Cafe de Flore is a microcosm of Parisian society, and always brings out the social critic in me. Today, I found myself pondering the mystique of French women.
I was sitting on the terrace, pretending to read my fashion magazine, but really staring at the 2 tables of people in front of me. Both tables had 3 french men, but at one was seated a French woman, and at the other, an American woman. I observed, and once again my hypothesis was reaffirmed:
French women win. They win on sexiness, intellect, style, and just about every other criteria except perhaps lung capacity (though they do work the cigarette-temptress look to their advantage).
Almost as if by fate, I came across a book a few hours later, on another part of my Sunday ritual, which includes a stop in at the Village Voice on Rue Princesse. The book, entitled Fatale: How French Women Do It, is an incredible analysis of French women from the days of troubadours to maintenant.
Its author, Edith Kunz, examines every aspect of the French woman’s charm: her diet, the culture she is raised in, the ideology that shapes her, the decor of her bedroom, her role as wife and mistress, the issue of age and what she calls “the art of brilliance” which Frenchwomen use to dazzle French men. It is a fast and fascinating read, and essential to any woman who wants to understand how these frenchies become masters of their domain. Kunz even explores the disheveled hair look, or as she calls it, “seductive disarray,” (a look which I find myself adopting, more out of laziness than seduction).
Beware: This book may corrupt certain readers into taking additional lovers, becoming a mistress, or booking a vacation at a thermal spa. It will certainly inspire new perfume and lingerie purchases.
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