French expression of the day: Bien dans sa peau

French expression of the day: Bien dans sa peau
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
Most of us could probably need a bit more of this French expression.

Why do I need to know bien dans sa peau?

Because it’s such a canny way to describe inner peace.

What does it mean?

Bien dans sa peau literally translates to 'good in one's skin'.

It usually follows after the verb être (to be), which changes depending who you're talking about and whether it's present, past or future tense. 

Être bien dans sa peau means the same as the English expression 'comfortable in one's own skin' or someone who accepts themselves as they are and feels at ease.

Je suis bien dans ma peau – I'm feeling comfortable in my own skin.

Just like its English equivalent, it implies a feeling of ease and confidence. A French synonym is se sentir épanoui, which means 'to feel fulfilled'.

You can also use it in the contrary sense, by replacing bien with mal (bad). 

Je me sens mal dans ma peau. – I'm not feeling comfortable in my own skin.

In this case, “the skin is considered as a sort of prison within which one is trapped,” according to French online dictionary l'Internaute.

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Use it like this

J'adore avoir 50 ans. Je ne me suis jamais senti aussi bien dans ma peau. – I love being 50. I've never felt this at ease with myself.

Je ne sais pas ce qu'elle a en ce moment, mais c'est sûr qu'elle est mal dans sa peau. – I'm not sure what's wrong with her at the moment, but she certainly isn't comfortable in her own skin.

Il faut arrêter de lire toutes ces conneries, sinon tu ne seras jamais bien dans ta peau ! – You need to stop reading all that crap, otherwise you'll never feel good about yourself.

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