What comes to mind when you hear the word “Parisienne”? Most of us will have images of slender, stylish female residents of the French capital, sipping wine at a sun-drenched cafe or cycling along the Seine, sporting red lipstick, heels and eye-grazing bangs. It’s a powerful stereotype that’s hard to escape because it’s everywhere. In advertising campaigns, films, lifestyle magazines as well as social media, the trope of the pencil slim, effortlessly chic and seductive Parisienne with slept-in hair and invisible makeup has been repeated endlessly over the decades. Personified by style icons like Jane Birkin, Ines de la Fressange and Caroline de Maigret, the myth has contributed to selling luxury fashion, beauty products and even the city of Paris. Over the years, the cliches around the Parisienne, a term often applied to French women in general, have spawned a rash of books such French women don’t get fat and How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are and articles with titles such as “Aging gracefully, the French way.” ‘Damaging’ stereotypes But, some are pushing back against what they see as an unattainable and exclusionary ideal. Lindsey Tramuta, an American writer and journalist moved to Paris 15 years ago to pursue her love of French language… Read full this story
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