Friday, February 6, 2009

(Heart) Breaking News

The French news cracks me up. I mainly watch it to check out what outfit the glamorous female news anchors will be wearing. They always look like they’re squeezing in a bit of high-profile TV journalism before heading off to some swanky soirée. If you need your daily dose of décolleté, just turn on the evening news!

Here’s a roll call of some of my favorite femmes on TV:

Laurence Ferrari

At age 40, she just scored TV’s most coveted slot, presenting the weekly 8:00 news on TF1. Laurence may be cute, but she knows how to ask the hard-hitting questions. Just call her the French Katie Couric (minus the ageing cheerleader look).

Audrey Pulvar

I dig Audrey. At age 34, she’s the first black female anchor on a major channel (France 3). She’s got that perfect mix of approachable/sultry going on. Can you imagine an American wearing python for a promo headshot?

Béatrice Schönberg

I have a soft spot for Béatrice (France 2). She’s the first French celebrity I actually recognized – sitting next to me while getting a shampoo at my fab hairdresser’s. It’s kinda cool to check out Béa’s latest hairdo before she goes on camera.

And last but not least, the man who brought sexy to the evening news.


(As in Harry Roselmack, replacement anchor for TF1.)

‘Nuff said.

You can fill in for Laurence anytime, bébé.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Maman du Jour – La Jet-Setteuse

Whatever happened to that American girl who stayed out all night dancing on tabletops at Castel? You know, the one who was always invited to some to-die-for ball at a country château with minor nobility?

I’ll tell you what.


Yeah, the former arm candy jet-setter has a new fashion accessory – her baby. Some of them settled down, some of them got pregnant by accident, and some of them stalked their baby daddies at The Ritz’s Hemingway Bar to extort child support 9 months down the line.

These girls may have lived high on the hog when Saudi princes and French rock stars were taking them out and footing the bill, but in reality they were scraping to pay the rent on their tiny chambre de bonne (maid’s quarters).

(Note to self: Looking good pays off! No one needs to know you’re slumming it if you’re always put together. Crap – guess that means I have to put on makeup for the school run.)

That romantic garret studio is suddenly looking much less charming now that it looks like a baby store exploded in it. Also less than charming is the spit-up on her cashmere sweater. Eau de Vomit does not attract rich men.

So the jet-setter has to make one of the hardest decisions of her life…

Should she become a PPB (Professional Parisian Barfly) or suck it up and move back in with Mom & Dad?

La Jet-Setteuse

Natural habitat: Paris’ most chic arrondissements – the 6th, 7th, 8th, 16th, and 17th.

Hangouts: Swapped über-cool nightclubs and the Bal de Monaco for the playground at the Luxembourg Gardens.

Uniform: Tasteful yet flirty – the pricey cashmere twinset is close-fitting, the casual French twist shows off her neck. Is the jacket Chanel or a really good knock-off?

How to spot her: Struggling to get her Bugaboo up a 5-story walk-up.

Raison d’Etre:
Bag a rich husband.

Profession: Eternal Sorbonne Student or PPB (Professional Parisian Barfly).

Her lover used to fly her to St. Barth’s for Christmas, but since Arthur was born and Philippe went back to his wife, she’s had to downgrade to Deauville.

Children’s names:

Boys – Oscar, Maximillian, Olivier
Girls – Bella, Ava, Aurélie registered & protected

Monday, February 2, 2009

C comme Cire

Il faut souffrir pour être belle.
One must suffer to be beautiful.

French saying

I wasn’t a high-maintenance mama before I moved to Paris – my trusty tweezers and Gillette razor took care of all my depilatory issues.

But that’s before I found out that French women worship the wax.

La cire is a girl’s best friend. It’s not just the obvious body parts that get a wax job around here – I know women who’ve waxed a couple of stray hairs off their big toe. This is a country where women touch up their bikini line to visit their gynecologist. A special occasion like, say, giving birth calls for a full-on Brazilian. And if you’re perfectly coiffed “down there”, don’t be surprised if your midwife compliments you – and asks for the number of your esthéticienne.

Several years ago, I embraced the pain and booked an appointment for an armpit wax. I had to grow out the hair so the wax could do its stuff. Gross-out factor: 6 on a scale of 10. On one of those early Parisian spring days that begs to be spent at a sidewalk café, I met some girlfriends at the ultra-branché Café Marly next to the Louvre.

“Hey, there’s Ashley,” I said, as I waved over the fourth member of our group. My other friends stared at me like I’d crawled out of a cave. I realized that there was a bird’s nest sticking out from under the sleeve of my floaty top – we’re talking a whole family of pigeons could have happily taken up residence.

Nas-ty with a capital T.

“On second thought,” I told the waiter, “change my espresso to a Kir Royale.”

Here’s a little vocabulary lesson for your next trip to the institut de beauté:

Jambes-aisselles-maillot: This is the triple whammy – legs, armpits, and bikini line. Just make sure you’ve downed a coupe de champagne with an Advil chaser before getting to your appointment.

Ticket de métro: A “hairstyle” that resembles, well, a metro ticket. It also looks kind of like a Hitler moustache, but I don’t think that Parisiennes would be pleased to have a little Fürher in their panties.

L’integrale: This is the whole nine yards. Definitely not for the timid. And no, you can’t sue the esthéticienne for sexual harassment – she’s just doing her job! registered & protected

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