Les Nanas d’Paname is an inclusive collective of influential women founded 7 years ago.
Today, the collective includes 50 women from a variety of industries, cultures, and age groups. And this is what constitutes the strength of this large network, where talent is the key concept.
Les Nanas D’Paname has a message to convey: that of changing minds and moving forward equality between men and women in a healthy and constructive manner, but also supporting women’s entrepreneurship and demonstrating that difference means strength.
The image of women is becoming healthier and evolving, yet still too slowly. June 2018: as summer approached, still the same old story. On the internet, in ads, in magazines, we see tall, very slim women, accompanied by the following text: “How to lose 5 kilos before summer”, or “The perfect diet to be beach-ready”, among other “Bikini Challenges”. We are literally inundated with dictates on the perfect physique that we simply must have.
The perfect body doesn’t exist, so rather than setting off on a fruitless quest, let’s learn to love our bodies, since each of us is unique. Let’s make our differences a strength to counter these infamous dictates on the perfect body, and free ourselves of any judgement or comparison.
As leaders in this movement, Les Nanas d’Paname represent women all over the world, with the varied profiles within this collective. There are no quotas, nor physical requirements: a woman is beautiful through her energy, and because she decides to be beautiful.
The collective decided to take on the problem by offering a project that is both symbolic and visually impactful: THE LOVE YOURSELF PROJECT.
A woman who is liberated from stereotyped clichés on the body and from selfcriticism is a woman much more likely to feel fulfilled. And yes, a woman who feels fulfilled is beautiful because she is radiant.
Alongside iconic feminine personalities from the world of girl power, Chloé Bonnard, President and Co-Founder of the collective, has undertaken a photo shoot of 60 women in underwear, wanting to tell the story of the relationships they have with their bodies, through photographs and personal testimonies.
Experienced as a real challenge for most of these women who decided to take a leap of faith, the project was thus able to help several hundred women by opening the pathway toward other ways of living. That of loving one’s body in total liberty, of living free from body shaming, and of highlighting your body rather than hiding it.
THE LOVE YOURSELF PROJECT, the Mum version, a collaboration with LITTLE x LES NANAS D’PANAME magazine, takes things a step further for the Salon International de la Lingerie.
“I have always felt that curvy women look better in lingerie that hugs their curves and highlights the shape of their body under clothes.
The notion of comfort is very important to me. If I want to feel beautiful and sexy, I refuse to wear lingerie that is too structured: I get the unpleasant impression of being trussed up and constrained.
With three children, a very active life and a lot of work to do, this restrictive lingerie was no longer suitable for me. I don’t really have what is considered a bigger bust, but I do still need support. I decided to pass on underwire bras because the issue of support is no longer an issue at all.
If the product is well built by a hosier, a craftsman with a real knowledge of the field, the bust is supported with softness and flexibility. It doesn’t come down to a wire or a frame, but the help of better straps or a more carefully-designed back. Sportswear is a good example. It’s just about working models differently.
In addition to being kinder to women’s bodies, this new style of lingerie is very pretty, too. We are now seeing sophisticated pieces that are worlds away from the initial crop top style, which were often unflattering. Some are now very delicate, and combine with other forms. There has been a real transformation in style.
I have decided not to use filters in my communications and my sharing, not to lie to people. It is useless and even counterproductive.
I often get annoyed seeing these images of mothers, a little too ideal, even idealised. We are much more interesting with our flaws. It only makes us value our qualities more. We are far from perfect, with transgressions and successes alike. It’s called an identity.”
THE LOVE YOURSELF PROJECT, the Mum version, a collaboration with LITTLE Magazine x LES NANAS D’PANAME
“It wasn’t until I was over forty that I finally became comfortable with my body. And yet, I am a little too round for my taste, compared to what I consider to be my healthy weight.
I have suffered professionally, in recent years, from high stress levels at work, a mental overload that I compensated for by covering myself up.
The curves that I carry today are not the result of my pregnancies but of a protection that I built myself at work in order to manage everything around me: family life, career, etc. until a few months ago I realised that enough was enough.
Since then, I have been working on myself, professionally at first and then little by little my body began to bounce back.
I’ve started exercising again, and I’m losing weight very slowly, in a calm and careful approach.
And even though I still think I need to build up more muscle, and rid myself of the mental overload that manifested itself in love handles, I love my body. I am proud of it. It’s capable of a lot, including giving birth to three children and, most of all, of keeping going regardless of what life throws at me. It adapts, it makes sure that I don’t give up.
What I see today in this picture is a body with a story, an experience, and one which bears the traces of every different stage of my life.
In the future it might be more muscular, healthier maybe, but either way, it will finally be in harmony with myself.
This body is beautiful quite simply because it is me: perfectly imperfect and yet feminine, harmonious and each curve is testament to my life and my past.”