The Italian Man’s Love for Hairy Women

There is a famous Italian proverb that goes: “una donna barbuta è sempre piaciuta.” It’s literal translation is: “a bearded woman is always liked”. Depending on where you are in Italy, some Italians use a variation of the proverb: “una donna baffuta è sempre piacuta“, which means “a mustached woman is always liked.” Whatever the case may be, the meanings are essentially the same, signifying that hairy women in Italy are desired.

Since a proverb is a saying that expresses a perceived truth, coupled with the fact that shaving the armpits of women is a relatively new practice in Italian history, it is safe to say that not long ago, the desirability of an Italian woman was determined by the amount of hair she had on her body. In other words: the hairier, the sexier! In fact, as we all know, the greatest Italian sex symbol of all time, Sofia Loren, loved to show off some armpit bush to the paparazzi for all men around the world to lust over.

One theory as to why Italian men went crazy over hairy women is that from strictly a biological perspective, hairy women are known to have a larger degree of hormones, which in turn creates a higher sex drive. In addition to the perceived sex drive, hairier women were considered good women with a focus on family instead of superficiality. For Italian men, to have a hairy woman, was to have it all.

However hairy women were perceived back then, times have changed. Modern Italian men are not big fans of hair nowadays (with the exception of my Roman friend, Carlo, who goes crazy for the hairiest of women). Besides Carlo, and my Turkish professor, Ahmet, I have never met a man who prefers hairy women over clean-shaven or waxed women. In fact, permanent hair removal is one of the most active practices in Italy today, for both men and women.

Notwithstanding, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and just as men may voice a preference in how they would like their lovers, women too have their own preference in how they like the men in their lives. Some women love hairy men, while others like them to be clean-shaven. Trends change, fashions go in and out, cultures evolve. What is interesting to note for Italian Enthusiasts, however, is that hairy women at one time in Italy were adored, and that there remains a proverb known all throughout Italy memorializing this fact, and reminding generations to come that there is nothing wrong with a woman wearing a little mustache.


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