Created By: TropeEater on October 21, 2012 Last Edited By: TropeEater on January 20, 2013

Tobacco Pour Femme

Ladies smoke long, thin cigarettes in a cigarette holder.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Smoking has always been seen as masculine habit. Many of the Always Male archetypes are often seen doin' 'baccy in one way or another. You have the Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe and the Cigar Chomper. The Standard '50s Father probably smokes, while the mother probably doesn't.

But what about smokers of the female persuasion? How can a lady partake of this traditionally male practice while still staying credible as a feminine woman? Enter Tobacco Pour Femme. These cigarettes are longer and thinner than their more masculine cousins, and almost always smoked in a holder, making them look even longer. They are often smoked by Femme Fatales, and thus, are a staple of the Noir genre. Truth in Television, too, as you'll see with ads for Virginia Slims and other such fashion cigarettes. The long, thin shape looks more elegant overall. Or maybe the female sex just find something fascinating about long things.

Whatever the reason, it's definitely not a coincidence that ladies are lengthily lit.

A subtrope of Good Smoking, Evil Smoking. A Sister Trope of Smoking Is Glamorous. Contrast Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe. Not to Be Confused with a submissive Camp Gay that smokes.

Examples:


Anime and Manga
  • Yuuko from XXX Holic uses one of these to enhance her mystique.

Live-Action Television

Western Animation

Video Games
Community Feedback Replies: 73
  • October 21, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    Lady Persie of the remake of Upstairs Downstairs, Martha Levinson of Downton Abbey.
  • October 21, 2012
    dvorak
    I know it's British slang, but I kinda have to object to "fag."
  • October 21, 2012
    collex
    We have a few tropes with the word "bender" despite it having the same pejorative meaning in the UK as "fag" has in the US. We don't want to create a Double Standard. Furthermore, Fag has Added Alliterative Appeal.

    As for examples:

    Audrey Hepburn is seen holding a pretty long cigarette holder in the iconic Breakfast At Tiffanys poster.
  • October 21, 2012
    shimaspawn
    Added Alliterative Appeal should be a mark against the name, not for it. It normally means that someone sacrificed clarity and wit for lazy unclear formula and that seems to hold true in this case. The current name is not witty and it's not clear. That's grounds for requiring a better name.
  • October 21, 2012
    Prfnoff
    I'd suggest Classy Cigarette Holder as a name.
  • October 21, 2012
    spyergirl4
    I agree the name should be changed... not everyone knows that "fag" means "cigarette" in Britain, and even I, who do know that, thought at first that it had something to do with a pretty gay woman.
  • October 21, 2012
    collex
    <i>Added Alliterative Appeal should be a mark against the name, not for it. It normally means that someone sacrificed clarity and wit for lazy unclear formula </i> The poet in me just wants to go bersek at that line, but okay.

    I'm still holding that keeping tropes with bender in it but rejecting fag, which has the EXACT SAME MEANING is a Double Standard and an Americano-centric stain on the site. Seriously, USA is not the center of the world, and your usage don't have priority on those of the rest of the world. And I'm not British, by the way. And I'm not American. I'm not even a native English speaker. But I know what fag means in both country

    As for Classy Cigarette Holder, it doesn't work for two reasons:

    - The trope is not just about cigarette holders, it's about every kind of long, slim cigarettes targeted to women, including those used with a holder

    - This trope is specifically for women using such cigarettes, which the proposed new title doesn't convey, opening the doors for non-fitting examples such as Hunter S. Thompson.
  • October 21, 2012
    TropeEater
    Yeah, I know people would think "gay" first, but I really couldn't think of anything else.
  • October 21, 2012
    McKathlin
    Smoking Is Glamorous is a related trope.
  • October 21, 2012
    shimaspawn
    • Yuuko from 'XXX Holic'' uses one of these to enhance her mystique.

    We can brainstorm better names. Honestly, I think the trope is more elegant than necessarily Femme Fatal. It's associated with old fashioned glamour, or characters who aspire to that image. It's elegant and classy, but also very much a product of a bygone age.
  • October 21, 2012
    cygnavamp
    I'm also for Classy Cigarette Holder or something similar.

