Posted by / Category Looking Good, Stereotypes /

It is all over the press and is coming from the celebrated actress Kristin Scott Thomas: apparently we French women, unlike our British counterparts, can be attractive without abusing our sexy side. You can read the article here : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3461270/SEBASTIAN-SHAKESPEARE-Fake-tan-short-skirts-Actress-Kristin-Scott-Thomas-blasts-UK-women.html

Is there some truth in such sweeping statements? Obviously the article is written in a slightly provocative way (after all, it was published on the Daily Mail), but I do think that, in my home country, there is a stronger pressure on us women to look good in all circumstances. This is one of the reasons why I find living in London liberating. I will always remember the day when I so one of my neighbours buying her Sunday newspapers at the newsagent around the corner wearing her bathrobe and flip-flops. Shocking. This simply couldn’t have happened in France.

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In France, a woman needs to take care of herself at all times. My own mother advised me to get a haircut, and bought me a new nightgown when I was about the deliver my older daughter. This was because I needed to look good on the pictures. As I caught a bad infection that left me delirious for more than a week, I must admit that looking good was the least of my worries but hey, that’s France for you.

It is true that we French like to keep it simple, and we like to suggest rather than show. Frankly, I am still struggling with teenage girls wearing mini-skirts and torn tights in the biting cold, but I do admire this fantastic ability that my British friends have to wear bright colours and different cuts. Because if I am honest, I couldn’t do it. As far as clothes are concerned, I stick to what I know. I don’t venture into unchartered territories, and you will never see me wearing a bright yellow jumper (unless I happen to be running in the dark, obviously). That’s who I am. That’s how I was brought up.

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Because you can never go wrong with a LBD

What is also true is that, whether you are a teenage girl, a mother, or even a great-grandmother, a French woman remains, well, a woman. As a result, after the birth of your baby, the wonderful French health system will pay for you to have perineal rehabilitation (it is worse than what it sounds, but it works, this much I know), and abs sessions.Yep, you read this right.

And if a woman lets herself get too fat, or looks a bit run-down, there will always be a “charitable soul” to remind her that she needs to do something about it, or husband might, you know, want to look elsewhere. Lovely, right? As if we didn’t have enough to worry about.

In short, whether French or British, I think that one thing remains the same: we are all doing what we can, and should be celebrated for our achievements rather than for the way we look.

  • The French women where I live (countryside of Mayenne department) have NO sense of style at all, they look rough & ready all the time. I think the sense of style is restricted to big cities in France.

  • Corine

    This dress definitively qualifies for granma provincial as opposed to parisian chic … Ségolène vs Ines if you prefer