The creepy old man's guide to Paris

Answering that burning question: Where in the city can one look up women's skirts?

By Kate Harding
May 5, 2008 8:25PM (UTC)
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There are umpteen guidebooks to Paris available for the curious traveler, but until now, one burning question has gone unanswered: Where in the city can one find the highest concentration of braless women?

Pierre-Louis Colin, a former speechwriter for France's foreign minister, has taken it upon himself to answer that question, among others, in the Guide des Jolies Femmes de Paris, or Guide to Pretty Women of Paris.


Reports Agence France-Presse: "Area by area, Colin notes the best observation posts -- bars, supermarkets, parks, museums, metro trains -- and the best times of day for the connoisseur to contemplate various Parisienne archetypes."

Those archetypes include braless, G-string-sporting "trendy youth," the "leisured bourgeois" who frequent fancy boutiques and cafes, and certain 40-to-60-year-old women he places under the rubric of "saucy maturity." And that's not all! If you're wondering where to find the best place in Paris to look up women's skirts as they climb a spiral staircase, Colin can help you out with that, too. Dude's thought of everything.

Predictably, Colin laments how political correctness and American-style moralizing have interfered with good old-fashioned girl watching. But before you decide Colin's just a charming rebel and this is all in good fun, check out this tidbit:


"Colin regrets, for instance, it is no longer possible to loiter contemplatively outside high schools because 'current legislation and a certain form of collective psychosis have created a climate of suspicion that makes every admirer of young girls a rapist of children.'"

Yeah, what a shame that creepy old men can't lurk on high school campuses in hopes of catching a glimpse of underage flesh anymore. Gasp! What civil liberties will they go after next?

Kate Harding

Kate Harding is the author of Asking For It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture--and What We Can Do About It, available from Da Capo Press in August 2015. Previously, she collaborated with Anna Holmes, Amanda Hess, and a cast of thousands on The Book of Jezebel, and with Marianne Kirby on Lessons from the Fat-o-Sphere. You might also remember her as the founding editor of Shapely Prose (2007-2010). Kate's essays have appeared in the anthologies Madonna & Me, Yes Means Yes, Feed Me, and Airmail: Women of Letters. She holds an M.F.A. in fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a B.A. in English from University of Toronto, and is currently at work on a Ph.D. in creative writing from Bath Spa University

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