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French tell US beauties, spare your blushers
Scotland on Sunday ^ | June 4, 2006 | ELAINE SCIOLINO

Posted on 06/03/2006 11:33:01 PM PDT by MadIvan

TYPICAL French chic or bare-faced cheek? The simmering diplomatic war between France and the United States has taken an ugly turn after French women accused their American counterparts of being "painted dolls".

French madames don't wear make-up, or at least pretend not to. Their new goal is to glow, with invisible pores and highly polished skin. Too much make-up, they claim, makes a woman seem older, or worse still, appear as if she makes a living walking the streets.

And they have singled out American women as the worst examples, while putting forward their own versions of perfection such as actresses Juliette Binoche and Audrey Tautou.

Led by French fashion experts, the attack will stoke tensions based on cultural differences that neither country pretends to understand. Laura Mercier, the French creator of a line of cosmetics, who lives in New York, said: "It really astonishes me the way American women wear so much make-up.

"In the US, even teenage girls are overly made up. And when you are overly made up, you send out the message that you are overly sexual, that you want to be visible to attract men."

By contrast, Mercier added: "French women are not flashy. They must be subtle. The message must not be: 'I'm spending hours on my face to look beautiful.'"

Michèle Fitoussi, one of France's leading social commentators and a columnist at French Elle magazine, branded the "painted-doll" look "vulgaire".

Certainly, the French delight in placing themselves in opposition to the US, no matter what the topic - food, wine, diplomacy, and now beauty. A recent issue of French Elle poked fun at what it called the "too much" look of "California Beauty", illustrated by a model in a shocking pink shirt, bicycle shorts, an orange print scarf, mirrored sunglasses, a Louis Vuitton handbag and gaudy, gold, high-heeled sandals, earrings, necklaces, chain belt, bangles and rings.

The French say Nicole Richie and Britney Spears have adopted the "overdone" look, while Madonna is forgiven since she is seen as a hard-nosed businesswoman and free spirit.

Jennifer Lopez escapes criticism because she is Hispanic and therefore culturally more exotic.

But the French disdain is aimed less at specific women and more at the overall 'overdone' look. This season, the unadorned look is more in vogue than ever in France. The weekly magazine L'Express calls it "Le no make-up" look.

To women in France, it represents something more profound than simply one's taste in skin care. Make-up is also the mark of the desperate housewife type who tries too hard.

They cite Yves Saint Laurent's famous quote: "The most beautiful make-up for a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy."

Even for Olivia Hollert, a 22-year-old nurse who considers herself a make-up fanatic, Americans overdo it.

"American girls worship the cult of the 'ideal woman'," she said. "No part of the face seems to be forgotten. And when you use too much make-up, it means you are hiding from yourself."

In a poll by the market research group Mintel, 64% of American women said they sometimes used foundation, compared with 47% of French women; 81% of Americans use lipstick, compared with 70% of French women, and 59% of Americans use blusher, compared with 43%.

The image "du jour" of "le no make-up" look is Audrey Tautou, with magazines featuring the 29-year-old Da Vinci Code star without jewellery or any visible make-up, except for a slight tint on her lips. Even her beauty marks have not been airbrushed away.

Actresses Juliette Binoche and Nathalie Baye are also regularly featured in magazines for embracing the natural look

In political circles, the Socialist politician Ségolène Royal, a presidential contender, is successfully seducing the country in part because of her grass-roots style, broad smile and fresh-faced look. When she had an upper tooth straightened last year, the daily newspaper Libération labelled it an un-French act.

"The French people's favourite Socialist is now endowed with an American smile," Libération wrote.

That may be because French women still lag far behind Americans in cosmetic surgery and sundry injections aimed at making them appear less flawed.

Catherine Deneuve, for example, with her painted face, is sometimes seen as an object of pity. Deneuve, 62, the icily beautiful star of Belle De Jour, was once considered so perfect that she was named France's "Marianne", the idealised embodiment of the French Republic. She now admits to wearing make-up even when she is gardening.

