Italian women are the synonym for beauty. They invest time and effort into looking and feeling good. At least that is what it looks like. But when you look under the surface, the choices they make are less voluntary and more forced onto them by the society. But does that necessarily have to be wrong?
I have arrived in Italy after having spent a week on a boat. I was happy to finally stay still (no waves, thank you) and root back into the ground. I could not wish for a more picturesque place to settle back down than Italy. The northern region of Friuli stands out because of its natural heritage, beautiful wines, foods and, of course, people. That was what I enjoyed most looking at, all the beautiful women with perfect make-up, fresh blow-outs and dresses embracing their bodies. I have never seen so many gorgeous ladies in one place. I was amazed until my (local) companion informed me, that women here are under constant pressure.
Italian women put make-up on because they have to, they dress well because they have no choice. The society basically dictates their lifestyle. And so, although they would still certainly look gorgeous without any make-up and in their PJ’s, in Udine, you will not find any ‘I-woke-up-like-this’ girl, they all spend time in front of the mirror and put efforts into their looks before leaving the house.
“From food to beauty, Italians put enjoyment at the heart of everything they do.”
I was ashamed of thinking how beautiful they all look, they are actually all exposed and forced to look their best to avoid judgemental looks from others. Having thought of the long hours that go into preparation, I wondered whether all this is actually worth it. But then I thoughts again, why is this happening in Italy? Isn’t it the country internationally-recognised for the ability to enjoy every aspect of everyday life? From food to beauty, Italians put enjoyment at the heart of everything they do and feel. And that’s what I love.
One might argue that it is not fair to put this enormous pressure on both men and women to look good at all times. I agree, that one must be extremely strong to live in a place like this and go against all the conventions and not to give a f*ck. On the other hand, making time in one’s busy schedule to look after oneself can bring unexpected joys and balance into life – a concept I have long been exploring. Italy has shown me not only how to look beautiful but also how to stop and enjoy the moment, even if it is forced onto you by the society. Let’s try to replicate ‘la vita è bella’ also in London!