There can never be enough said of the virtues, dangers, the power of a shared laugh. ~Françoise Sagan
I hope you are enjoying the week-end and that you get a chance to laugh: for laugh has as many health benefits as sex and hopefully you managed to enjoy both (combined?).
Seems that the marketing guys are obsessed with both these days while giving us here a serious case of Mars vs Venus in the way they perceive the world. But what I would love, is to know which one appeals most to you my Frenchies.
The first one is for the Axe deodorant -remember the brand that depicted a woman cleaning all sorts of balls?). They are back with an ad that must have been masterminded by a guy who wanted to see his fantasy (maybe everyman’s) come alive. I just wished he gave us a sneak peek at what happened when a billion women reach the only man left standing… can’t be pretty… trust me I wouldn’t be in the mood to share either if there was only one men left on this earth!
The second video is by Beyonce’s new perfume Heat and a pure product of her alter ego Sasha Fierce’s sexy imagination! Most men will surely catch the fever… while I just wish I had the power to leave footprints of fire.
This is the big bang so unpredictable
And find out whose in control
Mars verses venus
But when the worlds collide
This is the big bang
Step into the ring of fire
Lets find out who takes desire
Seduce and analyze
Objective is to conquer deep
And I make paradise
When you think of the French girl, the thoughts that come to mind are a mixture of a very thin and leggy woman wearing something that is not necessarily something you would consider wearing, but she manages to carry it off with such panache, that you have to stop yourself from running to the store and saying ‘I want one of those”. She is smart, insolent and confident. In one word she is sexy personified. Not the porn industry’s plastic definition of sexy but rather the real world definition: she has a bit of quirkiness but that’s what makes her endearing. She has breasts… however much she has grown on her own. She laughs at what she views as funny and tells you with no detours if she does not like something. She does not even grasp the meaning of “political correctness” is that the pc way of saying “hypocrite”?
Is France guilty of the greatest marketing ploy ever – fabricating a myth that all French women are beautiful? Debra Ollivier demystifies this concept of the French Woman in a very interesting manner: No, ladies not all French women are thin and sexy. What they do have is a certain je ne sais quoi, an attitude of damned be the consequences – I will do as I wish. Ollivier claims that this is exactly what makes them sexy in an easy nonchalant kind of way.
Ollivier a Californian by birth met a Frenchman… and followed him to France. There she lived with her husband and children for over a decade and experienced first hand the attitude and behavior of the French Woman.
The Française, claims Ollivier,will always put pleasure before duties.(If the stack of dirty dishes in my sink attests to anything… she has that right). She will make sure she looks good, whether she is walking her dog one last time at midnight before going to sleep or whether she is going to the hottest party in town where all the paparazzi will be taking her picture.
Hesitate between sex and finishing up what you are doing? Clearly you are not French says Ollivier. A French woman has her priorities unabashedly leaning towards hedonism. Whereas the American will make sure everything is in place and all things are in order prior to letting her hair down.
Ollivier relishes us with sarcastic tales of how to be more like the French, while dispensing some realism and pointing out some major flaws “across the atlantique” that we are better off leaving for them… When accused of having written “merde” for the American Woman to buy by Kate Harding… Ollivier puts on her French unrestrained response system and says:
“The real question is why American women buy so much “merde” thrown at them by love gurus and moral pontificators like Dr. Phil. The more interesting question is why are we so obsessively goal-oriented and less experience-driven?Or why do we buy the “merde” about Frenchwomen not getting fat? (They do get fat, and those that don’t get fat stay slim because there’s a tremendous, mean-spirited, anti-fat bias in France, not to mention tremendous social pressure to stay thin, which might have surprised Harding had she actually read my book.)”
In an interview, Ollivier points out that the root of the difference between a Française and an Américaine comes from the Feminist Movement. Feminism took place and still does in both countries but it took shape in a very different manner: Whereas American feminism was aggressive, militant and very angry at men, French women were just as virulently demanding equal rights and equal pay – after all going out to the street and manifest is part of the French ethos – but what never happened was anger towards the men with whom French women share a certain complicity that she feels is missing in America…
Whether she is right or not, the book is wonderfully written with lots of sarcasm and interesting conversations with sexperts and the likes…. Unlike most “how to’s” this book might actually make a difference in how we perceive the others (and perhaps ourselves?)
Leaving you with these thoughts… I am going to try to find some complicity with a certain American man…
The most coveted invitation last week was the Lanvin for H&M show at the Pierre Hotel with the Maitre in person. It was a very selective event that got me envious looks from my most fashionable friends.