"Poor Catherine," said Terry de Gunzburg, creator of the By Terry make-up line. "She let herself get hooked by the syndrome of Dorian Gray, of eternal youth. It's sad."

On the whole, French women like to portray themselves as more balanced, more inclined to pamper themselves and take pleasure in daily rituals than Americans. In its most extreme form, the US is seen as a youth-obsessed, throwaway, quick-fix culture where women are more likely to look artificially young and totally "done".

Instead, French women invest more time aiming for perfect, blemish-free skin.

Even French women of modest means are much more likely than American women to get treatments in spas or clinics that scrub, polish, buff, massage and cream their skins.

In this, the French government is complicit. Any woman who can claim to have a medically diagnosed skin condition, from eczema to acne, can receive a regimented "thermal cure" at spas in France once a year.

The French taxpayer covers as much as 65% of the cost.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: fashion; france; us; women
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Ladies, have at it.

Regards, Ivan

1 posted on 06/03/2006 11:33:03 PM PDT by MadIvan
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To: Texican; Watery Tart; Deetes; Barset; fanfan; LadyofShalott; Tolik; mtngrl@vrwc; pax_et_bonum; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 06/03/2006 11:33:33 PM PDT by MadIvan (I aim to misbehave.)
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To: MadIvan

Pit hair, body odor and unshaved legs are so hot....NOT.


3 posted on 06/03/2006 11:35:52 PM PDT by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: MadIvan

One would hope for a catfight, but as soon as the clothes started flying the white flags would be flying like bats out of Mammoth Cave.


4 posted on 06/03/2006 11:35:56 PM PDT by Renderofveils
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To: MadIvan

American women also use deodorant, as do American men.

The French could take a lesson from that.


5 posted on 06/03/2006 11:36:26 PM PDT by Numbers Guy
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To: Numbers Guy
American women also use deodorant, as do American men.

Does anyone have the graphic of the B-2 dropping "Irish Spring" soap on Paris?
6 posted on 06/03/2006 11:39:39 PM PDT by lmr (You can have my Tactical Nuclear Weapons when you pry them from my cold dead fingers.)
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: ncountylee
American women are much more refined and Christian than French ones.

I would take an American Beauty over a French Euro-Trash chick any day. In fact, I am married to one.
8 posted on 06/03/2006 11:41:29 PM PDT by lmr (You can have my Tactical Nuclear Weapons when you pry them from my cold dead fingers.)
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To: Allan

Should be fun:-)


9 posted on 06/03/2006 11:44:31 PM PDT by ARridgerunner
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To: lmr

C'mon guys, I know the French are idiotic 99% of the time, but they are right about this. Standards of beauty have gone downhill in the last decade. Paris Hilton and Britney Spears would have been mocked hideously in the 70's and 80's.

Personally, I blame Clinton : )


10 posted on 06/03/2006 11:45:31 PM PDT by Democratshavenobrains
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To: Cobra64

The thing about America... It is like we are number one at everything. Sure, We have the fattest and some of the ugliest people in the world. But we also have the skinniest and most beautiful as well. Nothing is homogeneous about this country at all. A country full of fat-ass lazy slobs, yet, we have the most Athletic, WE WIN THE OLYMPICS, almost all the time at least in the most recent history. That's just America.


11 posted on 06/03/2006 11:46:50 PM PDT by lmr (You can have my Tactical Nuclear Weapons when you pry them from my cold dead fingers.)
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To: MadIvan

I think the French are wrong. I've always been taught that any old barn needs paint. :-)


12 posted on 06/03/2006 11:46:57 PM PDT by Invincibly Ignorant
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To: MadIvan
Christina Applegate, modeling American and French style.

Left, with makeup, American. Right, without makeup, French.


