step back on our marriage.

9h19: I warn the man that should he call me Davina[1] yet another time I’ll slap him across the face.

13h25: We are late for the abs & glutes class only because Laser Saber has eating disorders and wanted to have fried potatoes before leaving.

13h35: We’re already exhausted when we get to torture room #3. Everyone is already at work, it seems quite serious. The trainer is super well-built. I hide behind a pillar.

13h40: I changed my mind, I want to leave.

13h42: It is confirmed, fried potatoes are not easy to digest.

13h43: The trainer says tighten our abs.

13h45: I can’t find them.

13h47: I am not equipped for abs & glutes.

13h49: However hard I search, I find only the glutes.

13h50: The man has a strange way to straighten his legs. To my mind, he will get a remark from the teacher. Poor thing. Moreover, Mr. Muscle is checking me out so much it’s becoming embarrassing.

13h51: We’re lying on our side and we have to lift a leg a bit like a dog. The idea to come with the man was crap. I will never see him the same way. Neither he actually.

13h52: The word pain doesn’t mean anything anymore.

13h53: I swap an abs & glutes class for twelve childbirths. Without epidural. At least at the end you get a baby as a reward. Here nothing.

13h54: Still, I’m quite proud of myself, I handle things quite well.

13h55: « Not on your back, on your side! Otherwise it’s useless », the teacher yells. How bold is that? On your back to work out your glutes! Why not on a couch? It’s wearing to be pulled down by unables.

13h56: « NOT ON YOUR BACK! »

13h57: No but the worst is that the interested person doesn’t correct her mistake. Shame on her, the teacher has to stop the class to help her get the right position. We’re wasting time here. I’m so pissed off, I was flat out!

13h58: Shit he walks towards the man. Poor thing, he will never get over this humiliation. All his virility is at stake. He will need to be comforted. He sends me desperate looks and tries to make me understand something. I think he says he loves me … or wait… c’mon, you’re so silly, not here I’m not going t… What, hum, who’s pushing me like this?

13h59: Oops, it seems that, by mistake, I didn’t realise I was on my back, my bad.

14h00: At least in that position I wasn’t crying. No because now I just want to make sure it’s not Guantanamo.

14h01: “Stay on your side, my lady in blue over there, don’t roll on your back otherwise you might as well stay home”

14h02: He’s getting on my nerves now. I didn’t ask for personal training.

14h03: “and if you’re struggling, you can follow your neighbor’s example, he manages very well!”

14h04: The man shows off like never, he’s so much on his side that he’s almost on his belly, what a jerk. I can’t stand him anymore.

14h05: “One last series, this time we stay ten seconds on our forearm and we lift our left leg. Then the right.”

14h06: Would he calm down, Ravi Shankar? I didn’t choose a fakir class. Where are the pedalos? I want to ride a pedalo. Good old pedalos, not too complicated, right? My forearm is going to die, for sure.

14h07: The man says I disturb everyone with my sighs.

14h08: “Go fuck yourself, Davina”, I answer.

14h10: The class is over. My marriage too in my opinion.


[1]TN: Veronique and Davina are two fitness trainers, famous for their TV show “Gym Tonic” in the 80s. They are now considered as slightly has-been.