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Real insight on French culture from a French native point of view.
Mostly run by Em, 26, living in Paris.
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French vs. American women

Anon asked : Do you think there’s a lot of differences between French women and American women, lookwise and lifestylewise?

French women are more discreet than American ones. Physically, they don’t like to show a lot of skin, they dress quite soberly. A lot of French women only wear black, grey, beige outfits with just few colorful accessories to warm everything up. Remember that we’re the country of “the little black dress” (Famous saying of Coco Chanel: “You don’t need to be rich to have style, all you need is a little black dress.”) That’s something still very deeply rooted in French every day fashion. Most of French women keep their clothes during their whole life, they’re very cautious. We’re the country of fashion yet we don’t spend a lot of money on clothes. Something like $500 per year compared to the American women who spend something like $1500-2000 per year. French women don’t feel the need to buy new clothes at every collection. Again, that’s a tradition left from Chanel: “Fashion becomes out of date, style never.”

Regarding their behavior, French women don’t like to talk too much. Americans are real chatterboxes compared to us! They’re very discreet about their relationships eventhough they’re pretty liberal. They’re WAY LESS jealous than American ones, mostly because they’re more independant. American system tends to glorify marriage, I mean that it’s considered as the ultimate achievement and vector of happiness. Here, French women do not like that idea, they’d rather have a great carrier and a great bank account before they get married. They don’t like the idea of depending of a husband. That’s why there’s very few housewives in the new generation, especially not in the cities. As my mother would say, “You can change your husband but you better be rich on your own or he’ll leave with the gold card and who’s gonna buy you Vuitton bags then if you can’t?” xD 
From my own experience, the French elite men like American women because they’re much more dedicated to their couple, are perfect housewives and make them feel like kings when French women tend to make them feel like their equal.

Second anon asked: Just out of curiosity, you said that French women are “WAY LESS jealous American ones, mostly because they’re more independent.” What are you basing this off of? Do you have a lot of experience with American women? Every American woman, just like every French woman, is different. One can’t just make assumptions that all American women are dependent/needy; this isn’t the case.


Of course everybody’s different but you can’t ignore cultural differences. The anon asked me a question that I need to answer and even though I totally agree on the “everybody’s different” thing (I very often use that answer when anons are asking silly questions…), I need general lines I can base an answer on.  

I base this on personal experience, my own, all my friends that leave for the USA to find a “perfect wife” (I don’t mean female friends, I mean male friends, especially rich ones) and also the cultural differences that we very regularly witness in the media, in the politics… I may not have chosen the right words, I agree on that, yet I don’t change my opinion. French have a completely different conception of what a relationship should be based on.

We perceive American women to be very jealous because the American general temper is to be way more straightforward than us (and it’s worth for everything, love, business…) That’s something we’re being taught at business school! That Americans go straight to the point and are very clear when they’re not liking things when French are much more shifty. Regarding love and relationships, French women are much more manipulative than American ones since they don’t like to express their feelings in a pushy way but prefer to play sneaky. And to be honest with you, I personally have issues with French women (friends or lovers) since I started to drown myself in American/Anglophone culture - I write fiction, I blog, I have Anglophone sweethearts… I speak and deal with Anglophone people all day long - and now the French seem so fucking complicated to me. I started expressing my feelings in a very “American” way and I did realize that I have to “re-adapt” my own temper (even though I’m French and living in France!) to my French friends.

So what I mean is that American women seem jealous and dependent to us because they express their feelings in a very clear way that is totally unusual for us. French women don’t say that they’re in love, that they’re missing people… They’re very cold and that’s why French men like American women: they’re not afraid to love with passion very soon in the relationship. The typical French conception of passion is much more based on actual sex than simple affection. French women hardly share affection at first, they’re much more willing to have sex before anything else. And then maybe, they’ll behave sweet and tender - possibly.

For example, it’s not for nothing if Dominique Strauss-Kahn had been arrested on the American ground. Whatever happened in this hotel room, he did much worse on the French ground yet nobody cared to annoy him with his sexual scandals because French just don’t care. Oddly, he’s been arrested in USA (probably boosted by this political opponents?) where his sexual behaviors would be much more severely judged. The case had been proclaimed as an horrible and disgusting scandal when in France, most people laughed about it. We have a completely different point of view…
Alexandra Lamy laughed a lot in the media too when she’d been asked to act a certain way in front of the American cameras during the Oscars for his husband Jean Dujardin. They had been asked to behave in a very touchy feely way because Americans suposedly cherish the image of couples being in love on the carpet when in France, the media couldn’t care less as long as they’re together. And there’s so many examples like these…