Thursday, August 24, 2006


Pipol, Female Pipol

It just happens that female pipol(0) and their ageing (or preservation) came up in a conversation I had recently. I'm in my fifties, and pay some attention to some women my age, give or take a few years. Not serious attention, but more than to other age groups: to maintain my points of reference and my ability to recognize members of this group, since I find it increasingly difficult to guess the age of anyone over about ten years old (it seemed so obvious when my kids were those ages). "Pipol" with publicly known ages are an obvious benchmark.

I was trying to make conversation with one of my daughters (an increasingly difficult task, as our interests diverge) a week or two ago. I brought up a "news" event involving a "magazine" she "reads"(1) : the paparazzi beach candids of Ségolène Royal, French politician and possible presidential candidate.

Did you happen to see the photos of Ségolène in a bikini? Pretty good shape for a woman her age, I'd say. Very well conserved. (2)
Yeah, I think I saw them at Marion's. But Claire Chazal's (3)not bad, either.
Sure, but they're not the same age. Claire Chazal is much younger, Ségolène is almost as old as I am.
Wrong, Dad. She's not that young anymore.
Well, she has been around for a while, maybe I just didn't realize how long.(4) But I'm not sure, I'll look it up on the Internet at home.


[Silence, for most of the rest of the drive.]

Wikipedia :

Ségolène Royal was born September 22, 1953.

Me :

Thanks. So everyone says she's 53, but she's not quite; she has another month to go. For sure, she takes better care of herself than I do; I didn't look that fine fifteen months ago, and I haven't given birth to four children (I've never even been pregnant). Next?


Claire Chazal was born December 1, 1956.

Me :

Aha! Over three years younger than Ségolène! Not that the difference between 49 and 52 (rounding down, or 50 and 53, rounding up) need be major. But still. I think I can claim I was sorta not totally wrong when I said she was "incomparably younger". Out of curiosity, how old is Condoleeza Rice?

Wikipedia :

She was born November 14, 1954.

Me :

Cool! . [1] . . [2] . . [3] . . [4] . Burma Shave!

"Pipol" is the phonetic French word for "People".

Why all the quotes around "magazine" and "reads"? The product in question,
Closer, is mostly rumours and paparazzi pics with TV schedules. And the website has one of the most dysfunctional features I've encountered: its video player "pause", "stop", and "mute" buttons don't work! It autoplays an obnoxious clip and the only way to make it go away is to mute the computer and wait for the clip to end! Or leave the site...

I did not pick up one of those magazines, I just had a glimpse of a photo when the TV news reported on the incident.

An attractive anchorwoman who has presented the evening news on the leading channel for years. She became a "pipol" fairly quickly, possibly when she was pregnant, unmarried, and the name of the father was the object of speculation in "pipol" press (tabloids).
4. She's been presenting the evening news since 1991, her son was born in 1995, when she was closing in on 40. I guess I judged her to be younger at the time, for no particular reason. Good make-up. And parlerpourneriendire agrees with my daughter:
j'ai pesté contre Claire Chazal qui a un corps de rêve alors que moi je suis toute boudinée dans mon 2 pièces Decathlon,
I'll have to look for her photos, too; time for a visit to the doctor's waiting room (my coiffeur doesn't have magazines, at least not that I've ever notice.)

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