And for once I must say that this envy was tout a fait jusified! The show was superb with great styling, fun models and the perfect playlist. You wanted it all and Alber Elbaz was beaming as he walked down the runway, accepting compliments from celebrity, hipsters & bloggers galore.
The best part: the event was followed by a pop-up store in the Hotel where you could put your hands on pieces designed by Alber Elbaz at H&M prices!
The place quickly filled with a frantic energy. It was mayhem but so worth it! I managed to put my hands on black gloves, panther shoes and a one shoulder dress that got me a hot tweet by the Glamorous Kelly Rutherford: @sheisfrench i love you i love you i love you! You look so hot in your H & M lavin last night.
The clothes, the mood and magic is all captured in Mike Figgis‘ magnetic movie starring Natasha Poly, Tati Cotliar and Hannelore Knuts with Alber Elbaz himself in the midst of a phantasmagorical, extravagant, sensational story.
If there is anything left in the store, run and grab them all, they will make great Holiday gifts for everyone !
Today, I would like to talk to you about Turned On Women … Did you’re antenna just go up a notch? Are you wondering how I intend to lubricate your… brain today? Well, Mesdames (and you too messieurs) there will be no talk of positions, rabbits or other external prompts. I am going to take you on an inspirational journey through a new Women’s empowerment site and it so happens the site is called turned on woman.
As motivational speeches go… turned on woman was written by some of the best… get ready to be inspired and driven to achieve greatness, this site is for you if your epitaph will read:
“She scaled mountains, in hiking boots and in heels. She started in her own backyard and then went all the way around the world… She wasn’t always popular, but she was always true. She wasn’t always comfortable, but no one can say she didn’t enjoy her life. She explored her edges, increased her capacity, and lived as big as she could dream…”
Inspired yet? After all who wants to be described as : “a good woman” or “she never took any risks and never ruffled any feathers”. No I agree, there is nothing “wrong” with this but if it just does not feel exciting or inspiring… continue reading this…
So if this is about empowering women, why choose such a loaded name for the site? Is it all about sex? Well Freud would certainly have us believe so, and so would Nicole Daedone, founder of Turned on Woman.
What does Nicole Daedone offer? Inspiration! If you go to Turned on they offer you 25 different ways to “turn yourself on”. I will give you a few of my favorite ones:
1/ D.I.N… do it now – to all you believers in the god of mañana, procrastination is your biggest power drain…
2/ Replace your but with a yes…
3/ Watch dangerous beauty – Whether mother, CEO, artist or all three, you know that sexuality is your power, and you own it completely.
4/ Sex is your power source. Don’t hide it in the basement. Make sex a public conversation
5/talk about taboo
6/ orgasm lights up the powergrid…
Behind all of these statements, lies a profound belief that being in touch with your sexuality is the source of empowerment any woman (and man) really needs.
The inspiration need not be restricted to the website. TurnedonWoman originally setup a center in San Francisco but it also recently opened up a center in New York.
Word to the wary, the center acts like a commune with some of the people living there full time, some of the “classes” involve experimenting with open sexual behavior between members and in groups.
OneTaste, the company behind the site openly abides by the practice of orgasmic meditation (that does not sound too bad now does it ).
So if all of this talk left you frustrated at your lack of energy (sexual or other) and you would like to be more in touch with your inner self… Turned on Women regularly holds 8 week courses. Fear not, some of the courses are more tame, for the general public that does not necessarily want to find its liberation tightly associated with the concept of orgasmic meditation…
Turn On Your Life! An in-depth distance-learning program with three in-person immersions in San Francisco, Turn On Your Life is a two-month training in the teachings of Nicole Daedone, the original turned-on woman behind The Turned-on Woman’s Manifesto and OneTaste.
Mar 18, 2011 6:00pm – May 22, 2011 7:00pm
(GMT-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada), Tijuana
The turned on Woman series – next course will be in San Franciso on January 11th 2011, and you can tune into your sexuality for 195$.
Courses regularly open in NY too, so stay tuned to TurnedonWoman
Remember that day when you woke up fantasizing about cuddling with your boyfriend on a soft rug in front of the fireplace in a ski lodge only to discover a couple of hours later that he was breaking up with you? Remember the dismay and the pain? The humiliation coupled with this strong bellyache? And worse of all the intense irony of you fantasizing about him while he was already thinking about hooking up with the next one (or maybe even doing it?).