    A male example would be The Penguin from several incarnations of Batman

    Another (possible?) male example would be The Pink Panther.

    There was an ad for Camel cigarettes that showed a sexy, exotic woman decked out in sapphires (including an exotic looking nose ring) smoking a Camel in a cigarette holder.
  • October 22, 2012
    m8e
    Classy Cigarette Chick ?

    Doesn't really have the Added Alliterative Appeal. (C/Ch).

  • October 22, 2012
    SharleeD
    Stylish She-Smoker?

    FWIW, I find Femme Fatale Fag objectionable, not so much because I'm an American as because the British usage of "Fag" sounds too much like street-slang for a classic Femme Fatale to actually say, making it a bit Sophisticated As Hell. This distracts from the glamorous image this trope really ought to call to mind.
  • October 22, 2012
    NimmerStill
    As a different argument against the title, I'm not sure a Double Standard would be that bad. This wiki is already stipulated to be in English, so Spanish names of trope are generally out unless they apply to specifically Spanish-speaking tropes. Why not limit to American English, the language of Hollywood, and of where the site is hosted, I assume, to boot?
  • October 22, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    ^^ The word 'fag' was originated by Members of Parliament and Gentlemen of the High Order. It is not British slang as such, but the term for a cigarette as opposed to traditional cigar. A fag usually requires it to be rolled (Bonus Points if we see this happen?)

    I didn't think it was an offensive word for a homosexual at all. Can I now complain at how there are so many 'bender', 'wanker', 'fanny' (etcetera) tropes around when they genuinely make me want to be sick? As @collex said above, America is not the centre of the Universe. Europe had computers, robots, and aircraft that could fly without engines when you were still running around naked in mud huts before we found you. Sorry, but a Double Standard is basically inferring that America is superior to all, the last time someone had that view it started a World War. (Note that I'm not saying Britain 'is the best', everywhere should be equal.)
  • October 22, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
  • October 22, 2012
    NimmerStill
    ^^America is not the center of the Universe, but it IS the center of tvtropes.org. The site has to be in some language, and American English is that language. What makes you think all dialects have equal claim to the standard for the site, any more than all languages have that claim?
  • October 22, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    ^Perhaps a Double Standard is being racist to every country in the World which speaks a different kind of English to the Americans that think they have some divine right to run it all just because they have more WM Ds?

    I invoke my Human Right to Free Speech (or would you like to say only Yanks can have that, too!) to ask, are you blind man?! Saying that you can make us physically sick by using strongly offensive terms is fine but when we have no knowledge that a word makes you think of something being homosexual it's totally wrong?! What?! That borders on homophobic as well!

    You know what, Proper English is more widely spoken that your missing-'u' drabble, so why don't we use it? Why don't we use Mandarin as over 1.5 billion people on the planet speak it? Why?
  • October 22, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    I shall wait for a good answer as to why American should be used over more popular languages. Sometimes the double entendres on here are funny, (e.g. the show 'Kaamelott' named after Camelot) but people like you sicken me. "America's better the rest of the World." I have no idea who you are, what you do, or what kind of education you had, but I suggest you get a better view, my friend. And don't vote for Romney.
  • October 22, 2012
    NimmerStill
    ^Ok, starting again.

    Fact 1: This particular wiki is hosted in the United States. It is written in English except for specifically designated areas. According to the guidelines, 1/3 of its readers are in the United States. That's not a majority, but it's a huge plurality.

    Fact 2: Assuming the wiki is going to be in English, there is no reason to assume that all varieties of English are fair game. While you could get away with some dialect mixing, if every troper who speaks any variety of English were to insert their version, the result would grossly violate the single-author illusion. The alternative is to have a standard variety, at least as a general guideline. And since the site is hosted in the US (not to mention the huge preponderance of works made there), it makes sense for that standard to be American English.

    Fact 3: This has nothing to do with whether the term "fag", or what it denotes, is offensive. It's simply about whether, given a dialect difference, the term should be assumed to have its American or British meaning.
  • October 22, 2012
    NimmerStill
    ^^People like me who say "America's better than the rest of the World"? When did I say that?

