Natasha Mann goes tête to tête with the authors of “How to be Parisian wherever you are” and wonders if it’s worth trying to be fu…er…French all the time.

There is a book out, ladies, on how to be Parisian. (How to be Parisian wherever you are by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline De Maigret, Sophie Mas)

You may be thinking that having French parents would be the backbone of this concept but no, you are wrong.

It was written by four women who look younger and way more stylish than moi. Well of course they are, one of them happens to be an ex-model who owns a record label and is sponsored by Chanel and Lagerfeld to wear their merch. That was enough of a hard-luck story for me, I didn’t need to times that by four by reading the background of the others.

Let me just pull a quote:

“Always be fuckable: when standing in line at the bakery on a Sunday morning, buying champagne in the middle of the night, or even picking the kids up from school. You never know.”

Who out there has kids?

If you do then you no longer stand in line at the bakery on a Sunday morning or buy champagne at midnight. If you have kids you have picked up substandard bread rolls at Woolies on Saturday morning and they are now half-stale for Sunday lunch because you’re too flaked to multi-shop. “Champagne” for parents is some fantasy thing, like the after-party lolly bag you got when you were a kid: rare and indulgent. “Middle of the night” means bed-hopping between partner and waking kids.

The “fuckable” thing, which incidentally scores the highest amount of feedback in reader comments when the book is reviewed online, is noteworthy. I am of the opinion that there is a bed partner out there for everyone, regardless of what you look like. I think it’s less a thing about looks and more a thing about being in the right place at the right time with the right mindset that creates a spark with Ms/Mr Right.

This reader comment got over a hundred up-arrow approval and has mine:

Re: fuckability. I would argue it is more powerful and chic to be decidedly *not* fuckable, and to not give a fuck. Or to look like the one to be doing the fucking! Fuck fuckability.

Pardon my French.

Can’t help giving a little of my own feedback on the unsurprisingly Cosmo-like advice of this book…

Parisian  Don’t try to be friends with your kids.

Me  Be besties, they are going to push your limits regardless.

Parisian  No meringue wedding dresses.

Me  Agree.

Parisian  Don’t go nuts on the teeth whitening.

Me  Fine line here…those 30 min, womb-like chairs and blue whitening lights are now infiltrating our shopping centres.

Parisian  Sex is the second fave dinner topic .

Me  Yep, I’m all for this, but it depends on your guests. Generally people in Oz find this awkward if their own sex life is nothing to write home about…who wants to have it rubbed in their face that someone is having a better time naked?

Parisian  Wear high heels all the time.

Me  Whatever. I walk like an awkward giraffe in heels.

Parisian  Ditch the NYE midnight kiss.

Me  I’m assuming this is because they are out buying that champagne at the bottle-o. My choice is that you should already be at third base by midnight on NYE.

Parisian  No wedding photo in living room.

Me  Maybe it’s because they’re disappointed that they ditched the meringue concept. Or maybe it’s because they don’t want to embarrass the extra-curricular visitor of the next point.

Parisian  Cheat if helps your happiness.

Me  No. Not cool. Ever.

Parisian  No corporate jargon.

Me  Every little sub-sector has its lingo. Good luck in applying for a government job here.

Parisian  No tracksuit pants ever, no logos on clothes, no Ugg boots.

Me  I am sitting here right now typing in trackies, wearing pseudo Ugg boots (because the real ones are too pricey) and sporting a Piping Hot t-shirt that belongs to my kid.

Parisian  No abbreviations when texting (and emoticons should be only for your girlfriends).

Me  😛 It’s a text. A txt. Xs and :)s for my guy coz he mks me 😀

All in all, it’s some (vaguely) harmless fun, so I’m not totally dissing it.

Judge for yourself!

In fact I am going to stay up until midnight tonight just so I can drive around and see if there are any bottle shops open selling champers…

(But I’m gonna do it in my Ugg boots and Piping Hot t-shirt while I’m texting emoticons about how exciting it is to be out at midnight for the first time since my children were born… Viva la revolution? Viva la “welcome to the real world…”)




Send in your “How to be an Aussie wherever you are” tips for your chance to win a copy of How to be Parisian wherever you are! Email us at by 30th November to enter! Please include your name, address and mobile number with PARISIAN in the “Subject” line.

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