The French are often depicted as these arrogant, snooty, and intellectual geniuses. However, this is not true…kind of. There are some stereotypes about French people that are really overrated and should be removed from how you feel about them. On the other hand, there are some stereotypes that can seem like the norm. You don’t know any French people? You’re about to visit France and want to know what to expect? Here is a little guide about the most typical misconceptions and stereotypes about French people.
We’ve obviously generalized the most ‘famous’ ones. Next time you watch a movie or read a book about the French, try and figure out if the French are depicted as stereotypes of themselves! Soon, you’ll be able to decide for yourself what are the truest stereotypes about French people.
Common Stereotypes About French People
1They wear berets while riding their bikes and have a baguette under one arm
If you watch a Disney movie and there’s a French person in it (think of films like Ratatouille, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Beauty and the Beast) most of the time the French characters or just passersby will all look the same. They will wear a beret, a striped shirt, have a baguette under one arm and they will be riding a bike. First of all, if you see a French person wear a beret, it’s probably going to be on an older person. You have more chances to see someone wear a Dodgers cap in the bigger cities than a beret to be honest. For the rest (the bike, the baguette, the striped shirt), it’s all because of how the media has chosen to perceive them. It’s easier to tell you’re watching a show or commercial depicting a French person if they have all the significant attributes of a French person.
2They hate Americans
You can’t automatically say that the French hate the Americans. In history, these two countries have an intertwined story. Politically, the French have always had a good relationship with the Americans. After all, it is the Americans that freed the French on V-J Day, August 14th, 1945 so the two countries have always had a special bond between the two. The French love the world of Hollywood movies and are interested in visiting some of the most famous American cities. Now, there are some things that the French don’t love about American tourists that pollute their cities in the summer… Can you blame them? It all depends on where you go! All we can say is, if you’re American and try to learn a few French words and stay polite, then the French will be happy to have you in their country.
3They are rude
This misconception is usually expressed by tourists who had a bad experience in either a restaurant or at their hotel. Unfortunately, there are rude people everywhere. Either you sadly ended up interacting with angry people or you were rude yourself. The Southerners are closer to the Italians, so they are very friendly people and it is said that the Northerners are also quite friendly. Nevertheless, French people are not the warmest people in the world either so you can’t expect them to be overly friend if it’s not in their DNA. Maybe you should learn some funny French insults?