I’ve been writing for nearly a year now about how hard it is for an American Mamma to reach the looks standards of the Italian women. Women in Italy are style-conscious and impose high standards on themselves in terms of physical looks and dressing. I have written about my desperate attempts to have luscious legs, my frustation at not being able to wear sweatpants at the supermarket in Rome, and my need to buy a push up bra to make the grade of bustiness common in Roman society.
I have the feeling some of you don’t believe me. You don’t think that Italian women really do dress up that much, you believe I am exaggerating. Well, I am on a mini-mission to prove my point with some blogs posts with less writing but some visual proof.
Today I took my daughter to a friend’s house in a coastal town called Nettuno about an hour south of Rome. The beaches of Nettuno and the neighboring town of Anzio are where the allies did an amphibious landing on January 22, 1944 as they began the attack that would take them up to liberate Rome. But there certainly weren’t any marines in boots in Nettuno today, there were women teetering in heels.
Today I was in my Sunday clothing – jeans, t-shirt, flat-shoes (not sneakers), and a scarf.
After lunch with our friends, we took a walk in search of a gelateria (ice cream shop) along the promenade in Nettuno past the yacht-packed port and the old medieval town with its fort. As often happens to me in Italy, I realized I was noticeably under-dressed. My eyes kept catching on women in extraordinarily high heels. I stepped in behind one and tried to discretely snap a few photos of her feet, but I couldn’t manage to get a decent shot. Finally, I stopped her, explained that I am an American journalist and asked her if I could take a picture of her “super-chic” Italian shoes for my blog. Without hesitation, she proudly posed for me as I crouched at her feet to take the above picture.
If I wore shoes like that for a walk on a Sunday afternoon anywhere in the United States, I believe I would be taken for a hooker. This woman was not a hooker, she was a fashionable Italian lady enjoying a Sunday stroll.
Trisha is a TV journalist working for AP TV News in Rome. She is married to an Italian and is a Mamma of three.