Let me start first by stating that being gawked at is a relatively new concept for me. However, since being in Atlanta I have grown accustom to men being total...well, to keep it clean, jerks. Not all men mind you, but a good enough majority to make me resent. Often they stare at you from cars and "holler" and the begin whistling, hooting, staring, grabbing etc... In attempt to, some would say get your attention. Though I believe it is just for the soul reason of pissing you off and ruining your day.
I am very dismayed to find that Paris, the supposed city of love, is not to much different for me it seems. I have been hit in the back of the head in an attempt to get my attention, asked to have sex with by a group of 14 year old French boys and then had the Birthday sex song sang to me. I have had a parks groundskeeper try to kiss me and make me his girlfriend, and I have been hit on by scaffolding men. All within the same week.
Now, I have heard and have had discussions about this with French and Americans alike. Verdict: men in france, or perhaps just in Paris, find foreign women way more easy to talk to and tend to want to date them because they are not as mean as their french counterparts. I don't think this makes us easy... however, (and I am trying not to pass the blame on anything specific, because the image of women in America is a bit complex, and is definitely a philosophical discussion for another day) I do beileve the TV images of women especially women such as video vixen in hip-hop, have given a good part of the world this impression that we are "loose" crazy one night standers.
Though, with all this taken into account I still could not understand why I was such a "hit" here. I am really quite plain, a bit cooky, but really I am just as silly as the next American girl. Then I was offered a little insight to my problem.
I was walking back from my music school, and had just turned on to the main street. A man walked out of the hotel, saw me, and his eyes got huge, wide, as if he was terrified. He then proceeded to point at me, screaming, "CORRINE, CORRINE!"
I looked at him, terrified, and sped past him. This for me was my last straw. My mind was on a rampage, WHAT the F***, I thought. What in the hell is wrong with these people. What in the world is corrine...corrine? Is that even french? I have never heard that before in my life what french word....
I stopped. It hit me. Corrine...Corrine Bailey Rae.
He had mistook me for the famous British artist Corrine Bailey Rae. I had mistaken his being star struck for terror and insults. I can't tell you how big of a smile that put on my face. Still a bit ashamed at how quick I was to judge all of the french men on the street as just trying to be insulting. Some, as it appears, are just in wonderment of an American look-a-like of a British superstar.