Here is the scenario. Four parisiennes and me, sitting around a formal dining room table in a swish but hip comme il faut apartment in the 16th arrondissement. We had enrolled in the class through a group called La Belle Ecole. Catherine Pez, our instructor, tells us her story. She's 58, her doctor husband had long ago banned any form of plastic surgery, so she had to invent her own way of preserving her looks. She thought she was doing fine until 3 years ago when her dermatologist told her that her neck looked like chair de poule (chicken flesh). That launched her into action. She investigated facial exercises from all parts of the world, adopted the best ones, and became so renowned for having restored her youthful appearance that she started giving lessons and, of course, wrote a book. http://gymnastiquefaciale.com/
So, where is the paradox? Mais oui -- in order to become beautiful and wrinkle-free, we had to spend two hours making the most hideous grimaces and facial contortions. An American and four French women sticking their tongues out at each other, and enjoying it. And if we want to keep our faces maiden-smooth and taut, and scalpel-free, we'll have to do at least 15 minutes of the terrifying facial feats daily.
And who said the French don't know how to celebrate Halloween?