“We’re your weather girlsss, and we’ve got newssss for you! ”
Traveling while black is an experience in and of itself. As an African-American single female, it is typical to search “Do italians like black people? Do russians like black girls? Do asian men like black women?” before making a trip, because let’s face it, none of us want to travel to a place where we will encounter racist remarks or feel unwelcome. It’s a sad truth but yes, the fear of not being accepted is a large reason why a lot of American Blacks don’t venture overseas, or out of their country, to places other than the Caribbean or Africa. Before leaving for my study abroad trip I read the blogs of probably every black traveler to see the places I should visit or stay away from.
While doing this research, I came across a dozen of comments and blogs of how widely received we were in Italy, and I’ll admit they were one of the reasons why I was dying to go. There are a million comments on the internet saying, “Go to Italy, they love black girls there! ” . Even white female travelers were recommending as a place to go. Probably the funniest I’ve read was a site, dedicated to black women traveling to Italy, almost guaranteeing that these hopeless romantics would find the man of their dreams there. After reading up on it on google, you would think that flying to Italy would magically turn you from broke Cinderella into Beyonce!
From my own experience, I can say that this myth is indeed overhyped. As an attractive African-American female, I can tell you that you will still be the same girl you are in NY in Italy. There are, however, four main factors in Italy that will increase your luck in love:
1. Being foreign:
It’s sort of typical for men of any nationality to be more attracted to a foreign girl than a girl from next door. Being an American girl comes with a slew of positive and negative connotations. We can thank the film industry for that! Most Italian men will be in awe at the fact that you’re from the USA, because we’re glamorized in film all the time. There are actually quite a lot of African women born in italy due to immigration who don’t receive any special attention, and are even sometimes looked down on. So you’re American? Cool! Everyone will want to hear your stories from the states.
The negative image, again we can thank the film industry, is that American girls are super easy. (If anyone’s seen Love Actually, you’ll know why) That’s not specifically for black American girls, but for all. Italian women, as I’ve heard, are extremely hard to talk to (from an Italian man’s perspective). American girls are used to girl-boy friendships, (a concept that is unknown to the Italian men) and with this, are a lot easier to approach. So naturally, Italian men will approach you very often.
2. IT’S RAINING MEN. Amen!
Literally. Walking around in Rome I noticed this, but I’m not sure if there is any factual evidence behind it. My italian boyfriend reiterated this to me as well, “Italy is a country of men.” In a piazza in Rome in front of the movie theaters, I observed that in every social group there was 1-2 girls and 4-5 guys. My mind was blown. So, yeah, more available men = more attention.
“Get Ready, All you lonely girls. And leave those umbrellas at home! “
3. Less prejudice.
I’ll admit it, in the states even as an attractive African-American female having a caucasian man hit on you is rare. I’m not saying it never happens, it just doesn’t happen often. A lot of it could be segregation. (Yes, I said it, we still have segregation) We don’t usually live in the same neighborhoods or attend the same schools, so if there’s no interaction then the opportunity never strikes. Also, most caucasian men in the states still have prejudice mindsets. Simply meaning that dating an African-American woman isn’t the ideal, certainly not the trophy wife; unless of course you’re a Beyonce. If there has been some exposure to the culture, or the people, then the chances are greater. In Europe, or Italy rather, there are less prejudice mindsets when it comes to dating. They’re simply open to the experience and value beauty as a whole. They see us for us, not as an upgrade or a downgrade. If you’re beautiful then you’re still beautiful there. In America, if you’re pretty, you’d be “pretty for a black girl”, as people like to say. In London, I saw the most interracial couples I’d ever seen in my life! Even more than in Italy. So, I’d say overseas the playing field is leveled when it comes to dating. But you certainly shouldn’t feel like being there will turn you from a pumpkin into a horse-drawn carriage.
The funny thing is, talking to Italian men, they seem to know nothing about this overly glamorized Italian men-black women myth. Italians simply can appreciate all types of beauty. Nothing more and nothing less.
4. The Difference
I hate to say it, but there is definitely a difference between the African women born in Italy and the African-American women from the states. We have a different culture, we carry ourselves differently. Also, we have access to a lot of beauty products that they do not have access to in Italy. They just don’t carry our products there. (I.E: no MAC, no Remi, no Peruvian, no Brazilian, no 1B/2B, etc.) Most of the African women I encountered where rocking the natural fro, or had ethnic braids in. Therefore, we resemble more than African-American women you see in television and movies, which can be especially attractive because it’s something they are not used to seeing. Also, since most Africans there are immigrants, they don’t usually have the means to buy the things that we do to enhance our own beauty. (For those who don’t know, a good weave can cost upwards of 200- 800 dollars!) So you can imagine how this plays out in appearance. Even the African- Italian men there repeatedly told me that they could tell I was not italian. I also have features more keen to Ethiopia, whereas most of the Africans living in Italy are from Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria, and Ghana.
So there you have it, the truth behind the myth! I hope this blog is hopeful for all you reading the crazy comments you hear on the net regarding the swirl in Italy . Have fun! 🙂