Ahhh! The elusive French “je ne sais quoi” of French women! In her new book Ooh La La! French Women’s Secrets to Feeling Beautiful Every Day, Jamie Cat Callan taps into the secrets of French women in an enchanting and delightful way.
American born Jamie Cat Callan is the author of the wildly popular books Bonjour Happiness and French Women Don’t Sleep Alone. She is also the creator of The Writers Toolbox and her writing has appeared in the New York Times “Modern Love” column, Best American Erotica, and The Missouri Review, among many other publications. Jamie lives in Cape Cod with her husband and travels often to France interviewing hundreds of French women!
“French women seem to have a special knack for life’s most important things – food, love, raising children. And in matters of beauty and style, they appear to be at an unfair advantage. But the good news is that everything French women know can be learned… “ says Jamie Cat Catlan who learned “the art ” of being French from her French grand-mother. Yes, indeed , it is an art and that could very well be the main secret: the art of living .
On a personal quest to recapture her own French woman’s essence, Jamie Callan ‘s takes the reader on a touching personal journey through France as she experiences, ponders and attempts to demystify what makes French women so attractively different. As a French woman myself born in France and residing in the States since 1974, I enjoyed the writer’s sincere and witty style to understand and capture the ever elusive “Je ne sais quoi” attributed to the French culture as a whole … Each culture has its own raison d’être and charm and the French women the author interviewed bring us fresh and simple answers that will surprise you!
We learn that it’s more about accepting ourselves as women, taking care of ourselves, exuding our own unique charm , and knowing who we are. It’s not really about the perfume and the make-up and the fashion… this je ne sais quoi is deeply rooted in the French culture and artful way of life . It’s indeed a way of life, appreciating little yet important things in Life. As the author mentions enjoying and taking the time savor your morning coffee for instance and not rush to your emails first thing in the morning, looking at the window and pondering a moment on the beauty of Life. It boils down to taking the time to live life with appreciation, balance, and quality paying attention to details. It’s about connecting with ourselves,family, and each other on the real. It’s about discretion, confidence ,femininity and growing older gracefully and beautifully with dignity and respect.
I read the book cover from cover and felt a connection with the writer’s anecdotes sometimes funny and sometimes moving throughout the book . I too, recall the Charlie cologne era for instance (Charlie was actually one of my first perfume in my late teens…followed of course by Nina Ricci’s L’air du Temps as a young lady) or the reference to the silver spoons a gift from my grandfather that I use today to make my own vinaigrette too! Ahhh… the details that make all the difference!
Overall, it’s really about feeling good from the inside and moderation in all things. It’s about balance and treating ourselves with love, compassion and a certain pragmatism and individuality. I also enjoyed the casual historical facts about France thrown here and there that I wasn’t even aware of and the value of culture and family tradition passed on from generation to generation that we cherish in France.
I particularly applauded this part of the book, “Bid au revoir to Botox, fad diets, and agonizing over every imperfection, and say hello to the truly timeless beauty that comes with making the most of your own unique je ne sais quoi!” Yes, the French woman in general is not one to go plastic and in our culture au naturel is considered more attractive and sensual
Jamie Cat Callan sums it up eloquently: “Open the door inside your own heart, so that you may find the courage and the love to be your most authentic self – your best self. Your happiest, wisest, sexiest, and most beautiful and generous self.”… and you don’t really have to be French to do so!
Merci beaucoup Jamie et au plaisir d’une rencontre à LA ou à Paris !