Ellie Scarborough, daughter of Chuck Scarborough (veteran TV news anchor) knows exactly what you mean, when her boyfriend dumped her, she got depressed, frustrated, hurt and then… she decided to take action: she sent herself an amazing bouquet of flowers with an empowering note… and the rest is history. Ellie was so empowered she decided that her action could help more women she turned to her friend Amy and together they made sure Pink Kisses was born.
Being very well connected in the media has certainly proven useful; Ellie has had fantastic news coverage for her new site.
I can hear you Nay-Sayers’ inner voice saying this site is for desperate women who look like… dogs and can’t find a man (or woman) to look at them… after all who sends themselves bouquets? You couldn’t be more wrong: You should see Ellie, this intelligent and successful woman is also quite the looker in a bubbly friendly kind of way.
Whether you are the one that needs a serious pick me up, or your best friend needs to be dragged out of a slump… Pink kisses has a variety of pick me ups ready to pump you full of energy and away from the bad ex-perience.
Are you Classy, Sassy, Feisty or a complex mixture of them all? PK has the right solution for you, and if you don’t know what you are, a short test will quickly categorise you. (In case you are wondering… I am 50% classy, 25% Sassy and 25% feisty).
Frenchies, this site has everything we love from stunning bouquets’ of flowers, through daily text messages to improve your mood all the way to “better than sex” truffles… (The chocolate variety of course). So if you need a pick me up, and just sitting in front of a mountain of Ben & Jerry’s won’t cut it… then its time to make a difference in your life and sign up for some TLC online.
In an interview Ellie made for the Today show she explained that while the text messages or sending yourself flowers may seem silly, if you embrace the messages, it is quite empowering and enables you to move on in life…
The goodies don’t end there, if you can’t seem to connect to your inner strength despite the encouragement, PK also provides life coaches to help you get a grip on life after “him”.
So whether you are down, or your friend is or perhaps you always fantasized about seeing the picture of that boy that teased you when you were in 10th grade burn…. This site certainly warrants a visit! Its pink and bubbly and fun, just like its founder.
By now, we all have seen a lot of marketing ideas that have been pushing the limits of relevance, sanity or even taste! But I have to say that this one might be the most successful at doing this all at once.
“The Wealth of olfactory notes of this wine led to present it as a perfume in question. We have always dreamed of having our own perfume, and with Sonsierra perfume, we are one step closer to our desire” Davidelfin
So there goes the answer, it’s wine… Call me traditional, I do NOT think I will ever be able to drink wine that is presented in a perfume bottle. I know Mes Cheries, I am a bit conservative
Now if someone told me this was an excellent wine, I might have been able to go beyond the obstacle of this very unique packaging but after seeing the video of the commercial, I won’t & I can’t!
Showing Bimba Bosé, muse and business partner, designer and fetish model, David Sharp, spilling wine on one another just made me laugh. The incongruity of the situation with its pseudo erotic content didn’t work for me…
Sonsierra perfume is a red wine of 2007 vintage Sonsierra Wine, Rioja designation of origin, sold exclusively in specialty wine shops, gourmet Premium, and also available in the store Davidelfin in Madrid and through its website (www. davidelfin.com).
Another article about pornography and obscenity? Non, not quite Frenchies, this is a story about an incredible woman, Anne Declos, a successful journaliste and author, she sat on the reading Committee of Gallimard had received the Légion d’Honneur and who decided to do something outrageous:
At the age of 47, her long time lover and esteemed boss, Jean Paulhan, was starting to lose interest in her… He was a generation older than her, charismatic , sarcastic, a real ladies man and… a big fan of the Marquis de Sade. He had told her that no woman could write an erotic novel. So this highly intellectual woman who shared mind and body with her lover and father figure, decided to take the challenge in an attempt to recapture his love and attention. She wrote an erotic, pornographic novel and offered it to him for his very private enjoyment. Paulhan was so taken by what she had written that he pressed her to have it published.
Histoire d’O tells of the consensual abuse of a young woman at the hands of her lover, René, and an older man named Sir Stephen, among many others. The heroin, O is humiliated, scarred and finally discarded but always with her explicit consent prior to any action being taken. Whether the Story of O offers a cold or a passionate testament to the personal liberation that can be found in submission and degradation is a matter of perspective and opinion.
Enter preconceived ideas: Declos kept her identity secret and to anyone in the outside world, she was a middle aged lady who lived with her parents and son, wore little make-up and dressed in a very prim and proper manner. Who could have imagined she was the author of a novel about bondage and humiliation as a way to sexual gratification?