    And what do you mean by saying that we should use "more popular languages"? You mean like Chinese? Sure, revamp the entire wiki to be in Chinese. But until we do, it's in English. And if you want to talk about which varieties of English are more "popular", American English has 310 million speakers (not even counting Canadians who basically speak the same variety, at least as far as the written word goes), British has more like 62 million (and that's counting all the different dialects in British, which have much more variety than in America), Australian has 22... which one seems the more popular now?

  • October 22, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    ^Most of these women are bound to be European, therefore it should have that meaning. You know, seeing as Europe has monarchies and Orders.

    Also, you mean it's written in American. The thing you speak in America. Not English, the thing spoken in England.
  • October 22, 2012
    NimmerStill
    ^The standard terms are "American English" and "British English". As for the women, the nationality the the characters who exhibit the trope is generally irrelevant to the language of the wiki that describes them.
  • October 22, 2012
    NimmerStill
    This shows what I was talking about more succinctly. Even counting second-language speakers, the US has the highest number of English-speakers of any country in the world. So American English is "the most popular", so to speak. India is second, so perhaps we should think of redoing this in Indian English before British.
  • October 22, 2012
    shimaspawn
    <Mod Hat>

    norsicnumber2nd has been uninvited from this conversation for a history of incivility. The issue here has nothing to do with vulgar attributes. It has nothing to do with British vs. American English.

    It has to do with clear vs. unclear and in that case the whole trope name is bad even if you do know it's about cigarettes. It could just be about a Femme Fatal who smokes which would be bad because the trope doesn't require a Femme Fatal so much as an elegant classy woman. And it's about a certain style of cigarette holder than symbolizes this, not just smoking in general.

    Even if the you do get fag = cigarette it sounds like "The villainess smokes because smoking is bad for you / dangerous." So the trope name is bad on all words. Let's find a better one.
  • October 22, 2012
    Bisected8
  • October 22, 2012
    collex
    I apologize for norsicnumber2nd, I never wanted for the debate to get so uncivil. My point was just that refusing fag but accepting bender was a big Double Standard and that I disdained it. Especially since I actually like the name and how it sounds, and hate to see it thrown aside just because it uses a non-american slang term.

    Now, the problem I see is that there are names that limit this trope to women, other that limit this trop to cigarette holder, and others that do both or neither. So we should decide what this trope should include. Long cigarettes or only cigarette holders? Only women or men too?
  • October 22, 2012
    nitrokitty
    I think the name should be changed, but not for the "fag" reason, but for the "femme fatale" reason. I've seen this trope plenty of times, and not always on Femme Fatales. The most iconic example I can think of is the picture of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffanys. She's not really a Femme Fatale in that movie.
  • October 23, 2012
    TropeEater
    INTERNET FIIIIGHT

    ^^ Basic trope = skinny cigs in holders are for chicks

    Tobacco Pour Femme sounds nice. You know why.

    Let's organize the proposed titles:

    • Tobacco Pour Femme
      • Tobacco for Her
    • Slender Ladies' Cigarette
    • Stylish She-Smoker
    • Classy Cigarette Holder
      • Classy Cigarette Chick

    While I do believe (as a yank) that this site is a bit too ethnocentric, I don't think we should shoehorn things like this into names especially not if it will cause unnecessary chaos like it is right now. I A) figured that people would understand and be mature enough keep their minds out of the gutter (stupid, I know, this is the internet) and B) thought that "Hey, we have Fan Wank, why not?"

    Then again, Fan Wank isn't about gays, and talking about gays means going political and we don't want that, especially not on the wiki.

    So Yeah, I hear you Brits, and I know I was the one who came up with this title in the first place, but I'm gonna change the default title to something else. End of story.

