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French Girls

December 9th, 2009

thatscarf

What is it about French girls? I mean, apart from the casual nudity and the sexual confidence and the pouty self-assurance.  There are, of course, French girls out there with pasty skin and bad taste who dress like slappers and throw up on doormen — but they are not the French girls who haunt us. 

They aren’t the ones who lounge around wearing only (french) knickers, sipping coffee out of bowls while reading Simone de Beauvoir.  They aren’t the ones whose clothes are vintage or borrowed from their boyfriends (never too tight, never too revealing), who carry themselves like dancers and know how to sling on a scarf, just so. 

It’s the hair, tousled and natural; the way they pout their lips; the directness of the gaze; the fact that they are neither fat nor thin, just feminine, and supremely comfortable in their skin. 

 (Jennifer Aniston knows she looks good, but she doesn’t believe it like a French girl would.)  French girls may not have the quirky eccentricity of British girls, but they all share one thing: an unshakeable confidence in the power of their femininity, as nature intended it. 

Whatever their style, French girls never look masculine, trashy or enhanced.  They don’t wear sports gear or heavy make-up or visible thongs (they like proper silk lingerie, including slips).

And French girls don’t really go in for tooth bleaching or even fake tan — on the contrary, they like smudgy eyes brought on by too little sleep and too much smoking. 

 French girls have thick eyebrows, their own tooth enamel (not that they smile much) and more pubic hair than all of the Hollywood A list put together. 

 If they’re more intriguing to us than ever, it’s because, while the rest of the world continues down the overtly sexual path (Madonna’s Miss Whiplash routine, Cheryl Cole’s sheer dress), French girls remain the sexiest by a mile, without even tweaking the formula.

* Thanks to Mindy who commented and led me to another blogger who helped me find the original article here:

http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/celebrity/article6714581.ece

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  1. Mindy
  2. Mindy
    December 9th, 2009 at 16:45 | #2

    Oops. I guess I didn’t read the link I sent you thoroughly enough. I thought it was the original. I hope I didn’t offend the original poster.

    • December 9th, 2009 at 16:48 | #3

      Don’t worry you didn’t offend anybody. It was a newspaper article. Thanks so much for your help in finding this. I now have the entire quote as well!

  3. December 9th, 2009 at 20:40 | #4

    This was a fun read!

  4. December 9th, 2009 at 21:15 | #5

    So true… I am always fascinated by this topic…

  5. December 11th, 2009 at 18:19 | #6

    Of course j’adore this post! It is my life’s quest to understand the ease in which French women are so naturally beautiful and confident!

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What is it about those Italian women? You know the ones I’m talking about: beautiful, sexy, dressed to the nines just to take the kids to the park. They have a certain something that is indefinable. It is in the way they dress, the way they prepare their meals, the way they spend their leisure time.

It is because they know the importance of la bella figura. Roughly translated from Italian, it means putting you best foot forward in everything you do. It means cutting a beautiful figura. The opposite of la bella figura is la brutta figura, which is what someone might say about the falling down drunken guy at the party or the super tackily dressed woman at church. It means ugly figure.

La bella figura is much more than your appearance. It goes much deeper than that. It is about how you act. It is about how you treat others. It is about how you care for yourself, your home and your family. Living a life in line with la bella figura doesn’t take money. In fact, it is more about how to have class without a lot of money.

Someone who exudes la bella figura will have clean, pressed clothes and be well groomed. They will not be rude or sloppy. Their fingernails will be impeccably groomed. Their hair shiny and clean and their shoes will be polished. They will not have stray threads hanging from their suit hems. They will not be driving a car in need of the car wash.

La bella figura means driving that 15 year old car and meticulously cleaning it and caring for it. It means keeping your belongings in good repair. It means taking time to clean your house and not cluttering it up with meaningless objects.

When you focus all your spare energy, time and money on the things that bring you the most amount of pleasure, then you are truly living a life in line with la bella figura. The best part about it is that you don’t have to be Italian to do so. You just have to think like an Italian.

Italian children are raised to present la bella figura in whatever they do. From the time they are small and are groomed perfectly to attend church or school, they know that appearances count. They count because it is the first thing people judge about you. That first impression does matter. Appearances are also important because when you take the time to look nice, you are showing that you care about yourself. When you care enough to look good, it shows you have good healthy self esteem. Nothing is more attractive than self confidence.

In addition, dressing nice also shows respect for others. If you invite people over for dinner and greet them in flip flops, baggy sweats and a stained shirt, it is really disrespectful to them. The same if you dress sloppy to go to church or even to the market. By dressing nicely and being well groomed, you show respect for everyone in your world.

Having la bella figura means presenting yourself in the best light possible in all your interactions.