mardi 1 octobre 2013

Les Bobos

Yesterday, I wasn't feeling well. I had abdominal pains so i wasn't my usual self in class. This morning, after
Virginie and i shared a kiss, she asked me "Et le bobo ? C'est parti ?"

I said yes, guessing she was talking about my health. When i got to class, i googled the word bobo and here is what i found.

In a familiar or children's language, bobo means a small cut,wound or injury, "boo boo" as children say in English

Bobo is also an abbreviation for bourgeois-bohème. in French. The bourgeois and bohème both start with bo. Hence forth the word bobo was created.

In the 18th century, before the French Revolution (1789–99), bourgeois and bourgeoise identified the rich men and women who were members of the third estate of the French social class. Hence, since the 19th century, the term "bourgeoisie" was identified with the ruling upper class of a capitalist society.
Bourgeois couple of 20th century
In the 20th century, Bourgeois describes a social class. In English, the term 'bourgeoisie' is often used to denote the middle classes but in French, the term is used for both the upper and middle classes.

There are different kinds of  'bourgeoisie' : 'la petite bourgeoisie', 'la moyenne bourgeoisie', 'la grande bourgeoisie', and 'la haute bourgeoisie'. The Parisian bourgeois  are usually referred to as “la crème de la crème” of bourgeois.

La bohème on the other hand is a way of life. In English, it is known as the bohémien way of life. In French, it is known as a lifestyle of gypsies, meaning people living a care-free life, life of the rolling stones, ...without a home, wanderers, adventurers, or vagabonds etc.
Painting of a bohimien girl by William Bouguereau
Even though Bohemia is a région of Czech Republic, the original "Bohemians" were travellers or refugees from central Europe hence, the French word bohémien was used for "gypsy"
A gypsy girl
In the 19th century in France, bohème became a word used to describe the non-traditional lifestyles of artists, writers, musicians, and actors who live for and by their art. They had no money and no jobs, they made very little from their art. Some didn't have homes so they lived in tents. They cherished relationship and love yet they didn't wany any commitments,they didn't want either marriage or children etc. They wanted to be unattached, unbound and free.. like the gypsies. Poor yet happy !
French bohémien
Bourgeois and bohême, are two very different social class no one ever expected to find mixed up together. But it did and concieved "bourgeois-bohème". This class became the new kind of bourgeois, a new class... the new kind of rich in France.

Bourgeois-bohème appeared in France in the 80's around the same time yippies became popular in US. Bourgeois-bohème is a class of people who rejects the bourgeois background (values of the upper class) from which he or she comes and embraces that of a lower class like that of the bohemian lifestyle so as to not appear snobbish.
Bobo look
The Bobos often graduate from private schools, live lower class neigbhorhoods, marry from a lower class or from another ethnic/race to upset their parents. To prove that they are above their bourgeois upbringing, they want to fit into the life of the lower class.
Bobo style
French Bobos design their lifestyles as a mélange of upper class and middle-class. They are children of bourgeois, who have rebelled against the rigid way of life of their class, yet conserving some parts of it (often the etiquette part) and trying to fit into a lower class. But they are not poor, they have good jobs and have goood taste for rares luxuries, as the French say they are plein aux as
Today in France, this way of life is refered to as a Parisian attitude.In Nigeria, we can refer to the way of life of people who are from rich homes and are trying to fix into a hustlers life... example, it's like having a mixture of butter and paki. No matter how hard he tries being a paki, his butter character will always betray him. Hence the word phrase "this one na butter pikin !"
I found a song by a French artist named Renaud in which he describes the bobos. The song makes fun of this class of people. At the end of the song, he admits that he imagines being a Bobo himself.
 Renaud - Les Bobos

On les appelle bourgeois bohèmes
Ou bien bobos pour les intimes
Dans les chanson d'Vincent Delerm
On les retrouve à chaque rime
Ils sont une nouvelle classe
Après les bourges et les prolos
Pas loin des beaufs, quoique plus classe
Je vais vous en dresser le tableau
Sont un peu artistes c'est déjà ça
Mais leur passion c'est leur boulot
Dans l'informatique, les médias
Sont fier d'payer beaucoup d'impôts

Les bobos, les bobos
Les bobos, les bobos

Ils vivent dans les beaux quartiers
ou en banlieue mais dans un loft
Ateliers d'artistes branchés,
Bien plus tendance que l'avenue Foch
ont des enfants bien élevés,
qui ont lu le Petit Prince à 6 ans
Qui vont dans des écoles privées
Privées de racaille, je me comprends

ils fument un joint de temps en temps,
font leurs courses dans les marchés bios
Roulent en 4x4, mais l'plus souvent,
préfèrent s'déplacer à vélo

Les bobos, les bobos
Les bobos, les bobos

Ils lisent Houellebecq ou philippe Djian,les Inrocks et Télérama,
Leur livre de chevet c'est surand
Près du catalogue Ikea.
Ils aiment les restos japonais et le cinéma coréen
passent leurs vacances au cap Ferret
La côte d'azur, franchement ça craint
Ils regardent surtout ARTE
Canal plus, c'est pour les blaireaux
Sauf pour les matchs du PSG
et d'temps en temps un p'tit porno

Les bobos, les bobos
Les bobos, les bobos

Ils écoutent sur leur chaîne hi fi
France-info toute la journée
Alain Bashung Françoise Hardy
Et forcement Gérard Manset
Ils aiment Desproges sans même savoir
que Desproges les détestait
Bedos et Jean Marie Bigard,
même s'ils ont honte de l'avouer
Ils aiment Jack Lang et Sarkozy
Mais votent toujours Ecolo
Ils adorent le Maire de Paris,
Ardisson et son pote Marco

Les bobos, les bobos
Les bobos, les bobos

La femme se fringue chez Diesel
Et l'homme a des prix chez Kenzo
Pour leur cachemire toujours nickel
Zadig & Voltaire je dis bravo
Ils fréquentent beaucoup les musées,
les galeries d'art, les vieux bistrots
boivent de la manzana glacée en écoutant Manu chao
Ma plume est un peu assassine
Pour ces gens que je n'aime pas trop
par certains côtés, j'imagine…
Que j'fais aussi partie du lot

Les bobos, les bobos
Les bobos, les bobos

2 commentaires:

  1. Thanks. It's great reference for Bobo. I'm Vietnamese fashion blogger and going to creat an article about Bobo fashion style :))

  2. Hi, was looking for the meaning of the BOBO expression. Found your post super useful! Thanks a bunch!