Sunday, March 22, 2009

Revealed: the real reason French women don't get fat

A couple of years back, an utterly irksome French woman wrote an equally irksome book called "French Women Don't Get Fat". Trading on a well-worn stereotype and playing to the collective fears of larger-boned women in other countries, the book tore its tedious way up best-seller lists all across the developed world.

The author, a cringeworthy old matron from Paris' rareified 16th arrondissement, maintained that French women remain svelte by eating small portions and taking the stairs instead of the lift.

In my book* (*denotes gratuitous, self-serving plug), I argue that the reason French women are generally so slim is because of the nervous energy they expend worrying who their husband is sleeping with** (**denotes gross generalisation about an entire nation's apparent lack of marital fidelity).

But the truth it seems, is altogether more pedestrian.

While wandering down my rue this morning, I noticed this poster in the window of my local pharmacie. It's an ad for a pair of tights that in my home country might euphemistically be referred to as "control tights". In the interests of calling a spade a spade, these tights are essentially a modern day girdle - an item of apparel whose sole purpose is to suck in a lady's tummy.

"Two sizes less, WITHOUT DIET (and) WITHOUT SPORT" declares the advertisement.
Non-French women of the world take note. You can stop beating yourself up over why you appear to packing a few more pounds than your average French counterpart. The fact is, you're not. You're just not cunning (or weight-obsessed) enough to hide them behind a pair of super-tight stockings.


Anonymous said...

Just came by from David Lebowitz's blog. I have to say I agree entirely with your very astute description of both the author, the book and why French woman don't look fat.


Loulou said...

So that's how they do it! I'm off to the Pharmacie right now!

The Five Nomads said...

I also am a first time visitor via David Lebowitz. I must say seeing this post, by the husband of a showgirl no less, has made me an instant fan! That is what I always suspected about the author of that book, but we curvaceous girls can't really say such things aloud...

Mama JJ said...

Thank you for that bit of insider info! I've been, and still am, contemplating a post/article about this very topic (not the French part)---to show our natural, healthy-body little tummy rolls, or not, and so on and so forth. Still thinking it through, chewing the fat, so to speak....