Friday, August 10, 2007

13 details

I picked up a free copy of Marie France magazine the other day at the coiffeur. In this month's issue is a three-page Cosmo-like guide listing the female attributes that drive French men wild. "Les 13 détails qui les affolent". Written by Danièle Laufer with expert input from French psychiatrist Marc Adrien, and Philippe Brenot, author of Sexe et l'Amour. You can read the details in the magazine.

So ladies, read up. Here's the list. You men can go polish your golf clubs for a moment.

1. Curves. Les Rondeurs.

Stop obsessing about the scale. Really? Even in Paris?

2. Bedhead. Les cheveux en bataille.

It seems that men love hair that looks as if you've just gotten out of bed. So why was I at the coiffeur? Damn.

3. Short hair. Les cheveux courts.

As in short hair that men can run their fingers through. I remember something in Hemingway about this, too. Is Marie France trying to put coiffeurs out of business, I wonder?

4. A round derrière. La chute de reins bien cambrée.

This got me to thinking about phrases, actually. I wonder briefly why I never hear anyone in France refer to their posterior as their derrière; ironically, that term is mostly used in English. Also, "chute de reins" threw me for a loop. I'm finally figuring out that "les reins," in addition to meaning kidneys, also means "lower back". As in the brilliant movie Le Diner de cons where Thierry Lhermitte, who has thrown his back out, says he has a "tour de reins".

5. Pouty lips. La bouche pulpeuse.

Don't worry, if you don't want to pay for pricey injections for the Angelina Jolie bee-stung-lips look, the shrinks claim that a bit of gloss and keeping your mouth slightly open will have the same effect.

6. Hairy underarms. Les aisselles non epilées.

Evidently it's an aphrodisiac/hormonal effect that drives men bonkers. So no need to go to the centre d'epilation and get your armpits waxed, which is usually so de rigueur these days. I'm still so American; I wince whenever I even think of that painful option.

7. A small, well proportioned chest. Une petite poitrine parfaitement assumée.


8. A copiously endowed chest. Une poitrine généreuse.

I think it's safe to assume that men like numbers 7 and 8, and let's hope that the mid-sized model is okay too. Marie France does say that leaving a bit of mystery is the key here. Just show a little decolletage, enough to get a man's mind wandering and wondering. A note to August vacationers: MF says men are more attracted to boobs covered in a bathing suit than to the naked knobs sunny side up on the beach.

9. A thong. Le string.

Now is the time to get this nomenclature all settled. In the US, pleeez, let's use only the word flip-flops for those sandals we wear. Thong is now the term to use for the undergarment that divides and conquers. In France, un string is the undergarment. Les tongs are this summer's uber-tendance foot wear. Hear those tongs as they flip-flop all over town and resorts.

10. Old fashioned cotton briefs. La culotte un peu grand.

Reverts to childhood fantasies, apparently. As long as it's Petit Bateau.

11. Great gams. Les jambes fuselées.

Makes the eye go up. And up.

12. Garter belts. Le porte-jarretelles.

Need we say more?

13. Spike heels. Les talons aiguilles.

Not sure I buy the idea that it makes women as tall as their men for subliminally easier approach. What if you're already tall? But I agree it does give an appealing curve to the calf. And keeps the podiatrists happy and well-paid.

Well, I'm exhausted from the possibilities. Time to head south on the TGV for some R&R.
Bonnes vacances!

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