News and Opinion from Anne Barone to Keep You Chic & Slim

|| 13 november 2014

How To Be French

Pamela Druckerman writes on how to be French, even Parisienne.

Pamela Druckerman, the American author of the popular book on French parenting, is beginning the process of becoming a French citizen. She has lived in Paris for 10 years, her children born and being raised there in the French style.

Though her husband is British and has no aspirations for French citizenship, Pamela Druckerman says a paramount reason for wanting French citizenship is so she can bestow it on her children. Difficult to imagine a nicer inheritance. Especially for those who prefer the French way of life.

In a recent op-ed column titled "How To Be French" in The New York Times, Pamela Druckerman writes about the requirements for being granted French citizenship:

The whole procedure can take years. Amid repeated requests for new documents, some would-be French people just give up.

This may be by design. “The difficulty of the ordeal seems a means of testing the authenticity of his/her commitment to the project of becoming French,” the sociologists Didier Fassin and Sarah Mazouz concluded. Officials can reject an applicant because he hasn’t adopted French values, or merely because his request isn’t “opportune.”

One option in the process is to “Frenchify” ones name. In official examples, Mrs. “El Mehri” becomes Mrs. “Emery” and the Polish immigrant “Jacek Krzysztof Henryk” emerges as the debonair “Maxime.”

As you know, I recommend taking a French name to help you along in your process of becoming chic & slim à la française. Apparently, the French themselves believe this is a useful step in the process of becoming French.

Pamela Druckerman also writes:

Apparently, being a Parisian woman has its own requirements. The new book “How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are” says Parisiennes are “imperfect, vague, unreliable and full of paradoxes” and have “that typically French enthusiasm for transforming life into fiction.” I need to cultivate an “air of fragility,” too.

She says:

Apparently nobody expects me to achieve a state of inner Frenchness. At a naturalization ceremony, an official told new citizens that they were granted French nationality because they had assimilated “not to the point where you entirely resemble native French people, yet enough so that you feel at ease among us.”

That is very much part of what we are aiming for with Chic & Slim. Surely we will feel more at ease among the French if we are chic and slim.

be chic, stay slim — Anne Barone