From the Comments

On Perfection

6 years ago by

There were so many great comments from the perfection post last week (300 and still counting!), we wanted to share a few of our favorites. It turns out New Yorkers aren’t the only ones feeling the pressure to find the perfect man, have the perfect body, live in the perfect apartment…..

We heard from people in Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, Greece, Portugal, Canada, Silicon Valley…and even a 71-year-old named Delores living in California wrote, “…It was a lot of fun when I was younger…haven’t dated since my 50’s and would love to experience ‘life’ in Paris…

A handbook on dating in France is required. – Alix De Beer, France

Ok here’s how we do bits of it in the UK! See a guy/girl somewhere – work lifts, in a bar, on a bus, shopping etc. Decide if you fancy them. Spend a few minutes/hours/days giggling with friends about how to contrive a meeting. Be egged on by said friends to go and chat he or she up, get number, stalk slightly, send message or something. If successful either arrange a date to meet or if fortunate enough to already be in an establishment that sells booze get stuck in to an unnecessarily large number of drinks until sufficiently drunk that, if you think they are half way decent, you can just start snogging there and then! Otherwise you have to wait for the first date to start this ritual. God knows how this then becomes a full on relationship but it seems to work after a few tries. The expectations a guy has for a British girl are just to hope that she won’t throw up in the cab on the way home (though that is no way a deal breaker) and will not be unrecognisably worse looking the next time you meet. It is unthinkable that a British woman wouldn’t get fatter after marriage and it is widely accepted that she will really only be thin on the wedding day (when the groom thinks she looks weird anyway). It isn’t too pretty to watch in a “romantic” French way, there certainly isn’t much perfection being sought (neurosis is a real turn off for British guys, they just think those sorts of girls are annoying), but it is ridiculously fun! . – Maman37, London

I agreed with everything except for this, haha. It’s not easy to find the perfect man, because apparently 90% of the men in my age group are all bankers who sold their souls to work at Goldman Sachs, all wear the same blue checked button down shirts and khakis (EVERYWHERE. Just because Brooks Brothers makes it does not mean you have to wear it!), have drinks with the “bros” after work, and go on business trips where they cut 9-figure deals in the daytime and go to strip clubs at night. They think that they’re God’s gift to womankind. They’re even invading my beloved Brooklyn now. Not saying that the troubled, skinny-jeaned hipster dudes are much better, but at least I can stand to be in the same room as them) – Cate, New York

In the end, perfection is whatever you say it is.


Add yours
  • this is interesting, like a big international convention! :)

  • Pour moi le pire, c’est la femmes qui veulent aussi etre des meres parfaites, d’enfants , parfaits. Arrrrgghhh

  • Oh j’adore quand tu sélectionnes les pépites dans les commentaires. J’essaye d’en lire un max (comme le troisième commentaire qui m’avait fait sourire), mais le deuxième commentaire m’avait échappé et en plus c’est sur l’Angleterre alors en tant qu’expatriée là-bas ça pourrait bien me servir. Et d’ailleurs ce qu’elle écrit est pas vraiment faux surtout pour la population “jeunes” (étudiants, jeunes adultes). Je discutais avec une amie l’autre jour et apparemment ses amis hommes anglais ont une mauvaise image des filles anglaises (trashy, bois beaucoup, etc). Bon moi je reste toujours aussi paumée moi car du coup je sais pas trop comment me comporter avec les hommes. Quand je vois comment les filles (je veux pas généraliser, mais disons celles qui vont dans les clubs) s’habillent pour sortir le soir (ral-les-fesses et même par 10 degrés, le teint orange et les faux cils, bref), j’ai envie de leur donner ma veste limite. J’essaye de ne pas juger car je me sens plus mal pour elles en fait. Surtout que du coup les mecs les traitent pas vraiment respectueusement et ça m’énerve au fond (solidarité féminine). Quand ma mère est venue me visiter, elle m’a dit “Ah je comprend pourquoi tu te sens en sécurité ici. En fait, t’es habillée comme une nonne comparée aux autres”. Et je suis pas une nonne hein. Je suis plus top sympa, jean slim et talons. Tout ça pour dire que je ne comprend pas encore totalement les “codes” et que j’ai pas vraiment envie de me conformer du moins pas à tous (non au look barbie girl et de toute façon après deux vodka, je suis déjà pompette alors j’essaye de me limiter).
    En tout cas, ton post me fait beaucoup réfléchir et c’est ça ce que j’aime sur ce blog.
    Gros Bisous Garance.

