Tuesday, January 29, 2008

How Fuite it Is

As I was watching Claire Chazal, a popular news presenter on TF1, I thought, Damn, she looks pretty good, and she's about my age. I remembered having read in Paris Match or Gala last summer an interview with her in which she divulged her beauty regime for keeping her youthful good looks. I recalled something like a cold shower and 200 abdominal crunches every day.

Inspired, I started Googling like crazy to see if I could find the Magic of Claire. She's French, fiftyish, gorgeous, articulate, successful: what's not to imitate?

Well, I never found the Secrets, but I found another secret. La Sante au Feminin. Mostly a women's health web site, it has one rather insistent icon to click on: la fuite urinaire.

God, I just love the French language. It's so poetic. Une fuite urinaire. Sounds like a lilting piano melody, when it actually means -- yes -- incontinence. French is just sublime! Instead of a weak bladder, you have une faiblesse urinaire. Sounds like a Perrault fairy tale. Instead of Depends, there is a lovely line of products called Tena. That sounds like a garden party, not a diaper.

Think about it. Wouldn't you rather say "Oops, I've got a little fuite urinaire. Anyone have a spare Tena?"

But here's the amazing thing I found. One method of treatment for incontinence and other gynecological muscle problems: a little device called KEAT© (pronounced kay-ot). There is a video tutorial you can watch. And all you wise guys can stop cracking jokes right this minute that this looks like a vibrating thingy. It's way too small for that. It is for rééducation périnéale à domicile.

You gotta just adore French. A most mellifluous and charming language. There's no question that it's so much more elegant to say "I'm doing some rééducation périnéale à domicile" than "I gotta go home and do my kegel exercises."

But I still couldn't find Claire Chazal's French beauty secrets. Maybe this is one of them.

4 comments:

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

Giving birth in France taught me how language gives a new spin to, err, personal subjects. The postnatal réeducation périnéale is paid for by the state health system. How enlightened!

My Inner French Girl said...

Bonjour, Polly! If you do ever find those elusive secrets of Mme Chazal, I would be most appreciative. She looks gorgeous! Would that I look like her now, much less when I'm her age.

Salut,
Marjorie

ONEDIA said...

I also enjoy the French way of saying things and doing things. I most appreciate the retained expectation for ordinary politeness and courtesy that most Americans have either forgotten or choose to ignore. Even when we rememeber traditional courtesies, the French add their own style.

My daughter returned from her year in Epinal with many French ways (including that lovely French style of politeness and courtesy)learned from her host parents who were retired teachers. I think she continues to be a bit more French than American.

I passed your site along to her at Lallalydia dot blogspot.. . .

Polly said...

Parisienne - how fortunate you were. And to be able to say it so delicately!

Inner French Girl: I'm now reading a book entitled "Madame, Monsieur, Bonsoir" about the inside scoop on TF1. I don't think it'll have many of Chazal's beauty secrets, alas. But she's on the cover of many women's magazines here, so I'll let you know .

Onedia: I used to love an ad for a language school that touted "It sounds better in French!" Among their examples were: Cheri, veux-tu sortir la poubelle? (Honey, will you take out the garbage?)
It does sound better in French!

I'm glad your daughter benefited so well from her time in France!

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