When we were in Paris last fall, we noticed that no one wore tennis shoes or any kind of workout clothing. This was especially noticeable as we jogged along the Seine, a stark contrast coming from outdoorsy San Francisco. I later read that French women don’t run or work out, at least not in public in the way we think, and that the French will scoff at female visitors who do. Does anyone know if that’s true? We certainly stuck out like sore thumbs in our ratty gym garb and garnered a few looks, but I don’t remember any blatant finger pointing and laughing (other than our own!). But everyone rides bikes. They just do it looking like this:
Oh, French women. Do they ever look bad? Non. What do you wear when riding a bike, ma cherie?
[Photo by Vanessa Jackman]
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French women most certainly scoff at tourists working out in public. Men and women alike, but of course it seems worse to the French for a woman to do it.
See it’s a cultural thing. The French live where everything they need is in walking distance, biking distance, or a short subway ride. In this manner, they get all the exercise they need just getting around from place to place. No one drives anywhere like we do in the States. So of course, we American women are forced into some alternative workout situation to keep looking awesome. It’s also why a lot of Americans are heavier and why the culture is so workout/diet-driven now.