Posted by / Category Cultural Differences, Looking Good /

I suppose it is this time of the year: I keep reading about how we French do everything better: French women are oh so chic, our food is oh so fresh and our parenting is, apparently, second to none.

Really? I must have missed something while I was on holidays. I see no other explanations.

So what makes us French women so chic? I have to break it to you, and you might not like it, but we French women are, well, just human beings, warts and all. For instance, we have digestive issues from time to time (just like everybody else). We are sometimes in a bad mood, or tired (or even both). And we sometimes get it wrong -as in, completely wrong. So what’s so special about us again? I really wonder.


We are not that sophisticated (OK, I’ll own up to it:  I am not that sophisticated). For instance, I am not after the next big thing. In fact, I don’t really care about new trends. I prefer to stick to timeless pieces. I told you, I think I might be a bit boring. But boring is good, right? In this day and age, being boring is a luxury not a lot of people can afford. Well, that’s my excuse for being boring anyway.

I have read somewhere that French style is all about attitude. I beg to disagree. If there is such a thing as French style, it’s about not having an attitude. It’s about never doing too much, and showing you don’t care that much about the way you look. Because my appearance ce isn’t the most interesting thing about me.

Well, at last I think/hope it isn’t. In fact, I don’t really care. You can think what you like about me.I won’t change know, I am who I am.

Can I tell you what I really think? It’s not that French women are chic, but that you think they are. It says more about you than about us French. If you lived in Paris or Marseille or Lille for a few years, you’d see the same vast range of personalities and physical characteristics that you do anywhere else. Believe me: been there, done it. Not to mention that you should have seen me vomit at the end of my last marathon in Sydney: you would definitely have thought twice about French women being chic (talking of which: I won a cup -the first one in my whole running life!). Just saying.

In short, as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


  • I’ll treasure the picture of a vomiting Yummy Mummy!

  • Oui In France

    Hi Muriel, I just shared a pic on my FB page about this same topic. It was a page from Real Simple Magazine that my mom sent me all about “French Way” and how we can be more like the French. It’s a marketing tactic and anything French seems to sell like crazy in the US. As you said, French women are diverse and just normal women, like women everywhere!

    I think it’s great to want to better yourself and if buying things and doing things the “French way” helps with that, I’m all for it. It’s just that Americans seem to think ALL French women are fashion mavens or thin or any other stereotype we here over and over. That’s just not the case. Good topic!

  • James Casserly

    Congratulations on winning Muriel. I’m really pleased for you. It’s nice to have something to show for the work you put in. As for your vomiting, someone is bound to say, “Ah, but French women vomit so beautifully” ;-D

  • It’s the movie influende, Muriel. Take the good (if it’s not provided with lechery), avoid the bad, and go about your own life. Who cares what others think?

  • Paige

    French women have a very chic trait that we Americans lack… Restraint. I agree with you as well. The not caring attitude is true and very appealing to me. I love that my French sister in laws can say “Ah merde, j’ai pris 3 kilos pendant les fetes. Mes jeans sont serres.” in front of everyone and not caring the bag of bricks we carry aka shame. I think restraint and confidence are two things that make this possible for French women. A little wrinkle on the face? “Well, yes of course, I’m 45!” responds a French woman. It’s refreshing and unapologetic. It’s saying I don’t need your approval, because I’m already satisfied with myself so try and catch me!