13 posted on 06/03/2006 11:50:39 PM PDT by T'wit (It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man. -- H.L. Mencken)
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To: Cobra64

14 posted on 06/03/2006 11:50:42 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Cobra64
I am so tired of this anti-american BS.
French woman at beach

French woman at beach in a film

French stomach (not sure of the sex)

French woman painting (note she is not a size 0).

Don't get me started on petit German women!
15 posted on 06/03/2006 11:52:28 PM PDT by sully777 (wWBBD: What would Brian Boitano do?)
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To: MadIvan

Text message from daughter attending math conference: "The Europeans are beginning to smell."


16 posted on 06/03/2006 11:54:21 PM PDT by Riemann (Multiculturalism -- hate teach.)
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To: MadIvan
French

Audrey Tautou

Another French

Juliette Binoche


All American

Ann Coulter


And the point of the article was ...?
17 posted on 06/03/2006 11:54:57 PM PDT by JohnCliftn (In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Good Will. - Churchill)
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To: MadIvan
Hey - we live in America. These losers live in France. Nothing else counts.

OK....I've been to France and the woman on the street does have a certain chic....until (in my experience there) the hairdresser raises her arms to do your hair and all that underarm hair poufs out and that certain chic goes out the window forever. eeeeeeeewwwwww

18 posted on 06/03/2006 11:57:54 PM PDT by daybreakcoming (If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. A. Lincoln)
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To: MadIvan

As much as I loathe their foolish, ungrateful politics, I must confess that I think French women the most beautiful in the world, followed closely by Indian women. I don't know why or where it comes from, but they are. It's not just their facial features, it's the way they dress and do their hair, even the way they walk and talk.

I must agree with the author about the "American Beauty" look - it is overdone. Too much. The French let their beauty speak for them, instead of their implants, bleached hair, fake tan and lip gloss like American "beauties" do. And the author is right on something else too - all of this artifice is covering something up...something inside. Sorry, Ivan. I'm happy with my looks, but if I could look, walk and talk like a French woman, I would be much more attractive to guys, and that's what we all want, isn't it? :^D


19 posted on 06/04/2006 12:00:22 AM PDT by CaliGirlGodHelpMe
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To: MadIvan

Makeup has a great protective effect that will be anti-aging in the long run if you're diligent about putting it on every morning and also diligent about slathering sunblock if you spend any amount of time in the sun.


20 posted on 06/04/2006 12:01:25 AM PDT by Seamoth (Kool-aid is the most addictive and destructive drug of them all.)
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: JohnCliftn
Can someone tell me why the two french women quoted look like 12 year old boys?

Maybe we should have nuked France instead of Japan.

22 posted on 06/04/2006 12:02:10 AM PDT by Centurion2000 (The social contract is breaking down.)
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To: MadIvan

"The image "du jour" of "le no make-up" look is Audrey Tautou, with magazines featuring the 29-year-old Da Vinci Code star without jewellery or any visible make-up, except for a slight tint on her lips. Even her beauty marks have not been airbrushed away."

"Actresses Juliette Binoche and Nathalie Baye are also regularly featured in magazines for embracing the natural look."

If they think these actresses don't use makeup, they are smoking something good. You can use tons of makeup to get that natural look.


23 posted on 06/04/2006 12:02:50 AM PDT by peggybac (Tolerance is the virtue of believing in nothing)
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To: T'wit
I personally like a relatively unadorned face. Simplistic beauty often is best, and women who smear their eyes with purple eyeshadow can appear extremely sexual but trashy.

That said, I have no idea why the French singled out Americans in this regard. Ever been to Russia? You could very easily drop a woman off the streets of Moscow and just assume she was as prostitute here in the US given the amount of makeup she wears. And Russian women NEVER step outside without makeup. Truth be told, I like this, as they dress up for the occasion, as well (which probably says that I lack a well-dressed woman more than I care about makeup). Still, point is that there are a lot greater offenders of this "unnatural" look than Americans.