It is not the sex that is shocking, in our day-and-age the library shelves are ripe with erotic novels, it is the sadism and masochism that are luridly depicted in a manner that will leave you panting for your breath and feeling filthy concomitantly.
Under her dowdy librarian look, Ms Declos had a passionate sex life in which she experimented with both men and women, dressed-up as a Prostitute and walked the streets of Paris, met her long term lover Paulhan in seedy hotel rooms, and wrote one of the most famous pornographic novels of all times… perhaps not so dowdy after all? Yet this same woman made sure her more outrageous indiscretions were not disclosed:
For forty years, the identity of the author of Histoire d’O was kept secret. At the age of 86 Declos decided to divulge her secret She was 86, her son was well into his 50’s and everyone else she cared about was dead (whether Paulhan or her parents, and in particular her mother who is thought to have been disgusted by all matters of the flesh). No less important she said, “When you learn that it was written by a very old lady it loses some of its scandal”.
When Paulhan died, he took a piece of Declos with him, and while she outlived him by twenty years, from his death on, she took a backseat and let life pass her by.
As for us, we can learn a lot about the French nation’s character : Histoire d’O is proof perfect that “obsenity” can be art. If you remember Sheherazade’s post about the Deep Throat Scandal, should we have censorship on art and literature? Histoire d’O took things so far that even the seemingly liberal Français, thought it had crossed a point of no–return and decided to bring obscenity charges. Les Français? You ask, well, non mes amis, the court threw out the claim of obscenity and only forbade advertising and sale of the book to minors and during all this scandal, the book also managed to win the prestigious literary award of the “Deux Magots”.
Another interesting insight into French society is that quite a few people knew the secret of her identity and yet this information was not published by anyone until she decided to “come out”. While attending an event she met the Général De Gaulle and his wife. De Gaulle is rumored to have welcomed her as the author of Histoire d’O, apparently in an attempt to shock his own wife.
Feminists around the world have attacked the work for glorifying feminine submission and degradation. To be frank, I found the concept and the plot unappealing and quite demeaning for all parties involved men and women alike.
It is the woman behind the book, in all her personas: Pauline Réage, Dominique Aury and Anne Declos that makes for a fascinating psychoanalytical story.
A biographie was released in France recently and available on Amazon.fr
She had me at the first sentence: “When being in love means being in pain we are loving too much.”
Damn straight Robin Norwood. The godmother of the self-help genre and author of New York Times Best Seller Women Who Love Too Much still holds up after twenty five years. That’s right She is Frenchies, Miss Norwood penned her famous book over two decades ago but it still hits the nail right on the head. Her claim? That women have the propensity to get “mired in obsessive relationships.” Sound familiar?
I hear you Ze Seducteur, we live in a post-feminist world and Norwood has come under fire of numerous notable feminists for her sometimes unseemly portrait of the female race. At times, her image of modern women bears an uncomfortable resemblance to the sad and depressing “Kathy” comics in the Sunday paper funnies. Need a visual? Picture the lonely and desperate chick at home on a Friday nights with her cats, bottle of Chianti, and a warm bath waiting by her telephone for Prince Charming to call. Now, I’m no Kathy (though I’ve had my moments), but I will admit that sometimes Norwood’s words cut pretty close to the bone.
For instance: “Some of us have become so obsessed with our partner and our relationship that we are barely able to function.” Ahem… you’re with me now, aren’t you?
Loving too much is, for better or worse, not at all uncommon. I, for one, can scroll through a myriad of now-SO over relationships that have jeopardized both my emotional and psychological well being. My girl (and guy!) friends are rife with stories: the alcoholic that needed saving, the tortured artist, the misunderstood guy, the gal with daddy problems, and the list goes on…
The only common denominator (and Norwood’s main point)? YOU. That’s rightmes amis, it is us who seeks love and affection for those emotionally unavailable to us. The solution? Simply make the decision not to, says Norwood. She encourages us to put down our defense mechanisms, excuses, and masochistic tendencies and move on up!
Ok, you’re thinking DUH, right? Obviously we should not pursue abusive, rejecting, cold, and ungiving significant others. But sometimes it takes some real reflection and intention to break the cycle. Norwood lays out the steps to a healthy and loving relationship in her surprisingly still-relevant best-seller. Now the challenge is just putting down the glass of Chianti and following them!
Understanding the personality traits of this week’s featured woman is, literally, a walk in the park. She’s the boy’s boy. The woman whose laid back attitude and ability to mingle freely and easily with the opposite sex gives her so many advantages. This girl is already out surfing up a storm with her pick of sexy men at 5am and put in hours worth of quality bonding time before we’ve even had a chance to swing a sleepy arm at the snooze button. She has game, in every sense of the word. And men love it.
