Ooh-la-la: The French Woman’s Secret

Soon to have its stateside release on September 25, Coco Avant Chanel (a.k.a Coco Before Chanel) seems to be a film that will continue to perpetuate the French female mystique throughout the minds of American women.

Why aren’t French women fat? How did they come to possess this intuitive fashion sense? What’s their secret?

These are the questions that have been posed by a vast majority of American women for decades.

In an article in the Orange Country Register, Debra Ollivier, the author of What French Women Know, said, “I got kind of annoyed by the sort of ‘Ooh-la-la’ stereotypes that we’ve had (in America) for so long. It’s really not about what they’re wearing, it’s about what’s in their head.”

And judging from several other recent articles on French women, it seems what’s in their head is confidence: a daring attitude to make an impressionable, unapologetic statement regardless of popular opinion.

What’s in their head can, however, be reflected through what they’re wearing. Renowned French fashion designer Coco Chanel is the perfect example.

“She really wanted to have freedom from a man, and at first the only way she could find that freedom was through the clothes,” French actress Audrey Tatou, who plays Chanel in the film, told the Huffington Post.

“She was not impressed by anything or anybody, and I think this is a real way to feel powerful, to feel that you have the key to your life,” Tatou said.

It seems some of this empowerment has continued to mold the mindset of the French woman whose American counterparts tend to put on a pedestal.

Ollivier takes the concept of the French woman’s innate confidence a step further to explain why the book He’s Just Not That Into You – a hit in most Western countries, including the States – found little success in France. The French woman wouldn’t dwell on the man, according to Ollivier. “Because if he’s just not that into them, they just don’t care: ‘OK! Ciao!'”

So, is this attitude one of confidence or arrogance? Do you think American women lack the daring mystique of the French female, or is it just exhibited in a different way on the Western shores of the Atlantic?

3 thoughts on “Ooh-la-la: The French Woman’s Secret

  1. If French women found little humor in “He’s Just Not that Into You,” then I indeed hope we adopt the “mystique” on this side of the Atlantic!

Comments are closed.