Category: France and the World

    I’ve recently come upon a French cultural personification called “Marianne.” My simple assumption…



(asked by Kristin from Scotland)


Bonjour Monsieur,

I was just wondering what French people think of ginger/red hair and if there is any prejudice against it?
I just call it Ginger hair but some people find this term offensive. Is there an offensive term in French or is roux/rousse just a descriptive word without any derogative connotations?

I have seen quite a few French websites about ginger hair but what is the real attitude towards ginger hair and how are they portrayed in society and in the media? For example quite often they are seen as the temptress or the nerd in a movie, or they have the reputation of being hotblooded or fiery tempered in novels etc is this the same?

I live in Scotland where ginger hair is very common but it must be much rarer in France, how is it viewed there? Are there any preconceptions about ginger hair? What is it like being a ginger kid in France or for that matter an adult?

Do you know any good jokes about gingers or any funny stories?
Also what do french men think about women with red hair?
Do they find women with ginger hair attractive and what about men with ginger hair?

I am ginger myself and I am really interested as how we are seen in France some of my french friends say people think it is funny yet others assure me that ginger hair is lovely but I was wondering if they are just trying to being nice!? I have looked up many articles and I am hoping you can give me your unbiased view as you have no need to sugar coat your answer!

Thank you very much in advance for taking the time to read this and hopefully you will shed some light for me on how gingers are viewed in France!

Merci beaucoup,

(asked by Carina from Portugal)


Dear Frenchman,
I’ve just discovered your blog and I’m finding your answers much more engaging than I was expecting to. In a matter of minutes you’ve managed to stimulate my curiosity concerning France in a way I didn’t think possible until this very moment and that, obviously, had as consequence an explosion of questions inside my mind, so I just couldn’t keep quiet, could I? As a well behaved reader, instead of storming into asking a bunch of questions you could have already answered, I made a little research and, much to my amusement, I found this “I cheer for France only when they play teams I hate (Italy and Portugal mostly, because they can’t play without cheating)” - the word I searched for was “Portugal”, being that I am Portuguese and, therefore, was intending to ask something related to my country – anyway, what I find so amusing about your statement is that when it comes to football, most Portuguese people think exactly the same thing about the French team (oh! The irony!). From what I know, in Portugal, this opinion applies only to football, but I couldn’t help but wonder if your statement extends to Portugal in general. What do French people think of Portugal/Portuguese people? Do they think of us, at all? I am particularly interested in this topic, because in the seventies France was flooded by Portuguese immigrants and I wonder if you think of us as an annoyance. The only thing I happen to know is that some Frenchmen claim that Portuguese women have mustaches! I had mixed feelings when I heard that, but mostly it made me laugh, seriously, what kind of women have they met?
Anyway, I really like it here, so I’ll pass by often.
Portuguese Woman Without A Mustache (shame, they are so in nowadays)