Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Fish are Biting in France

Hat (Wal-Mart for $7.99, seriously.  For serious hat inspiration, check out Style Crone's Hat Attack!); Carnelian necklace (; Dress (Macy's)
Despite my fondness for sensational shoes and sundresses, I'm not particularly prissy.  I'm not afraid to get dirty; I actually like camping in a tent; and I own (and wear) more baseball caps than Derby hats.  
Leather bracelet (Indianapolis Museum of Art Gift Shop)
One of my biggest disappointments in college was not getting a summer job as a camp counselor.  I thought my interview went well, but found out later that one of the interviewers, who I knew only casually at the time, was concerned that I was too much of a "girly girl" to handle a summer with no air-conditioning, muddy kids, mosquito bites, and bunking in a communal cabin.  When we later became roommates and close friends, she admitted to me that her assessment was based on the way that I dressed for the interview (blackwatch plaid skirt, navy tights, cable-stitched cardigan) and the fact that I had long red fingernails.  After a weekend of camping and white water rafting together in Kentucky, she also admitted she'd been wrong.  Talk about a living lesson in the importance of clothing to first impressions...
Sandals (Lindsay Phillips Switchflops with custom floral embellishments)
In any event, despite the pride I take in my "tomboy" side, and the fact that I've never had a problem baiting my own hook or taking my own catch off the line, I screamed like a little girl last week (during a "spa treatment" of all things) when I plunged my feet into a tub filled with hundreds of tiny biting fish.  

Have you heard of the "fish pedicure?"  I had heard of the treatment (ironically enough, from the same woman who quashed my camp counselor dreams), but had never really given much thought to it.  Last week, however, during a spectacular holiday with friends on an island in the French Riviera, the opportunity presented itself.  I was a little squeamish, but our hostess, who runs a gallery next door to the fish spa, generously arranged for me to try it out...and then delighted in taking pictures while I squirmed and squealed!  
My initial reaction to hundreds of fish swarming my feet was to squeal and laugh uncontrollably, but after a minute or so I was able to gain my composure.  It was most definitely a different sort of experience.
The brochure touts the treatment as one that increases circulation; detoxifies; decreases the appearance of scars; and exfoliates.  The bottom line is that hundreds of tiny garra rufa fish nibble the dead skin from your tootsies, resulting in the removal of callouses and the like.  Ewwww.  I'm still slightly grossed out by the smorgasbord I apparently provided these miniature carp.  
So what does it feel like?  I was never afraid it would hurt; I did think it might tickle (my feet are very ticklish).  As it turns out, it actually feels like the "pins and needles" feeling you get when your feet fall asleep.  The most disconcerting thing is that when you spread your toes apart, the fish will swarm in between them and then you're afraid to relax them because you might squish the fish.  Again, ewwww.

Ultimately, I did think my feet felt softer when the fish were done feasting, though not any softer than with a traditional pedicure.  Would I do it again?  Well, the traditional pedicure also comes with the added benefit of a foot and lower leg massage (the best part), so in the future I'll probably stick to nibbling on fish instead of the other way around.

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
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  1. That is one magnificent hat worn beautifully. Thanks you for sharing with Hat Attack!

  2. Weird, the second hat attack post mentioning camping that I have visited since I have just got back from 10 days camping!!! Your hat is beautiful, such a brilliant shape and shade (I love hat attack for the drool factor as well as the incentive for me to air my hat collection!) - it reminds me of the one I bought on my honeymoon last year in Switzerland for just 5euros!!x

    By the way, thanks for the review on the fish- I'd love to try it but a little scared!x

    1. Hi Kezzie - thanks for your feedback. 10 days of camping must have been such a wonderful opportunity to "unplug" Bravo! I agree - Hat Attack is such a fun feast for the eyes. A honeymoon hat for only 5 euros sounds fabulous - a bargain and you'll have fond memories of your celebratory holiday every time you don it! The bargain price is particularly surprising since you found it in Switzerland! I was in Zurich a few weeks ago and was reminded how much higher the cost of living is in that beautiful land. Cheers!

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