Why an American woman never become a Frenchwoman
I do not know about you, but I am annoyed by sensational, with a fake note of admiration, articles about middle-aged women who at sixty look only forty. Or, as a last resort, fifty.
“Fantastic in 40!”, “Fabulous in 50!”, “Incomparable in 60!”. And I am also tired of similar articles about elderly French women, writes Irina Lazur specifically for Ladychef.ru. The authors of such articles say that French women of Balsac age are aging gracefully due to systematic self-care, invariable make-up “a la naturalle” and a well-thought-out diet. But all the authors of such opuses constantly miss the fact that American and French women have a completely different attitude towards the aging process. ”
This is a quote from the famous American writer Debra Ollivier from her recent article at huffingtonpost.com. Debra is the author of the book “What do French women know about love, sex and other important issues of the mind and heart”. The writer looks at the problem of aging French women from the point of view of American conformism and Puritan practicality.
How different is the age of the French and the American
1. Physical activity. Americans "plow" in the gym, the French are happy life
Everything in this world has its price and logic. Observe the lifelong regime of female beauty is not so simple. Routine and imperceptible at first glance make-up, the grace of a graceful body is a whole world view, which is very different among American and French women.
While middle-aged French women are enjoying the joys of life, American women, despite their age, exhaustingly in the gymnasiums to get in shape (or they are engaged in self-flagellation if they don’t).
The harmful attitude “in a healthy body is a healthy mind” has completely infused American culture. Take a look at any American magazine for women over forty. The onset of age is usually accompanied by a call to challenge young people and prove the life-affirming principle that life is just beginning at forty-plus.
2. Be yourself. Americans catch up with youth. French women welcome age
When we ignore age, or if we flaunt it (although, let's face it, this is more like a denial of aging), we can finally achieve the illusion of "being yourself." Let self-deception lasts only a few decades. But we deserve it, right? So we found out who we are. Therefore, we can no longer be soared with anything, since we still look absolutely stunning!
It does not matter at all that “defying age” and “being yourself” is very difficult to combine. Puffing up a seventh sweat on a treadmill for the purpose of our eternal personality-bodily transformation is not a fun picnic, and French women know this.
The French, as a rule, are suspicious of a culture of continuous self-improvement, which attracts with the promise of achieving "a completely new and radically improved your version." After all, her evil twin at the same time whispers that something is wrong with you.
French women in this approach unmistakably catch the threat of their innate cheerfulness and optimism. Puritan surrender of worldly joys is completely alien to them. They are afraid of enthusiasm for the upcoming years and know that for young women who are hunting for young, a place in the zoo, and not in real life. They are too self-sufficient for this. What does it mean?
3. Sexuality. French women hone sensuality. American women - shyness
Only one thing - French women do not get stuck on themselves. But this does not mean that they do not care about themselves. Opposite! Americans often admire how elderly French women with age delightfully hone sensuality. French women understand that beautiful aging is not a desire for ever-young perfection through cosmetic tricks or personal transformation; and it does not escape into a deserted tundra in order to hide the inevitable age processes.
It should be realized that France is a country of mature culture, and not a youth culture like America. The American cult of youth forces forty-year-old American women to pursue outgoing youth. Be in the game. And French women who have absorbed the inevitability of the cost of age with mother's milk accept aging and follow its logic.
Indeed, aren’t our wrinkles part of the grand plan of the divine nature? You will never see a French woman wearing a T-shirt that says "Life in 70 is just beginning." Because it does not begin.
For many of us, this is an incomprehensible mystery - to consider age as grace. But many older French women enjoy it successfully. Isabelle Huppert, Nathalie Bye or Juliette Binoche are a worthy example of graceful and delightful aging. True, there are exceptions. Catherine Deneuve has been criticized for a radical facelift. The same surprised the French public and Isabelle Adjani.
In Hollywood, the cult of youth reigns, not naturalness and refinement. Meanwhile, the mature actresses of French cinema can easily give odds to the American younger female performers. For America, movies where the love affair of middle-aged people is savored is still a wonder. And in France it is a popular consumer product. Catch?
Everything said is consonant with the statements of Edith Wharton: “The French woman differs in almost everything from the average American woman. French woman more adult. Compared to women in France, women in the United States are in kindergarten. ” Isn't Wharton right? Let's be honest: mature French women look that way, mature.
4. Upbringing American girls are taught to be like everyone else, French - to be special
“Once I discovered another little“ secret ”of aging French women: if in France there is a universal conviction that all women are beautiful, then it is instilled in very young girls. Here again, American and French cultures differ markedly.
American girls are brought up with the conviction - to like, you need to be equal to certain ideals and be like everyone else. Equation to the averaged ideal is not easy and becomes a heavy burden, poisoning the young years. Uncertainty, generated in childhood, turns into a huge tangle of problems with age.
In France, cultural norms look different. If everyone likes you and behave like everyone else, then something is wrong with you. Similarity and sameness are suspicious or rejected. Even the word “popularity” in France loses its usual meaning. This is a riot of personal disobedience, when it is necessary to grow old, and you suddenly flourish. It is not surprising that French women are not interested in what we think about them. They are cats that walk by themselves. "
Greedily absorb life
So what is the point? It lies in the fact that the principle of graceful aging in France has little in common with hair painting, makeup, weight or plastic surgery. Here's a quote from an elderly Frenchwoman from the book of French social critic Elizabeth Vaisman entitled “Age named desire”:
“I want to live as fully as possible. My attitude to time is completely different. I am well aware that I can die at any moment, because I perceive everything much sharper ... I constantly tell myself - this happiness still lasts! But how much is released? Therefore, I greedily live my life. ”
Here it is the secret of aging - to love and greedily absorb life. How can you not even remember the words that were once expressed by Abraham Lincoln: "It doesn’t matter how many years you have been allowed to live - it’s important how much life in these years." What a pity that most people do not know how to grow old in an adult way. And how important it is to understand that life has indisputable value, both in youth and in old age.