  • really great post! I grew up in LA and people struggle with perfection. It’s hard to live in a place where you “have to have” a tiny nose and huge boobs with a size 00 waist and be 5’9! I’m very petite and have never been “pretty” in LA standards that is. I hated my nose and had a complex about being “too thin” (it’s a problem too!) I’m half french and whenever I go to Paris, it’s so different! Everyone is natural and when I was there last year for 4 months, I came back to LA a different person. I met a guy who loves me for me and the fact that I don’t wear make up like it’s new years eve, he loves my nose and the fact that I’m very small! Perfection is what you can’t see in yourself but what other people can!

  • mademoiselle mauve October, 15 2014, 3:00 / Reply

    si j fais un raccourci d’après Maman37 les Françaises sont névrosées ? :D

  • Katerina October, 15 2014, 3:59 / Reply

    I think it all depends on the social circle. Where I stand there is this mix. The post communist mentality – all women have a job, no one does the stay at home mother thing. We don’t get it and we think it is a sad situation – it would make you depressed and you look lazy. So there is a pressure to be working outside of home, never mind the obligations you have in other spheres of life. Then the French and Italian influence – we use mainly French cosmetics, our hairdressers learn their skill in Paris, but for fashion and bake up routine we are more like the Italians – more obviously feminine and well groomed , the Parisian way is thought to be too conservative and boring, which I find sad. So you have to have a steady job, to look polished, and than you attract guys quite easily. But relationships start the French way, not the American. Still the bigger the city the more you meet guys that don’t wont to marry and have kids with you because they are afraid that they are going to miss something better.

  • Perhaps, the reason why “perfection” in New York (and many other fast-paced, metropolitan hubs) is so closely tied with the end goal of “marriage” is because having a committed, romantic partner represents the most elusive, yet most desired, goal of them all– love? Just a musing on my part.

  • rosemary October, 15 2014, 6:54 / Reply

    La perfection n’existant pas, c’est une quête inutile (et surtout narcissique !) …
    Les apparences n’ont rien à voir avec les sentiments …
    J’ai arrêté de dépenser des fortunes en robes et talons (ma faiblesse) depuis que j’ai rencontré l’homme qui partage ma vie. Je n’ai plus les mêmes priorités, et surtout, je ne me vois plus du tout de la même manière !
    D’ailleurs je ne me maquille presque plus. Juste un peu ( je n’ai pas mis de mascara depuis trois ans mais ce n’est pas très grave…) Nous ne travaillons pas dans le même milieu – même si nous avons chacun une profession artistique – et cette différence nous rapproche. Aujourd’hui je pense moins à moi, et un peu plus à lui !

  • I love that you are talking about this. As Miss B says…perfection is a disease of a nation. I had my own special journey with perfection and being a “perfectionist” In the end I realized that it was to be immortal in some way. I talk about it here and would love for you to take a look at it. It is very personal and one of the first times I’ve written and shared about it on my blog. Thank you for the time…grateful. The Truth About Perfectionism:


  • First I will say F*** perfection.second in each society we have “perfect “image that are coming to us from the moment we are born images we see on TV Cinema Publicity magazine ….. We have to change a country to understand that it’s a cultural question… long as we are happy we are in perfect state of mind…
    Yael Guetta

  • I love Cate’s comment from NY, I think the problem is that we (women) make them think that (that they are irresistible). They brew that in their brains and bamm, we get the creatures that we get! I love my french boyfriend!
    Never dated someone as good as he is and he has not given me reasons to change him, yet. :) The reality is that there are so so so many truly irresistible women in NY!!!

  • Every country has its own perception of perfection, but no-one can ever attain perfection. I’ve been wondering, Garance, are you planning on moving back to Paris (ever)?

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