Le français est beau: French is beautiful. This subjective statement is almost an universally accepted truth in a world where revelation that something (the stylish bag you bought in Paris) or someone (that cute guy over there) is French is guaranteed to be met with an ‘ooh’ and a knowing smirk.
Oh, yes, indeed! How Frenchy, how chic, how cultured and sophisticated the French thing/person is! This is, of course, due to the enormous amount of cultural capital attached to words like ‘French’, ‘France’, ‘Paris’, or ‘Parisian’ as a result of the country’s longstanding influence on culture, art, and design in every form, from priceless paintings in the Louvre to how luxury cosmetic products are packaged and advertised. Continue reading