10 Features on French People That Can Perplex Any Newcomer

When hearing the words “Parisian woman,” we usually imagine a gorgeous lady in a little black dress with a red beret on her head and elegant shoes on her feet. However, these days, this stereotype has significantly faded, just like your perfume at the end of a working day. Today, French women appreciate comfortable clothing, like to appear in public make-up free, and opt for comfortable sneakers instead of stilettos.

We at Bright Side found 10 new French features that may astonish newcomers.

In France, they never ask why a girl isn’t married.

Asking a girl why she’s not married is believed to be a sign of bad manners in France. It’s also inappropriate to ask why she still doesn’t have kids. Moreover, even parents don’t ask such awkward questions to their daughters as not to confuse them. Here, you can often meet people who get married after age 40 to 50 and it’s considered to be absolutely normal.

French women rarely wear bras.

Many girls here don’t wear bras, especially those whose breasts are smaller. However, it’s still customary to wear this wardrobe item at work in order not to attract too much attention.

They opt for skincare cosmetics instead of decorative makeup.

French women rarely put makeup on in everyday life. Moreover, they’re more prone to buying skincare cosmetics than decorative. While in the rest of the world, you’ll often see a girl fixing her makeup in public transport, in France, you’re more likely to see a female passenger applying moisturizing cream to her face.

It’s not customary to show off your wealth here.

An opulent demonstration of one’s wealth is a sign of bad manners in France. Therefore, even if a woman has a large number of funds in her bank account, she’s unlikely to buy luxury jewelry and clothes from famous brands exclusively. However, it’s still possible that she will be holding an expensive bag made of genuine leather in her hands as well as a watch on her wrist that costs a fortune. At the same time, she’ll do it only if she can really afford it and is not simply trying to look richer than she is.

French women typically wear sneakers.

It’s quite rare that you’ll see a girl walking on the street wearing stilettos. If you find one, she will likely be a foreigner. However, women in other countries also opt for flat footwear instead of uncomfortable high heels nowadays. Still, French women have one distinction: they give their preference not to sneakers but to converse-like sportswear, which is typically white in color.

A couple never lives with their parents after the wedding.

French newlyweds almost never live with their parents after marriage. In many other countries, on the other hand, this tradition still exists, and the couple continues to share a living space with relatives of the wife or husband. Such a decision is nonsense in French culture because, in their opinion, a fresh family should do their best to move to their own space. Otherwise, they should consider postponing the wedding.

French women rarely think about having kids before 30.

Many people in this country think that a person at the age of 25 is too young for having kids. That’s why the average age for having their first kid is about 30 years old here.

Moreover, French people consider it shocking to get married and have kids at the age of 20. According to some locals, many people at this age are learning to live and don’t have enough money or life experience to raise children.

Many French people would rather buy secondhand instead of new items.

The French don’t look down upon the secondary market and often buy used goods. Moreover, they are surprised by people who seek to acquire everything new and would rather take out a loan than buy a sofa that someone else used to sit on. People in France, however, have a totally normal attitude toward using things that are secondhand and are eager to buy an interior item that someone else used before them.

The French put spaces before punctuation marks.

It’s easy to spot a foreigner in France by the way they write. Local people put spaces in front of colons as well as question marks and exclamation marks.

Girls in France can go outside with dirty hair and it’s totally okay.

Girls can go outside with unwashed hair and no one will judge them or look strangely at them. This is because everyone appreciates their time here and they don’t see any sense in getting ready for a meeting that’s several hours away. Therefore, if someone didn’t have enough time to wash their hair and wanted a morning croissant instead of taking a shower in the morning, everyone would understand.

Of course, we can’t say that all French people possess these features — after all, rules can have exceptions. However, almost all nationalities have special “markers” that will help them stand out in any society.

Have you ever communicated with French people? What habits of theirs surprised you the most?

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