Apparently This Matters: French Girls gone wild

Editor’s Note: Each week in “Apparently This Matters,” CNN’s Jarrett Bellini applies his warped sensibilities to trending topics in social media and random items of interest on the Web.

Story highlights

French Girls app started in mid-2013 as a way to let people draw others' selfies

The app recently rose to the top of Reddit, giving it a fresh wave of popularity

Name comes from a famous line from the movie "Titanic"

CNN  — 

There’s a famous scene in the movie “Titanic” where Rose turns to Jack and says, “I want you to draw me like one of your French girls.”

Then she poses for him naked, and things start looking up for ol’ Jack.

Of course, later, the ship sinks and he dies a cold, suffering death in the middle of the North Atlantic.

Still, it was totally worth it.

At the end, most people think Jack’s final words to Rose were, “Never let go.”

"Apparently This Matters" Is Jarrett Bellini's weekly (and somewhat random) look at social-media trends.

But I’m pretty sure I heard him say, “Huh, huh. Boobs.”

Almost 20 years later, that stupid “French girls” line has become a bit of a catchphrase, and if you Google it you’ll find countless images of people unintentionally, yet seductively, sprawled out like Kate Winslet.

And some sprawled animals, too.

“Huh huh. Cat boobs.”

Taking it a step further, now there’s even a portrait-sketching mobile app called French Girls that has also clearly borrowed from “Titanic.” And everyone’s talking about it.

French Girls co-founder, 29-year-old Adam Ceresko, told me, “The day-over-day growth in just the past few days has been astonishing, and it’s not slowing down.”

His creation just passed one million downloads.

The app actually came out in mid-2013. But then, last week, it had a massive uptick in popularity when, for several hours, a collection of French Girls images somehow managed to climb to the very top of the front page of Reddit.

It’s an honorable feat for which, generally speaking, there’s no apparent rhyme or reason.

(For instance, as I write this, the current most popular post on Reddit is a video of a girl dangerously falling off a diving board. It looks painful and unfortunate, but this is why we have the Internet, and somehow it makes my life more complete.)

Why doesn't anyone love me?

Now, the basic idea of French Girls is that users anonymously post selfies and then other users draw them from within the app.

It’s fun. And it’s surprisingly creative.

But mostly, it’s easy. The app’s slogan simply reads: Take selfies. Get drawings.


When I first learned of French Girls and downloaded it, I immediately served up a selfie and eagerly awaited someone turning me into art.

Perhaps a tasteful nude.

But, so far, nobody has shown any interest in drawing my portrait. Bastards.

So, I added another selfie - one where it looks like I’m grasping at the air – and somebody actually did turn me into a nude.

Technically not a selfie, but I uploaded a photo of my dog and somebody drew him. I like that Mikey's nose is a heart.

However, it’s far from tasteful. The “artist” extended my body into the next frame, naked, where I appear to be violating myself.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

And it’s obvious that he put literally seconds into his effort.

(Yes, despite the app’s anonymity, I assure you it was definitely a HE. Because of course it was.)

Alas, not everything turns out a masterpiece in French Girls. But, hey, at least he chose ME!

Because here’s how the app works: When you want to start drawing, you are given a choice of nine different images. If nothing inspires you, the refresh button gives you nine more. And you can keep searching until you find someone (or someone’s dog) that does tickle your artistic fancy.

My masterpiece! I call her "Little Lilly: The Blue Girl."

For me it was a girl with blue hair and a nose ring.

So, I drew her. And it was terrible. My only real talent is napping.

That, and mouth breathing.

You can read all about it on my eHarmony profile.

Anyway, despite a severe lack of artistic ability, drawing my blue girl was a creative way to kill some time when I could’ve dangerously been interacting with other actual humans.

Which, for safety, I prefer to avoid.

Because next thing you know a friend invites you to get outside and go to the pool. And then you find yourself on a diving board.

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