Here are some of the stereotypes about the French people that i heard before getting to know them.Some are true while some are not. Let me know if there is anything you have heard that is not on this list..
French people wear berets
Not true. It's rare to find someone wear beret in France. Since my moving here, i have seen only one person with a beret. It was at the train station, an elderly man of about 50 years plus. He looked like someone from Pays basque in southern France.
French people eat a lot of cheese
True. French people love cheese. My husband fills the refrigerator with smelly cheese like camembert, Roquefort, brie and cheese made from goat milk. Everytime time i open the refrigerator the odour fills the house and i feel like throwing up. Now i pack them in zip sachets and then put them in a cheese container.
French people love snails
Stereotype. The old generation love to eat snails but not the new generation. My husband hates snails but i love it... that doesn't mean Nigerians love snails. We don't hate them either but they are not our favorite dish same for the French. In France, frozen snails are sold in supermarkets.
French people love frog legs
Stereotype. French people eat more of snails that frog legs. You can't find frog legs in cafés, brasseries or normal restaurants. You can only find them in restaurants known as restaurants gastronomies, where you can find French traditional dishes.
French people are rude
Stereotype. Although i heard that waiters and waitresses are rude in Paris, i still think this is not true. I have been in Paris several times and haven't met a rude waiter or waitress. Although French people who are not from Paris think that Parisian are rude... i think it's just beef. It's like every other part of Nigeria saying Lagosians are rude. French people don't smile if they don't want to beause they think it is hypocritical. Not smiling doesn't make them rude.
French people smell
Stereotype. In summer, i realised that some people do have bodyodour. But it doesn't mean that all French people smell. In Lagos, i know alot of people with bad body odour and mouth odour, does that mean all Nigerians smell? Although a long time ago, in the middle ages the French did not used to have their bath daily and they put on alot of perfumes to cover the smell. But that's over now. Majority have their bath daily like you and I.
French people love baguettte
True. They eat baguette everyday. They buy bread every day because they always want to eat their bread fresh. It isn't abnormal to see French people holding bread everyday and to find long queues in bakeries after work daily. It is also not unusual to see them hold baguettes under their arms. They hardly ever put it in a plastic bag and they just can't seem to wait to get home to start eating from it. I also wonder why the paper they put baguettes in is never long enough to cover it fully. Some are half way long or others 3/4 but a full one doesn't exist. They just have to leave a part hanging out.
French people drink a lot of wine
True. A lot of French people smoke. Almost all my classmates smoke. At each break, it's like the whole campus come together to smoke. Students, teaching and non-teaching staffs. I sometimes feel like i am the only person who doesn't smoke in France :D Luckily my husband doesn't smoke too.
French people love their Renault cars
French women dont shave their armpits
French people love to walk
French people love to ride bicycles
French people are romantic
French people kiss everywhere
Stereotype. I live in south of France and i don't get to see people do the deep french kiss every where i go. Just the usual ceek to chek kiss when you say hello or goodbye, sometimes see couples share quick kisses on the lips. Alhtough in Paris i get to see several couples kissing on the streets, i realised most of them are not french but tourists on holidays, honeymoon, etc.
French people love striped shirts
Most of what you’ve heard about the French are not true. For those that are true, there are extremely exaggerated. Just take it with a grain of salt until you visit France and make your own opinion