After years and years of being considered (by the Average Italian Guy) a classical example of a “not that pretty (i.e., quite ugly), but smart and fun” kind of girl, I moved to Holland, where, well, things are… different.
Okay, it’s not that – as soon as I got off the plane in Schiphol for the first time – the magical Dutch air transformed me in a tall, blond, hot supermodel. It would also be untrue if I said that, at the moment, I’m surrounded by bunches of admiring ADMs (Average Dutch Males). It’s not even that in Italy guys were never interested in me at all.
It’s a fact, tho, that Italian girls with my kind of physical features (short, fleshy, brunette, brown eyes) raise more interest among Dutch guys than among Italian ones.
All this “romantic” (honestly, most of the time it’s anything but romantic) interest towards me used to be quite puzzling, as in Italy it’d always been all a: “I’ve never met this friend of yours, Alice… how is she?”, “Hmm… simpatica*!”, then you arrive in Holland and… wow, guys actually find you attractive! Or at least they are like: “Not my type, but can’t say she’s ugly”. You can imagine I was kinda: wait, what happened? How is this possible?
So – since my life is empty and boring – I started thinking about it and eventually got to the conclusion that there are two main reasons why Italians girls like me are sorta popular among ADMs:
a. “Typical” Italian girls are like an exotic species, here where the average Dutch girl is tall, blonde, has blue eyes and doesn’t know how to dress properly.
Those brown eyes that in Italy have always been considered common and ordinary, suddenly become special, charming and magnetic. Being short means being cute, when you’re the first girl ever who has to stand on her toes in order to kiss this ADM. Plus, you are Italian, so you surely can cook, have a passionate temperament, are a naturally loving and caring person and I could go on for hours with other stereotypes we all know aren’t always true, but whatever.
b. Dutch guys, in general, seem to me to be less superficial than Italian ones.
Obviously there are exceptions, but only in Italy it happened to me to hear, quite often, bullshit like: “Nah, I’d never go out with that girl: she is too fat/skinny, has less boobs than me, has such a big nose…”.
My Italian male friends can be very mean when talking about girls, even if other girls (i.e. my friends and I) are around. Here in Holland it has never occurred to me to hear stuff like that. Yeah, sure, also here guys like to point out what they don’t like about a specific girl, but in a less rude and categorical way: “Hmm, she’s not really my type, she’s too skinny in my opinion” or “I don’t think she is ugly, but she definitely uses too much make-up for my taste” and things like these.
Of course, I’m not saying that Dutch guys can’t be superficial (probably they say horrible things when no girls are around) or that all the Italian ones are, but – for what I’ve experienced – ADMs seem to be not exclusively focused on the physical appearance, are usually more keen in finding positive aspects in girls they are not interested in and are surely more aware of the fact that, if you don’t like a specific girl, that doesn’t mean nobody can find her attractive (typical Italian guy’s way of thinking: I don’t like that girl. That girl is ugly. Universal Statement. End of the story).
Now, I wanna warn all the Italian-looking girls out there interested in Dutchies: the fact that ADMs would probably find you pretty doesn’t make hooking up with them an easy task.
In the Netherlands there’s kind of an actual equality of sexes: that means girls are as much active as guys are, when it comes to flirting and all that stuff. So, when in a club or a bar in Holland, don’t expect to receive the same kind of attention you are used to in Italy or in other southern European countries: ADMs seldom start flirting and – when they do – they aren’t really the best in it. They try, sometimes, but not with brilliant results.
Here are some examples of approaching techniques used by ADMs with me or other Italian (better: Italian looking) friends of mine:
– the overused method of making fun of your height. Classic. It occurred to me and friends of mine several times. Imagine this scene: you, Italian girl, are in a club; an ADM starts “dancing” next to you and eventually finds the courage to make eye contact: his blue drunken eyes stuck into yours, a hesitant smile on his face, then… he raises a hand, puts it parallel to the ground (some 120 centimetres from it or so) and starts moving it a few times from right to left and vice versa, eloquently informing you that you are short. You know, just in case you’ve never noticed it before. After this, the guy expects you to thank him for having given you this life-changing information in order to start an actual conversation. Of course, you actually just throw him a sarcastic look and move somewhere else.
– sometimes you are naive: the guy uses the lame, sad strategy of pointing out you are short, but still you start talking with him (he must be really cute, then!). After a first failed conversational attempt in Dutch, he realizes you are a foreigner. Even better: he finds out you are Italian. Now, Italian people who are reading this, do I seriously have to continue? Be prepared for a list of mispronounced Italian words, mostly referring to food, accompanied by annoying random gesticulation.
– while drinking a beer with a friend after a gig, I noticed that a nearby ADM was showing some interest towards me. Still overexcited by the great performance of one of my favourite bands, I wasn’t really paying attention to him, who was instead expecting a move from my side; a move that obviously didn’t come. This creative ADM decided to be brave and started walking in my direction, stopping halfway to collect something from the floor. A few moments later he was right in front of me, showing a badge and saying, with all the seriousness his drunkenness allowed him: “Hello, I’m from the press and I’d like to know your opinion about tonight’s concert”. Original way of approaching a girl, I have to admit that. Unfortunately, the comments his fellows and he made about my friend and me (in Dutch, thinking we couldn’t understand) weren’t so original. Neither so funny.
– Dutch are direct (have I ever said that?), so sometimes even their pick-up lines are: “Hey, my friend here is turning nineteen tonight! Would you like to celebrate with him, privately?!”. Nineteen? For God’s sake, I could be his mother!
– I was partying one night, as we old ladies still like to do once per month or so, when an ADM approached my friend and me, handing us a coaster with a phone number, a “Call me!” and a quite typical Dutch male name written on it. Accepting this valuable present, I asked him who was it intended for. “Both of you”, he happily replied. “Well, she has a boyfriend”, I told him, referring to my friend. “Then it’s only for you”, he said in all innocence. Gosh, the lad definitely knows how to make a girl feel special!
* Italian adjective meaning “nice, pleasant, fun, likeable”