Now in order for you to truly understand the ingenuity of our tomboy girl I have to reveal a secret. Many men, more than you would ever believe, actually prefer their women natural, relaxed and well, beautiful. I know I’ve dated many men who frown at the sight of my Louboutins being put on for a night out. Apparently when we think we‘re hiding the pain, we just look uncomfortable and less attractive. The girl who is smart enough to play with her natural features and dress so that she looks good and feels comfortable is quietly winning hearts all over the room.
Cameron Diaz is the ultimate beach beauty who knows how to hang with the boys and be the envy of the girls. The thing with these women is that they have inside access to the way a man thinks. Spending time with this curious species when they are unguarded and in the company of friends means men are being more honest and open than if they were on a nerve racking first date… An instant advantage! And more importantly, they form trust and lasting friendships that can grow into lasting relationships. Even when these lovely ladies are just out for fun they need not fear, can we bear in mind Cameron’s list of super hot exes.
This week I styled for a client that is the ultimate go to for the Camerons of the world, Levis jeans. No one should be without a pair of super comfortable yet simultaneously perfectly flattering jeans and this girl knows it. She might on a special occasion splurge on some Alexander Wang or a chic pant suit from Margiela or YSL with ballet flats or brogues. But whatever she wears she will do so with such ease we are only noticing her. And that is really what wearing clothes should be all about.
As a senior in High school, in France, my history teacher, who happened to be a Brit told us the following thing: “ In the United States, a person does not stand a chance of getting elected unless they are good looking”. Mr. Hall then went on to explain that while it did not need to be “movie star” good looks, the taller, leaner, better dressed candidate would stand a far greater chance in the polls than his competitor. Apparently, he tought that on “our side of the ocean” people were more profound and less influenced by appearance. Mr. Hall, you might want to connect with fellow-citizen Catherine Hakim’s and her Erotic Capital Theory.
Well, case in point, you should come avec moi to see who the most beautiful people in Capitol Hill are, and whether America is worse than France or not, one thing is certain, Washington DC certainly has attracted a mixture of good looking, powerful and wealthy individuals who stand shoulder-to-shoulder deciding the fates of the likes of us who have chosen other paths.
Meet Anu Vakkalanka. Anu differs from your average Capitol Hill employee. She has turned her hobby into a profession with her blog Indian Makeup Diva.
Makeup Diva… a “girly girl” you think? You could not be more wrong! Anu came to my attention when she got selected as number 10 most beautiful people in… Capitol Hill. Yes Mesdames et Messieurs, this beautiful woman whose passion is makeup also happens to be a communications specialist for the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom! Anu is of Indian descent, has Dutch roots and is advising the United States very own epicenter – talk about a global village.
Anu started her blog while studying for a master’s degree in International Relations at George Washington University and now she is working on Capitol Hill and though she is cramped for time, she makes sure to post twice a week. Anu is a mixture of professionalism, ardent sports regimen and … girlishness. Her two loves: nail polish and climbing! I don’t know about you, but she conquered my heart when she said she loves make-up because it makes the world “ a better place, because it’s pretty, and it makes you look pretty in a moment”. I am sure she sees the world’s darker sides at work – who can blame her for wanting to improve it in any way she can?
Now for the men, roll of drums please, I warmly recommend you give Ben Dunham a second look. January Jones (Madmen’s super hot star) certainly did… and the tabloids were ripe with gossip. After all, what staffer does not fantasize about Hollywood coming and spreading some star powder over them? While Dunham clearly enjoyed the company (they were together for four months) he would apparently have preferred a little less limelight and attention from the paparazzi. Dunham serves as New Jersey Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s staffer.
And to you chers Frenchies who are over 30… there are some sights to behold…showing age is not an excuse to letting yourself go:
In the third place Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. The hot 43-year-old mother of two took over Hillary Clinton’s seat two years ago and has proven to the world you can be a mother, hold an impressive career and look amazing.
Messieurs, allow me to introduce you to your role model: 45-year-old Senator Jesse Jackson Junior. Picked by People’s Magazine as sexiest Politician alive in 1997, 13 years later, he still looks fantastic and holds a respectable ninth place! Perhaps his trick is in making sure he keeps fit – he is also co-chairman of the House Members’ Wellness Center and takes his responsibilities very seriously.
So très chers, first tip keep fit, second good genes never hurt and three remember beauty and power are good running mates. And for now…à bientôt mes amis … I am going to run…