1. Tell us that you admire how comfortable we are with nudity and sex.
We have the tendency to think that the rest of the world is ridiculously prudish. What’s the big deal with showing some butt cheeks, boobs, and a little bit of sex on daytime television? What’s the problem with kids running around naked on the beach while their mom and their grandma are going topless? It’s not going to traumatize anyone, is it? We love it when you tell us how cool we are and join us in celebrating the beauty of the human body.
2. Tell us our cuisine is the best in the world.
You may have to exaggerate a little, but if you want to make your way to our heart, the fastest and easiest route is to compliment our food. Rave about cassoulet, quiche lorraine, foie gras, and aligot because that kind of talk is likely to be rewarded with instant citizenship and/or daytime nudity (see above).
3. Ask us how we manage to always look glamorous.
We like to think of ourseleves as a nation of trend-setters living in the global hub of fashion, so if you spread another layer by implying that we always look casually elegant and stylish you’re going to win us over pretty easily.
The reality is that we spend hours and a lot of money in Promod, Comptoir des cotonniers, and Jules to find outfits that we’ll make us look “casual, yet sophisticated” and watch Les reines du shopping five days a week to get Cristina Cordula’s fashion tips, so we appreciate our efforts to be noticed.
4. Tell us that our accent is sexy.
Although we love the English language and attempt to pepper every single conversation with some of it, we do have trouble speaking it properly. We could not pronounce the sound “h” even if our lives depended on it, and we can’t get rid of the incessant “euh” that finishes all the sentences we utter, so be a pal and instead of making us repeat everything, just tell us we sound sexy. We’ll love you for it.
5. Tell us that you’re aware the French rudeness is a nothing but a myth.
We hate to think that the world believes we are a bunch of a-holes just because they’ve heard a couple of narrow-minded tourists say that the RATP staff in the Montparnasse station was short and unhelpful. There is so much more to France than the angry Parisians that spend 8 hours a day working underground selling tickets to equally-gloomy subway users! France is made of over 66 million people and we know some of you have met more nice ones than rude ones, so make sure to let it be known!
6. Mention the French résistance.
Although we are immensly grateful for everything the allies did for us back then, we’ve had enough with the “surrender” and “cowards” jokes. We may smile and nod, but we’re actually rather annoyed that you constantly diminish what our grandparents have gone through or have done to get out of WWII and German occupation.
Just acknowledge the fact that France was trying to fight the enemy instead of tooting your own horn and you’ll have made a friend for life.
7. Tell us how much you like French cinema.
Amélie, The Big Blue, The Chorus, The Artist, etc. We are incredibly proud of what we produce for the septième art. We like our movies to depict France and the French in a deeply emotional way and if you get it and enjoy it that means you get us and like who we are, so we’ll return the favour.