"Instead, French women invest more time aiming for perfect, blemish-free skin."

By smoking how many packs per day?
24 posted on 06/04/2006 12:02:53 AM PDT by CheyennePress
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To: sully777

LOL. I don't like French women either. Actually, I don't like any of the French whom I met while working in Antwerpen Belgium on a Seagrams project.


25 posted on 06/04/2006 12:05:32 AM PDT by Cobra64 (All we get are lame ideas from Republicans and lame criticism from dems about those lame ideas.)
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To: lmr

Agreed.


26 posted on 06/04/2006 12:06:31 AM PDT by Cobra64 (All we get are lame ideas from Republicans and lame criticism from dems about those lame ideas.)
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To: sully777

French News
27 posted on 06/04/2006 12:08:38 AM PDT by CheyennePress
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To: MadIvan

28 posted on 06/04/2006 12:13:04 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Build the fence. Sí, Se Puede!)
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To: Democratshavenobrains
C'mon guys, I know the French are idiotic 99% of the time, but they are right about this. Standards of beauty have gone downhill in the last decade.

I'll second that. Subtly applied make-up, tasteful clothes, a pleasant demeanor, and a H/W proportionate figure make a great first impression on me.

29 posted on 06/04/2006 12:14:41 AM PDT by BradyLS (DO NOT FEED THE BEARS!)
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To: CheyennePress

Ummm we have them too. It's like some cookie cutter spits them out.


30 posted on 06/04/2006 12:14:57 AM PDT by sully777 (wWBBD: What would Brian Boitano do?)
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To: Cobra64

Antwerpen Seagrams...do tell.


31 posted on 06/04/2006 12:15:43 AM PDT by sully777 (wWBBD: What would Brian Boitano do?)
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To: MadIvan
By contrast, Mercier added: "French women are not flashy. They must be subtle. The message must not be: 'I'm spending hours on my face to look beautiful.'"

I agree.

Years ago I heard a make-up tip: if it takes longer than five minutes to put on your make-up, you're putting on too much. I lived by that before I knew it was a maxim, and do so to this day.

However, I look like death if I don't wear blusher and lipstick, being very fair skinned. Nobody's opinion is going to pry my blusher and lipstick out of my hands!

32 posted on 06/04/2006 12:17:15 AM PDT by GretchenM (What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? Please meet my friend, Jesus.)
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To: CheyennePress

Oh you just had to bust out a Melissa Theuriau pic, didn't you!


33 posted on 06/04/2006 12:19:08 AM PDT by Proud_USA_Republican (We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good. - Hillary Clinton)
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To: sully777

That < gasp gag > post needed a WARNING! TOXIC MATEIRAL! before it.


34 posted on 06/04/2006 12:19:16 AM PDT by GretchenM (What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? Please meet my friend, Jesus.)
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To: CheyennePress
Unadorned is good.


35 posted on 06/04/2006 12:23:03 AM PDT by T'wit (It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man. -- H.L. Mencken)
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To: CheyennePress

Why isn't SHE hosting the CBS evening news???


36 posted on 06/04/2006 12:26:42 AM PDT by BradyLS (DO NOT FEED THE BEARS!)
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To: MadIvan
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Looks like Audey wears plenty of make-up to me.
37 posted on 06/04/2006 12:35:50 AM PDT by Old Seadog (Inside every old person is a young person saying "WTF happened?".)
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To: MadIvan
>> Michèle Fitoussi, one of France's leading social commentators and a columnist at French Elle magazine, branded the "painted-doll" look "vulgaire".

I think it looks pretty good. And these are all French girls -- at a beauty pageant in French Tahiti.


38 posted on 06/04/2006 12:41:42 AM PDT by T'wit (It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man. -- H.L. Mencken)
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To: T'wit

I've seen plenty of french girls in france painted up like 2 dollar hookers and they weren't standing on street corners.

