Monday 14 August 2017

The French Woman Myth articles
First things first! The title might suggest I don't think french women exist... I can tell you from experience that french women do actually roam the earth. They are real people! What I actually want to write about today is a media fixation on french women and the whole concept of "how to be more french". There are several reasons why I think this is problematic and why the portrayal of french women as all being the same is also not. the. one.

The first reason is that there is no reason whatsoever why we should all aspire to be like people from somewhere we're not from or people who are entirely different to us. It's not only to do with the beauty aspect of the elusive stereotypical french woman, we need to stop aspiring to a fictional, idyllic type of person. French women don't all smoke, they don't all stay skinny while eating croissants and cheese everyday and they're not all nonchalant women whose beauty routine consists of not brushing their hair and only applying a lick of mascara and voilà! There is also this idea that french women don't think about their appearance or their weight and that they don't exercise. This concept of being cool, natural and effortless is deceptive. Most of us, french or not, make an effort when we want to look good and that's OK. What is wrong with looking like you care?

Probably the most annoying part about this representation of the french woman is that she is pretty much exclusively portrayed as a type of Brigitte Bardot or skinny Parisian brunette smoking a cigarette kind of figure. She is always very natural looking and on the slim side. This completely excludes the millions of women in France who are not a part of that stereotype. What about the many french women of northern african decent for example? In fact what about women from the Basque country? Why does the portrayal of french women only reflect those that fit a very specific mould? France is a multicultural country with an array of women from different cultural backgrounds who come in all different shapes, sizes and skin colours. They're just as french as any of the french movie stars from the 60s and 70s.

What is really strange about how french women are portrayed is that the media is still obsessed with women like Brigitte Bardot (who btw is racist af - chic!) and Françoise Hardy aka women who were in the limelight decades ago. Why do we want to be like women from the 1960s? What's wrong with women from 2017?

There are so many reasons why I find articles and guides on how to be more french or Parisian really problematic and something we should move on from. But I'll leave it here for today!

Lets all just aspire to be the best versions of ourselves #cheeeeese :D

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