08.13.1310:53 AM ET

The Myth of French Feminine Perfection

Is it innate, artificial, or are we just idealizing them?

French women: we just can’t get enough of them. From their naturally svelte figures to their easy fashion sense, they’ve long had American women asking, pourquoi? Yet we are mistaken, says the French newspaper Le Figaro. Turns out our notion of la Marianne and her ilk is romanticized all out of proportion. They do diet; their appetite is suppressed by cigarettes; they dye their hair and refuse to admit it; and they wear plain old cotton panties like the rest of us. Le point: we should stop idealizing our sisters across the Atlantic for their looks and start taking their cues on more important matters—as in a recent story on state-sponsored postpartum perineal reeducation. Trust us, it’s awesome.