    For now, let's gather examples.
  • October 23, 2012
    lexicon
    The page of the Three Faces Of Adam doesn't say anything about smoking so I don't think the first paragraph of this matches the first sentence of this at all. I'm sure there are plenty of tropes about men smoking like Distinguished Gentlemans Pipe and Cigar Chomper. Use those.
  • October 29, 2012
    TropeEater
    I'm just using that to illustrate that smoking is a masculine habit. Do you know of another way of illustrating it.
  • October 29, 2012
    Koveras
    Lauren in Watchmen smokes like this, but she is also the Token Girl, and I don't recall how exactly men smoke in the comic.
  • October 29, 2012
    lexicon
    Cigar Chomper is a tough, aggressive, take-no-nonsense type, very manly. Distinguished Gentlemans Pipe is smoked by one who is in control, composed, unruffled and dignified. He considers himself a proper British man. The Standard Fifties Father smokes when the mother doesn't. The Southern Gentleman smokes while the Southern Belle would not. They all illustrate smoking directly as a masculine habit.
  • October 29, 2012
    WeAreAllKosh
    Live-Action TV

    Morticia Addams of The Addams Family is a classic example. Gomez, of course, smoked cigars.
  • October 29, 2012
    LeeM
    Played for laughs in The Prisoner's spy spoof episode "The Girl who was Death". After poisoning Number 6 in a pub, the eponymous Sonia emerges from the ladies' room preceded by her cigarette holder, just as he's staggering toward the gents' to throw up the poison.
  • October 29, 2012
    MorganWick
    Snowman in Homestuck, who also uses her cigarette holder as a weapon.
  • October 30, 2012
    Xtifr
    Shouldn't it be Tobacco Pour La Femme? If you're going to insert gratuitous French, which is probably not a very good idea. TV Tropes has an international audience, and many people who have English as their second language may have no clue at all when it comes to a third.
  • October 30, 2012
    Chernoskill
    A quick and dirty google "research" resulted in "Pour Femme" being a common name for parfumes, for example ("Pour Elle" is also widespread).

    for the above reason I think it's also ok to put it in french.
  • October 30, 2012
    lexicon
    OP - Please see my above comment for how smoking is masculine.

    I have no problem with the title being in french. It implies that she's classy and there's a whole index of Trope Names From The French.
  • October 30, 2012
    Generality
    Juno, the ghost caseworker in Beetlejuice, smokes long cigarettes. She's not particularly feminine, and, being dead, is more on the receiving end of fatality, but the smokes help cultivate an image of confidence.
  • October 30, 2012
    collex
    I'm a native French Speaker: Tobacco Pour Femmes is totally grammatical, if Femme is plural (with a s). If you want to keep the word Femme in singular, you need the la article.

    I suggest you just put an s at the end of femmes
  • October 31, 2012
    m8e
    Tobacco Pour Femme is fine. The use of Perfume Pour Femme and X Pour Femme is so common that we can ignore this grammatical error like everyone else does.
  • December 9, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    Male aristocrats also use cigarette holders. It is not a female tendency, and either way it is not a trope.

    Also, my experience is that this is either long narrow cigarettes (feminine), or a cigarette holder (feminine and masculine), but not both. I don't think I've ever seen a Virginia Slim (etc.) in a cigarette holder.
  • December 9, 2012
    TropeEater
    bunp; any more examples?
  • December 9, 2012
    StarSword
    Advertising:
  • December 9, 2012
    MaxWest
    Eve Tessmacher in the 1978 Superman movie smokes with a cigarette holder when we first see her.
  • December 9, 2012
    MorganWick
    The problem, of course, is that even if you know French the name doesn't indicate the actual trope.
  • December 9, 2012
    MaxWest
    The Penguin, one of Batman's recurring foes, is a male example of smoker using a cigarette holder. Some Batman media depicts the Penguin as such.
  • December 9, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    https://www.google.com/images?q=cigarette+holder

    There are zero "long, thin cigarettes" in those results, and a lot of men.
  • December 9, 2012
    lexicon
    Even if the name doesn't directly say what it's refering to I think it's close enough. Loosely translated it's "tobacco for ladies."

