June 16, 2008

White faces, round butts

Because of their great builds and -- I don’t know -- because of pride in their femininity, Italians move well in clothes. An Italian woman’s walk is distinctly different from American or Northern European women, who have an athletic stride. Italians undulate with their hips, showing off well-cut feminine fashion to best advantage. Psychologists can argue that this marked sensuality is an indication of a certain insecurity: unsure of their own position in the world, they crave the approval of men and move in ways that will elicit that approval. I don’t know about that; to me, their flowing gait is far more attractive than my own choppy pace, and they look so damn GOOD when they move. They have always looked good.

To put things in historical perspective, Italians have been setting international beauty standards for centuries, just as they dominate the worlds of art, fashion and design today. The term "Renaissance beauty" was invented here, applying to Florentine women with white-powdered faces (which probably alleviated the need for facelifts, had they been available back then), red lips and cheeks, round breasts and buttocks, and long hair parted down the middle and ornately-coiffed.