I had the fortune to interview Luca and Athénaïs. Luca is a Chinese boy. Athénaïs is a Spanish-Ivoirien Mixed-Race Woman. They are both students based in Paris. Today, interracial / foreign relationships are no longer an unusual thing, but the Asian-boy Mixed-raced-woman pair is one of the rarest. Our team caught up these two lovely bloggers and their story is sure to warm our heart. I am definitely a super huge fan of them!
Q1: Tell us your experience as bloggers in Paris? What is your strength as a couple blogger in Paris? Who are your main audience?
First of all, it’s quite funny because we don’t really consider ourselves as bloggers. The idea is rather to share the moments of our daily lives, our laughter, some debates that we find interesting, the places where we travel or the restaurants that we appreciate. Most Parisian blogging couples share content focused on fashion and the trips they make together. Let’s just say that, for that reason, one of our differences is that we don’t do any of that! We are only two students, who share part of our common passions through an Instagram account. Nothing more than that. After that, it emerges that we are a mixed couple. We have not yet seen a similar blogging couple in Paris. Through the creation of this Instagram account, we also realized that we bring hope and inspiration to people who want to discover cultures that are different from their own. For example, we recently gave advices to a young girl who did not dare to contact a boy she met every day on her way to work, simply because he is from a different culture than hers. It is also this ” advisor ” aspect that makes our account a strength.
It is true that the interracial card often comes back. Indeed, our couple often appears to be uncommon; we rarely see this kind of union. An anecdote. Once, we were both walking around Paris, in a quiet street, and we met a couple like ours: a mixed race woman and an Asian man. Their reaction? They turned around to give us big smiles, meaning a kind of “you know what it is”. When we think about it, it makes us smile.
Regarding our audience, the majority of our followers are based in the United States. Then comes France, and many other countries from around the world. As many men as women and with an average age between 18 and 34 years old, mostly. When we share content, we do not necessarily play on the interracial card, but rather on the passion one. Our followers are mainly people who love everything related to love, diversity and the mixing of cultures. They want authenticity and that’s what we try to share with them as much as possible. We also like to be close to them while being as accessible as possible, to discuss subjects that revolve around relationships. It’s like a big family for us and we think it’s really cool!
Q2: Can you tell us one really difficulty thing you have been through being a relationship blogger in Paris / after settling in Paris?
We have not yet encountered any major difficulties with blogging. In fact, we didn’t take it so seriously at first. Our posts were not particularly well worked out, we only shared the pictures that we found “beautiful”. Then we realized that the people who follow us really like what we share, no matter how simple it may seem. It was then that, quite naturally, we began to do a greater work of reflection as for the quality of the contents that we share, to satisfy our followers as well as possible. The real difficulty in all this is to share what we love while maturing with what people expect from us.
Q3: Can you tell us about your relationship? How did it start? Any anecdotes?
We met during our studies. We were in the same class at the business school in Paris. We quickly became best friends in the world. Then, Athenaïs went to Bali for 3 months to do her end-of-year internship. And the fact that we had moved away from each other finally brought us closer together: not a day went by without calling each other. When we met again in the fall, we naturally officially got together. And our relationship has not really changed very much since we were already sharing a lot of things together.
Athenaïs: Luca is an overly organized person when it comes to our relationship! He tends to always plan everything to the minute, because he is afraid to forget or not to have time. He doesn’t like the approximate or things that are too unexpected. Almost the opposite of me. Otherwise, he is a very generous, caring and (very) patient person with me. That’s also why I really manage to project myself with him. We often represent our relationship as a house that we both build as time goes by. And he keeps reminding me to be careful with the building blocks of our imaginary house so that it doesn’t collapse. I actually grow up with him, because all these feelings he makes me feel and his things he makes me discover, I’ve never known them before. His behaviour may then seem a little outdated, but it is what allows us to move forward together today. It is also the positive side of his side so organized and benevolent. It has so many good qualities that its weaknesses are quickly forgotten.
Luca: This is the first serious relationship for each of us, the one in which we can see a future together. However, I have had a few experiences before, unlike Athenaïs, and let’s say that I know a little better what to do and not to do when you’re in a relationship. She had a lot of trouble communicating with me at first, and that’s still a little bit the case today. I regularly explain to her that it is important to tell me also when things are not going well, that sharing is important when it comes to the notion of a couple. I kind of taught her to see our differences as a kind of mutual enrichment, so that misunderstandings and disputes can be a source of learning. If I do something she doesn’t like or vice versa, I’ll talk to her calmly, make sure we explain ourselves so that it doesn’t happen again in the future.
The life of a mixed couple does not seem to us to be more complex than a relationship where the two people have a similar education. There are disparities in all cases. Athenaïs is a mix of Ivorian and Spanish and Luca is Chinese. Our education has been very different because of our cultures. However, we show more listening and empathy to have a fulfilling relationship despite our differences. It is a real opportunity to discover another culture, to learn another language. There are many opportunities to exchange in such a relationship.
Q4: How do you see yourselves / your current public image / brand in the future?
We have many projects in the future, both in terms of our way of life and in terms of our work. First of all, we are convinced that we are not going to make our lives in Paris. We like to travel, we just don’t really have the opportunity right now with our studies. But it won’t be long now. We are already setting up an entrepreneurial project, but we prefer not to reveal too much for the moment, it’s a surprise!
Like Luca & Athénaïs and want to see more adventures of them? Be sure to follow @chinesecurlz on Instagram!
Editor Allison Chan (@itsallisonchan) has also contributed to the interview.