Let's set the record straight before we begin today:
- This missive is coming to you from France, right? Correct.
- In France every woman worth her designer duds wears a size 38 (or aspires to, or wishes to once again), correct? Absolutely, unless she's a 36.
- French women carefully (obsessively?) control every morsel passing through their Rouge Coco lips, any doubts about that? I didn't think so.
- Do you know why? Let me tell you: They're disciplined and driven. That's why.
Here's something most French women know: Five kilos on their derrière equals minus 10-ish years on their face. But they don't care (!)
They'd rather keep that derrière sufficiently svelte to comfortably slide into a size 38 than plump out those inevitable fine lines and deep creases. Trust me on this one. I live with these women, I have close friends -- seemingly lucid, absolutely thin by any standards, of sound mind and otherwise completely reasonable -- who are unwilling to make that "sacrifice."
They call it "la face pour les fesses" however most reverse the f-words for the third f- word: fashion.
Did you know that a small equals 36/38, a medium 38/40 and large 40/42?
But, is every woman in France a 38 or a 40? Ummm, no. For that reason, I thought this post might interest you.
We all know the latest trend in women's magazines is to have the two annual exception issues -- age and weight -- or as the French so beautifully put it for the latter category, les rondes et les pulpeuses. (Pulpeux may be my favorite adjective in the language, it seems voluptuous, curvy, sensuous in the pronouncing.)
This week French Elle produced an issue with a large, red banner exclaiming: "Special RONDES 32 Pages Pour Etre Chic et Fashion. And guess what? The editors honestly did what they promised. They didn't stop at size 12 or 14 and do the weight waffle.
To the magazine's great credit the gorgeous young woman on the cover, Tara Lynn from Seattle, is a size 48. Because she is so lovely, and the stylists have shown her in several different looks, I thought you might like to see a few of them. Most are ageless btw. You be the judge.
She was photographed by David Oldham.
Being ronde may not be a piece of cake in a country which practically worships thin, but the market is there and according to studies it continues to grow.
In France 33 percent of the population is considered overweight, and 10 percent obese. In the United States, some 34 percent of the population is obese and 57 percent overweight. For those of you familiar with the BMI (Body Mass Index) normal weight is between 18.50 to 24.9; overweight, 25 to 29.9 and obese, over 30. If you're interested in doing the math for yourself, click on the BMI above.