Paris: "Flawed bodies" in quarantine

Quarantining yourself at home can be a rather challenging time when it comes to body image write the creators of the podcast Afterhours. "You get confronted with the most essential thing that gets lost in busy everyday life: YOU." The hosts, three German friends who record their conversations after a long workday in a Parisian bar, got inspired to show their own “flawed bodies” on their Instagram page. "We are now encouraging you to lift up your middle-finger, put on a pair of comfy pyjamas, cozy up on your couch and embrace your beautiful, flawed selves!"


To begin this story, we want to go back and tell you a bit about life before this worldwide pandemic. About 6 months ago, we - three friends, colleagues from work, German women living in Paris - started a project: our own podcast (I know, about 10 years too late). Talking about our experiences, all the micro-cosmoses we live in and trying to share and connect with the listeners.


The three of us have the same job: we work in a bar. Exciting, right? The main part of this job but also our passion is entertaining people. Unfortunately, even nowadays working in a bar as a woman is not a piece of cake, especially when you’re managing a team. After long shifts we would always sit together in the closed establishment and reflect on the experiences we had that night. We all share feminist views, but with different nuances. So, we decided to record and publish them. That’s also where we got our name from: “Afterhours.” (Check us out on Spotify/Anchor.)

Credit: Afterhours on Instagram


Now that we are locked-up we get to work more intensely on this project. We are incredibly privileged to have access to the devices it requires and the abilities to make use of them.


We are feminists. I know, it’s a big word. We constantly get reminded of that since we are locked up in our homes (like most of the world) due to this pandemic. It’s hard to escape the patriarchy, which has invaded the private space and make us remember the slogan of second wave feminists in the sixties: “the personal is political”.


While being locked up, there is not much to distract us from ourselves, you get confronted with the most essential thing that gets lost in busy everyday life: YOU. This can be a rather challenging time when it comes to body image. Comforting foods, Netflix and browsing social media is definitely not what the capitalist society would consider as something to strive for. Bodies are products, to be consumed and to be improved on the daily basis. We are made to think that our bodies determine our worth as a person. It can be hard to not get wound up in negative thoughts while you’ve lost track of what day of the week it is and when it was the last time you've washed your hair.

'While being locked up, there is not much to distract us from ourselves, you get confronted with the most essential thing that gets lost in busy everyday life: YOU'

It is completely normal to feel that way. A good way to cope with these emotions is to ask yourself: “WHY do I feel this way and WHO exactly profits off this emotion?”- because well sure enough you don’t! As mentioned earlier we are constantly told to be our best self. We spend so much money, time and energy on improving our bodies, we put ourselves through discomfort, pain and financial struggles just to please others.

Credit: Afterhours on Instagram


Body image is something that plays a huge role in our lives, that’s how we got inspired to show our own “flawed bodies” on our Instagram page in a photo series (Afterhours.paris) with close-up pictures of stretch marks and body hair, that may create discomfort. Because embracing flaws is a rebellious act! It is a big “fuck you” to the constant perfectionism we are expected to achieve.


We are now encouraging you to lift up your middle-finger, put on a pair of comfy pyjamas, cozy up on your couch and embrace your beautiful, flawed selves!


This story was shared by the creators of "Afterhours", a podcast which is recorded by three German friends and colleagues at a Parisian bar. Listen to their podcast on Spotify or Anchor. Check out their Instagram page for the photo series addressing body image.


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