Deconstructing The “French Girl” Mystique

American men perk up when my mom reveals in conversation that she's French. They whip out their favorite French phrase: "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?" and pretend not to know what it means. Fortunately, I speak English with an American accent, so I can keep my je ne sais quoi on the down low.

The mythical figure of the French girl looms large (but in, like, a slender way) in the American aesthetic consciousness. She's an icon of grace and style, like Audrey Hepburn, except she gets dudes more hot and bothered. Hence the kilogrammes of advice prodding American women to be more like the nymphs wandering around Paris with their immaculately done-undone hair flowing out from under their berets. But I'm here to tell you la vérité. Let's deconstruct, shall we?

Emily Lever is a French-American writer who wishes she led a life of adventure. You can follow her on Twitter here.

  • Nerd

    is this four pins or did i accidentally click on a cosmo article

    • Lawrence

      the world is no longer a safe place for Tumblr thots

      • Nerd

        hey schlossberg i got a fun fact for you

        emily lever is an anagram of emeryville which just so happens to be the home town of grammy nominated rap duo Luniz

        • Class A Rando

          I’d definitely smoke you up, Emily… “I’ve got five on it”, ya dig

  • Sjoerd K.

    You tryna tell me French girls ain’t hot? Nah son, ain’t gon’ work!

  • jack

    yo i hate cosmo

    • jack

      the fuck is this larry

  • Yes.


  • sixfive

    Brilliant article. Bravo.

  • really?

    she’s essentially saying all French girls are anorexic … a sorry claim for both the generalization and the truth

  • Carla

    Very good job! Being a french american as well, i got a good laugh.

  • Deaunte Shugart

    What do French man dress like? This is a mens site.