The classic stereotypes of slim suave beret-adorned Pierre, arrogant in his self-conceit, doing his best to charm every vixen who passes his gaze; or of snooty waiter Michelle, head high to the sky, gaze anywhere but on his customer, and disdain dripping with every syllable he mutters; or of distant temptress Marie, with ruby red lips, full, wavy, lashes, a shiny telescopic cigarette holder in her right hand, a new dress straight from the Paris catwalks, and a sultry attitude that makes Englishmen feint are out of date.
Psychologically, our entertainment and culture has led us to classify the French as a snobbish, arrogant, rude, and impolite country of people who are in love with their wine and cigarettes and disdain Americans. Well, a recent opinion study carried out for the International Herald Tribune and France 24 TV station found out that this is only partially true. The French do carry a lot of disdain, but they do it for themselves! In fact, they seem to dislike themselves even more than Americans who have negative stereotypes drilled into them by classic cinema and cartoons on a regular basis! The study found that while only 38% of American respondents had a negative view of the French, 44% of the respondents from France thought negatively of themselves! Wow! Gives a whole new meaning to the French Twist.
More Kudos to Tony Poshek for digging up this article as well. He really is The Cynical Sourcerer!