The Allure of the Messy French Girl
By Parker Piccolo Hill
Scroll a bit on any social media, and you’ll find yourself drowning in interestingly-titled aesthetics. “That Girl,” the “Call Me By Your Name Summer,” and so much more. These all tie back to the one prevailing aesthetic that has existed since the 1950s: The Messy French Girl.
Recently, there has been a huge revival in the idea of the messy French girl, propelled by the comeback of French New Wave Cinema and the massive impact of TikTok on fashion.
But what is the allure of the French girl?
She’s someone who doesn’t have to try. Effortlessly pretty, her bedhead is more a fashion statement than a red flag. She picnics and goes on museum dates and eats whole baguettes. She loves plants and takes her bike for long rides in the countryside.
The draw of the French girl, and what has kept this alive for more than 70 years, is the lifestyle.
It can be hard to remember summer exists when it’s still snowing in Ithaca in March. So, if you’re looking to get yourself in that Mediterranean mindset, skip Paris. Go to Southern France; visit Avignon and Antibes. Lesser explored, they are a French girl’s paradise for the easy living and hearty culture to be found.
In Avignon, stroll the Pont d’Avignon while singing the famous song “Sur le pont d’Avignon.” Visit the drama festival that happens every year, one of the biggest in the world. Explore the Pope’s Palace, once the seat of the biggest Gothic Christian presence in Europe. As you board your cruise on the Rhone River, be sure to grab a folded, warm, and covered-in powdered sugar crepe to go.
In Antibes, you have to visit the Old Town. Yellow-stone alleys and red flowers in window boxes beckon you further into the streets. Bring a wheel of cheese from the Marché Provencal to sustain you on your journey, and don’t forget to end your day at the Musee Picasso, as Antibes once housed this famous artist. The beaches in Antibes are also lovely, with soft sand and blue waters.
Come summer, pull on your vintage bathing suit, rock those cat-eye sunglasses, and go live your best French girl life in Southern France!
About the Author: Parker Piccolo Hill is a freshman from Westchester, New York, thinking of double majoring in English and Italian. One of her favorite travel destinations is the Amalfi Coast in Italy, where café culture and beautiful beaches provide a lovely atmosphere for the kindly chatter of the natives.