    It's looking good except the examples can use some context so they're not each a Zero Context Example. The 101 Dalmatians example can say, "Cruella has become rich with a big collection of fur coats and has become rude and spoiled with her wealth." It should also mention what's happening when she's smoking.
  • December 9, 2012
    lexicon
    I keep thinking of the scene in Titanic where "When Rose lights a cigarette and her mother objects, Rose blows the smoke in her mother's face. Cal pulls the cigarette from it's holder and puts it out, then orders her meal for her." It's used to show that she isn't allowed to make any choices for herself so even the most elegant smoking isn't okay. The men on the other hand get to smoke their cigars.
  • January 13, 2013
    jayoungr
    Is this still open? I'd just like to comment that I prefer a version of the title that doesn't mention cigarettes specifically. I've been reading a bunch of Georgette Heyer lately, and her heroines occasionally take snuff. (Regency Buck springs to mind.)
  • January 13, 2013
    rodneyAnonymous
    Long, thin cigarettes are feminine but they are never (literally never, AFAIK) put in cigarette holders.

    Also there is no particular association between femininity and cigarette holders, as far as I know. "Aristocratic" maybe.

    This is garbage.
  • January 13, 2013
    lexicon
    If this is garbage why does the Femme Fatale page say, "she slinks into the PI's office, holding a cigarette on a long, long holder?" Something like this.

    No association between femininity and cigarette holders? I've seen a few female characters smoking with cigarette holders but I don't think I've ever seen a man doing it.
  • January 13, 2013
    rodneyAnonymous
    Because it's evil smoking, like that phrase is potholed to, in that article.

    Note that https://www.google.com/images?q=cigarette+holder results in a lot of men. Can't say "never seen that" anymore.

    Also the "long, thin cigarettes in a cigarette holder" in the laconic is not supported by any evidence at all.

    Description says "A subtrope of Good Smoking Evil Smoking". No, it's the same thing.
  • January 13, 2013
    lexicon
    I saw four women. One of them had her hair pulled back but when I made the picture big I could tell that she's a woman.

    Being evil isn't even part of what the Femme Fatale is. She's "A sultry, highly attractive, but morally ambiguous woman." Morally ambiguous, like the trope the smoking links to, Good Smoking Evil Smoking, which is not about smoking being evil but is, "How one smokes says a lot about their morality."

    "Historically considered a masculine habit, the feminization of smoking occurred in tandem with the advent of fashion brands or premium brands of cigarettes specifically marketed toward women. ...which are differentiated by slimness and added length over traditional brands of cigarettes." There's even a Wikipedia article about this.
  • January 14, 2013
    rodneyAnonymous
    "Fatale." Being a little evil is totally part of it.

    Yes, your quote and link are about "long, thin cigarettes". My mom smoked Virginia Slims. Those are feminine. Cigarette holders aren't exactly, though.
  • January 14, 2013
    peccantis
    Yuuko doesn't use a cigarette holder; it's a long Japanese pipe. It's similar in appearances and has similar but not identical connotations. Pipe smoking in manga/anime, especially for semimodern or modern characters, is a sign of masculinity, roughness, moral ambiguity, in pre-modern settings it might hint at not-so-legal earnings or even prostitution. Oiran can smoke a pipe as well as wear "men's" motifs such as tigers and dragons; their image is all about pomp and power. A "proper lady" would not. Yuuko's image is pretty clearly geared towards oiran imagery with all the fanciful (and huge) hair decs and, eh, freedom with her kitsuke.

    Non-mod reminder to not commit Zero Context Example please.

    As for Cruella De Vil, her image is mostly a White Dwarf Starlet, although she never was a Starlet but an Heiress. (Trope ahoy?) Luxury and fading glamour. Oh yes,s he's too good to hold a cigarette in her fingers.
  • January 14, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    When he first appears on screen, Captain Hook from Walt Disney's Peter Pan is smoking two cigarettes at once using that peculiar device.
  • January 16, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    In Real Life, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt smoked with a cigarette holder. I think in times past (like in FDR's day), it was more an aristocracy thing than a female thing, although I think in the present day it's more a female thing, and guys using cigarette holders might be seen as effeminate.
  • January 16, 2013
    lexicon
    Do people feel like this deserves hats? It keeps being brought to the top but it lacks examples and any with any context.
  • January 16, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    ^ True perhaps, but since any examples with context would probably be "The elegant woman X smokes cigarettes with holders", you don't really need verbiage (like you do with a lot of other tropes) to explain how it's an example of the trope, really.
  • January 17, 2013
    nitrokitty
  • January 17, 2013
    lexicon
    They can say how we can tell that she's (not he's) an elegant lady. Contrasting her from the men would be good since smoking is traditionally a men's practice. Being Beatnik sounds more cool than elegant. If this is ever going to be launched it needs examples with context. Hats would be good too. Otherwise we might as well discard it.
  • January 17, 2013
    rodneyAnonymous
    ^^^ "[Y]ou don't really need verbiage [...] to explain how it's an example" is a terrible (yet unfortunately common) excuse to tolerate ZCEs. Tropes are creator-shorthands for meaning. If the "example" says nothing but "this happened" then it's not an example of a trope. If it's "okay" for examples to not have any context, then it's Not A Trope.