Once again, the french are flapping their arrogant gums in another sad pety attempt to bash the US. They should spend more energies worrying about the islamic takeover of their country.



39 posted on 06/04/2006 1:23:20 AM PDT by Proud_USA_Republican (We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good. - Hillary Clinton)
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To: Democratshavenobrains

Gotta agree with the French too. American women use way too much make-up to the point where they look like guys dressing in drag.


40 posted on 06/04/2006 1:38:23 AM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist (Conservatism is moderate, it is the center, it is the middle of the road)
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To: CaliGirlGodHelpMe
I must confess that I think French women the most beautiful in the world, followed closely by Indian women.

I think African-American women are the prettiest.

41 posted on 06/04/2006 1:41:01 AM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist (Conservatism is moderate, it is the center, it is the middle of the road)
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To: MadIvan
French madames don't wear make-up, deodorant...
42 posted on 06/04/2006 1:48:34 AM PDT by Allegra (Thread Hijacker Extraordinaire)
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To: Cobra64

Is that Paris, Kentucky?


43 posted on 06/04/2006 1:53:53 AM PDT by beyond the sea (A nativist rube ..... yep, that's me.... and oh, the Senate and nearly ALL Senators SUCK.)
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To: MadIvan
http://www.kmmod.com/lcasta/fashion/fash2.htm

http://www.kmmod.com/lcasta/fashion/original/fa047.jpg

http://www.kmmod.com/lcasta/fashion/original/fa066.jpg

http://www.kmmod.com/lcasta/fashion/original/fa042.jpg

****

This is my favorite.

http://www.kmmod.com/lcasta/fashion/original/fa029.jpg

44 posted on 06/04/2006 1:58:18 AM PDT by beyond the sea (A nativist rube ..... yep, that's me.... and oh, the Senate and nearly ALL Senators SUCK.)
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To: Cobra64; MadIvan

http://www.kmmod.com/lcasta/fashion/original/fa029.jpg


45 posted on 06/04/2006 2:00:07 AM PDT by beyond the sea (A nativist rube ..... yep, that's me.... and oh, the Senate and nearly ALL Senators SUCK.)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

Well..."African American" or "black"? - I mean I really don't perceive that much difference between, say, a Jamaican woman and an African American. But perhaps you meant the personality?


46 posted on 06/04/2006 2:04:22 AM PDT by CaliGirlGodHelpMe
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist; CaliGirlGodHelpMe
I must confess that I think French women the most beautiful in the world, followed closely by Indian women.

I think African-American women are the prettiest..

Well, east coast girls are hip I really dig those styles they wear And the southern girls, with the way they talk They knock me out when I'm down there

The midwest farmer's daughters Really make you feel all right And the northern girls, with the way they kiss They keep their boyfriends warm at night

I wish they all could be California girls Wish they all could be California I wish they all could be California girls

The west coast has the sunshine And the girls all get so tan I dig a French bikini on Hawaiian island girls By a palm tree in the sand

I been all around this great big world And I seen all kind of girls Yeah, but I couldn't wait to get back in the states Back to the cutest girls in the world.

47 posted on 06/04/2006 2:05:40 AM PDT by FatherofFive (Choose life!)
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To: CheyennePress

All I wear is lipstick, blemish stick and face power with a tiny bit of mascara, and that's only for special occasions. Usually it's au naturelle for every day.

I have a sister-in-law who has never worn makeup, not even on her wedding day.


48 posted on 06/04/2006 2:09:24 AM PDT by stands2reason (You cannot bully or insult conservatives into supporting your guy.)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

Two words: Pamela Anderson.



I still catch myself checking her for an adam's apple...


49 posted on 06/04/2006 2:14:53 AM PDT by stands2reason (You cannot bully or insult conservatives into supporting your guy.)
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To: FatherofFive

Heh heh....


50 posted on 06/04/2006 2:38:36 AM PDT by CaliGirlGodHelpMe
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