The Art of Being Blonde in Italy
When I first moved to Italy, I lived in the south. Everyone was tan, olive skinned, with dark eyes, and generally almost black hair. I am about as far polar opposite as one can be from that. Before coming to Italy I didn’t give much consideration to my hair color. I am naturally REALLY blonde. I do not dye my hair, honestly I hardly touch it, although in the south people would LITERALLY touch it.
One of my first days in Puglia, I went to an open air market on my own one morning and someone actually began running her fingers through my hair, asking if it was natural. I felt shocked and rather confused. I think generally Americans like personal space more than Italians. I definitely believe in having a bubble and am not a huge fan of strangers popping it. However, I got fairly used to people stroking my hair out of the blue. Another time, I went dancing and I thought my hair would fall out by the end of the night because so many guys kept touching it, and pulling it, and creepily running their fingers through it whilst I was just trying to dance!
Not only would people touch my hair and ask strange questions about how I “came out so blonde”, I also became known as “Biondina” which directly translate to “little blonde”. I was not a huge fan of this new name and found it strange that that is how people remembered me.
This got me thinking about my identity. For a long time, I wanted to blend in. I thought of dying my hair but I had done that in the past and it is so much work and the color always washes out of my pale locks so quickly. So, the only other choice was to embrace my “foreigness”. I am pale and blonde, and when I speak Italian I do so with a horridly thick American accent.
I’m working on having my dual citizenship, but no matter how Italian I become I will always be a blonde foreigner and after three years of trying to fit in, I’m going to now be ok with sticking out.
My friend and blogging partner, Emily isn’t naturally as blonde as me but for Italian standards she is another biondina. When we are together our hair color is pointed out quite often. Just the other day in a park, where we were taking some fall photos, a man stopped and yelled “mamma mia DUE bionde!” translating to a rough catcall of “Oh my god TWO blondes!” As if he saw something as rare as two zebras running through Turin.
We are two fun loving, smart, passionate blondes. We are so much more than the hair color we are so often defined by, and here in this blog you will learn that. We are reclaiming blonde and showing how great it can be to be due biondine in Italy!
Thanks for reading!
*Photos are from my wedding morning getting ready, doing hair and makeup and drinking wine with the greatest of friends from all over the world <3
*Photo credit goes to our wonderful photographer Valentina Franceschini, check out her work by going to her photography facebook page Pictures by Valentina Franceschini