It's not every day that you get to write a tip on VT which allows you (quite legitmately) to talk about fishnet tights, topless women, black twangy suspender belts,and not to mention tight basques and rivers of sweat.
Still, enough about last night, I am course talking about the can-can.
It actually began back in the 1830's as a rather risque dance for couples, but evolved in time to the stage performance, mainly performed somewhat athletically by nubile young women.
The 'high kicking' was alway part of it, but the holding the dress up bit only really came along in the 1890's when far more interesting and erotically exciting lingerie became available.
The dance is still very popular today, and still very much enjoyed by the French themselves. You can of course enjoy it at world -famous establishments, like the Moulin Rouge, but you will be paying a pretty penny for it !
I have heard it said that in the 'gay paris' era, the more upmarket establishments put on the show with full costume and finery, but there was then a kind of 'pecking order' , so at the bottom of the pile you ended up with a bunch of old tarts dancing on the bar with no underwear on at all !
is often used in advertising in France. Nudity is much more frequent. I remember being surprised the first time I saw a naked woman in a yogurt commercial on TV! Yves Saint Laurent pushed new boundaries by featuring male nudity in his campaign for M7, a cologne for men-- "full frontal,' as the expression goes. And on French beaches, nudity is a far from rare mode of (un)dress.
I have altered the image here for those who might be offended. But in France, people don't giggle, snicker, react in the puerile "American Pie" way about sex. Sex, and the human body, are natural, and good-- a part of life and love. I prefer that attitude to the sometimes-Puritanical US approach to these aspects of life.
"If God had wanted people to be naked, we would have been born that way."
- Archie Bunker
"La Danse" created by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux from 1863-1866 caused quite a stir when it was unveiled to the public on the facade of the Palais Garnier (Paris Opera). The Paris public was shocked the the realism of the naked dancers and went so far as to throw ink on the sculpture. The controversy seemed to die down when the sculpture died in 1875.
Jean-Baptise Carpeaux was one of four artist commissioned by Charles Garnier in 1863 to decorate the facade of the New Paris Opera. It took 3 years of various designs before Jean-Baptiste finally came up with the sculpture we see today. He stated that he wanted to create the sensation of movement for the dance.
The original is now at the Musee d'Orsay where this photo was taken. A copy produced in 1963 now adorns the outside of the Paris Opera.
While walking along the streets of Paris enroute to the Notre Dame de Paris, there is this huge advertisement that comes every few minutes and this girl on the front page of a magazine comes out topless!
Since I was with a group of high school students (boys and girls), they all stopped and looked at this gigantic advertisement looking so surprised, or maybe, happy to see a naked picture on the street!
Can you believe the reaction of the students? They took all their camera and took a picture. And, so did I! They stopped and gazed the naked picture and caused traffic at the pedestrian lane.
North American visitors are often surprised at the amount of candid nudity (or almost candid!) they can see in France. I feel that this one, that was everywhere on the walls of the metro in June 2006, is a kind of master piece: it actually does not show anything though it seems to show everything. A perfect eye catcher!
Walking along Bassin de l'Arsenal, don't be surprised to see a topless woman on the deck of a yacht... having a good time, offering her body to God Sun and to the eyes of passers-by, by the way ;-). She is tanning herself. It is her "bronzette" (tanning) time.
This happened to us (my sis and me) in 1985, we were walking along the Bassin when we saw this already tanned woman, topless and only wearing the below part of her swimwear. Frenchies use to call it "monokini". She was not embarrassed at all, we were amazed. So far, her yacht was the only one I could remember of. I still remember it... lol
More generally speaking, France is a country where nudity is not a big deal. Nudity is in art, in commercials, in ads, in the streets & parks sometimes, in literature, in your favourite woman magazine (could be ELLE, Cosmopolitan, Glamour & even glossy Vogue.... )...
The website whose link you'll find below has samples of "Les Parisiennes" sketches that could appear in French magazines. Some of his illustrations that may be considered NSFW by others are not even to be found in adult section in French bookshops. They are in good bookshops, sold at the cashier desk (Kiraz albums starring "Les Parisiennes" are such best-sellers). Now, who are "Les Parisiennes"? Discover about the sexy, lighthearted, mischievous & clever fashionistas in my 4th tip in this same Local Custom Tips section.
**This bateau does not belong to the bronzette lady, this picture was taken almost 20 years after the encountering with her.**
The opera babe
Not too skinny, not too big, what do you think?
I fell in love with this lady. Paris is filled with these beauties. This says a lot about the French, they could have replaced these with lamp post a long time ago... they prefer to be surrounded by beauty.
Good for you!
Lavazza coffee, of course! This poster, displayed everywhere around Paris some time ago, certainly catches the eye.