September 29, 2014

10 Reasons I Will Never Be Une Parisienne


There are the French and then there are the Parisians. There really is a big difference between the two.*

Now of course, I don't (currently) live in Paris, but after spending a considerable amount of time there over the last few years, and especially in the last couple of months, I know that I will never be and probably could never be une vrai Parisienne. 

And I'm ok with that.

Une Parisienne

Here are some of the reasons why:

1) I will never be able to master "the pout" properly
2) I don't own the requisite sequined Vanessa Bruno cabas
3) I don't like to lie in the sun
4) I never order un Perrier menthe
5) I'm (usually) way too punctual

At a café in the 6th

6) I don't smoke
7) I can't find a shade of red lipstick that suits me
8) I'm terrified to ride a bike in Paris
9) I can't get my hair into that messy yet elegant updo (but I wish I could!)
10) I wasn't born there


Sometimes when I see young Parisian women walking down the street or sitting in a café, it looks like they are trying oh so very hard to exude an aura of perfection. They pose and pout and keep their movements in check. Just watching them exhausts me.

I'm much happier embracing my imperfect, unfashionable, smiling, clumsy self. I may be French, but I doubt anyone will ever look at me and think that I am une Parisienne. Which is kind of a relief.

La Parisienne

* That's a subject that warrants its own blog post, so please just trust me on this 

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French Girl in Seattle said...

Fun post. I hope you realize that most of the *Parisiennes* you spot sitting at café terraces (especially younger ones) were not born in Paris either ;-) So, basically, they are only *aspiring Parisiennes,* from "La Province," which is why some may look they are trying a little too hard. ;-) Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Jennifer Greco said...

Very true! But they would probably be horrified if they thought that people didn't think of them as locals.

Rhodesia said...

Having just returned I will also add, too many visitors and the crowds are to much for me. Secondly, I could never walk in the 6 inch heels that many of them do especially when they walk down a cobbled street!!
It was a fun 5 days but I am so glad to be back in the country :-) Take care Diane

Anne said...

Well thank goodness -- because your readers love you just the way you are!

Maggie said...

Great post and I loved the photos! Xx
We are now the owners of our own little part of France. It's so exciting. I've started up a blog to record our's a renovation's the link....

Ann Mah said...

Ha ha, cute post! Those Vanessa Bruno bags are cute but look SO uncomfortable! If I can't throw a bag over my shoulder, it is useless to me ;)

Bradford said...

So Jennifer, you will never be "Une Parisienne". I sincerely hope you never see this as a problem. I will never be "Une Bostonian", particularly since I come from NY, but I live here all the same. You will make Paris your home. You will be "Celle qui est à la maison à Paris". Rejoice! La Belle Epoque will start again with your presence.

angiemanzi said...

So refreshing. Thank you. I get exhausted reading all the blogs written about how to be a Parisienne. Thank you for another view.

Jennifer Greco said...

I am hopeless in heels. Add cobblestones to the mix and I would end up with a broken neck! :)

That is very sweet of you to say. Merci!

Jennifer Greco said...

Congratulations on your move. I look forward to reading about your new life in France. Take care!

No, I definitely don't see it as a problem! lol

Jennifer Greco said...

I've never tried to carry one, but good to know. Nothing worse than an uncomfortable bag! (well, maybe uncomfortable shoes) :)

You're welcome. I wrote this because I see many expats trying so hard to be Parisian (and worrying too much about it) instead of just being themselves.

Sharon said...

My reasons for never being mistaken for a French woman - let alone a Parisian!
* My width to height ratio is out
* An an immaculate bob turns into a hedge as soon as I leave the house
* I eat seconds (see point 1)
* My cheekbones are hard to identify
* And sin of sins - I don't wear black! It just doesn't suit me!

Jennifer Greco said...

Great list! Thank you! :)

JudyMac said...

I recently spent two weeks in Paris (and had a lot of fun), but one thing I noted which was bothersome was the amount of smoking going on. Sitting in the outdoor cafes (and other locations), it seemed a cigarette in hand was a requisite, for both male and female. Made me wonder what the numbers are in France for lung cancer. Perhaps they haven't learned yet that a cigarette in hand is a dangerous way to make yourself look sophisticated.

Jennifer Greco said...

Yes, lots of smoking! I always find it a bit depressing, especially when I see the young people lighting up.