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

|| 6 March 2020

Valérie Pécresse: Chic, Slim, French and Certain Age — and possibly next president of France

magazine pages of article on Valerie Precresse

Our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat recently sent an interview article from The Times Magazine on Valérie Pécresse. This chic, slim certain age French woman is one we have not discussed before.

The article titled: Valérie Pécresse: The Woman Macron Fears Most begins:

She was in Sarkozy’s cabinet and for four years has been the political boss of the Paris region. Now, with the publication of her book — part Macron takedown, part feminist manifesto — Valérie Pécresse is being talked of as France’s next president. She’s even formed her own political party (sound familiar?).

As the author of the article Charles Bremner describes Valérie Précasse:

Chic, blonde and brisk, the 52 year-old exudes command with a quiet touch. The impression is authority and style of the kind that says French power au féminin.

chci French woman on red carpet with French honor guard in background

What brought this recent attention to Valérie Pécresse is not only organizing her own political party Libré, but also her recently published book. Et c’est cela qui changea tout. And That’s What Changed Everything. (All French politicians —and certainly presidential hopefuls — MUST publish books.)

Of the book, Le Point news magazine says: She reveals herself as lively, funny, deliciously cruel, endearingly human and politically compelling.

Le Monde described the book as a “vengeful picture of the condition of women in politics.”

For that reason, when Valérie Pécresse campaigns, she wears trousers because: “You’re not taken seriously when on stage, they are only looking at your legs.”

The article author Charles Brenner writes that for his interview with Valérie Pécresse, she wore a long jacket, trousers and high-heeled black boots. He adds that her trim silhouette speaks for her love of exercise, including bicycling, swimming, walking and, until recently, boxing.


Despite the trousers, French Elle in November criticized Valérie Pécresse’s personal style as “Too smooth, too blonde, too perfect, too feminine in the classical sense.”

Oh dear ! Do they really expect long hair and sneakers on a 52 year-old conservative politician?

chic French woman in red jacket and white cuffs seated at her desk

Maintaining the Boundaries

As we know, chic French women do not readily talk about their personal lives — certainly not personal and family difficulties. Valérie Pécresse says she realizes that her refusal to do this has hurt her politically. She says:

“Perhaps [her unwillingness to share personal information] is why the French judge me as more distant than other women politicians because the others open their doors to media and I never have. That makes them likeable with the celebrification of public life. When you talk about your difficulties and your painful episodes, that makes you likeable.”

There actually does not seem to be a lot of difficulties in her life to report. Valérie Pécresse is still married to her first husband, head of General Electric Renewable Energy, and has three children between ages 16 and 24 that she has made it a point to protect from the spotlight — and who have benefited from this practice.

The article, titled The Woman Macron Fears Most, perhaps hypes the actual threat Valérie Pécresse poses to Emmanuel Macron in the next French presidential election. But she does have long experience in government beginning with her position on the staff of President Chirac in 1997. Valérie Pécresse has also served in parliament, and in Sarkozy’s government. She has held the regional presidency for since December 2015. An experienced politician who is fluent in both English and Russian. We will be watching this chic French woman of certain age as the next French presidential campaign approaches.

Merci to our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat who sent the article that brought Valérie Pécresse to my attention.

be chic, stay slim — Anne Barone