    We Are All Kosh's comment supports the idea that this isn't a trope and should be discarded.
  • January 18, 2013
    dubey
    Film
  • January 19, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    ^^ Well it does mean something: it is supposed to indicate "elegance" or "classiness" in a female character. It's just that "elegance" or "classiness" are hard to describe, unless you go into detail about the kind of dress they're wearing or whatever--and let's face it, nerds like us generally have no "fashion sense" to communicate stuff like that (at least I don't). "Elegance" is also somewhat intangible, an attitude, a bearing, etc. Stuff that might be hard to describe for some people, other than one knows it when they see it. Kind of like "sexiness"--which can also be in the eye of the beholder.

    I do understand why there's a general rule about Zero Context Examples. In this case however, I'm not sure how much we need other than maybe saying the character is supposed to be "elegant" or "classy", or maybe describing it in terms of how others react to her. Maybe we can do that with the examples at least. If anyone wants to wax more poetic with the examples, go for it.

    It is certainly used for a reason, but that reason is kind of hard to describe in tangibles, is all I'm saying.

  • January 20, 2013
    lexicon
    "One knows it when they see it," isn't tropable. We need some context or the examples doesn't say anything. If Jessica Rabbit does smoke something long, then the example can also say that she's a sultry club singer and sex symbol in a slinky red sparkly dress. That makes it clear that she's feminine.
  • January 20, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Starting with mine given above:

    Live-Action TV

    Morticia Addams of The Addams Family, like her husband, projected an aristocratic air (amongst their family's famously bizarre ideosyncracies). She smoked with a cigarette holder, while Gomez smoked cigars.
  • January 20, 2013
    lexicon
    From the page it's self: Morticia Addams is calm is calm reason to her husband's maniacal exuberance and she's always clad in a tight, slinky black dress. She smoked with a cigarette holder, while Gomez smoked cigars.

    Unless the woman is more aristocratic than the man we should leave that out to make it clear that this is about being feminine.
  • January 20, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    But I think it was once customary for aristocrats of both sexes who smoked cigarettes, to use one of those (e.g. FDR did). But nowadays, it's usually only women who want to project that kind of air of elegance, classiness (i.e. stuff often associated with aristocracy)--men who still smoke cigarettes with holders are probably viewed as effeminate for the most part. In other words, I'm not sure if it is a mark of femininity per se (other than that men rarely do it these days), so much as females who want to project "elegance" or "classiness" (which I know the description doesn't say, perhaps it should though). Now in certain past eras when females generally weren't "supposed to" smoke, that may have been the only "acceptable" way for a woman to smoke, but these days that doesn't apply, and very feminine women can smoke Kools or Camels or whatever if they want. So if you see it these days, it says something more specific about the female besides "femininity"--"elegance" or "classiness", or affectations thereof.
  • January 20, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Or (as the description does mention), it can be used in a work as a marker for a femme fatale in a film noir, but these women generally try to project an air of classiness or elegance (or have it), although they're often Broken Birds of some sort.
  • January 20, 2013
    lexicon
    FDR doesn't count as how a "lady can partake of this traditionally male practice while still staying credible as a feminine woman." When there is a couple in a story and she is smoking something long while he is smoking something fat and short (a cigar) it is very much being used as a mark of femininity. It is a specific femininity of course, the elegant and classy kind.
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