Let me tell you what: American women may have Victoria’s Secret, but Italian women have another secret altogether.
You know it by the way she holds her head a little higher than yours, eyes on fire, gliding down the god damn sidewalk as if her and Mother Nature were tag teaming.
It is not just confidence—though confidence is plainly written across her shoulders—nor arrogance, judging by the way she laughs with her entire body alongside her friends in the piazza. Rather, it’s the secret of Italian women—as I’m witnessing here while I’m in Italy this week—and it’s wrapped in a stylish red trench coach and a pair of oversized sunglasses, whispering the words, “And I’m not even trying.”
We desperately need to all take a page out of her
book purse. Contrast that image with the average American woman, and you know what you see, instead?
Eyes averted. Head down. Guarded demeanor. And trying so hard to withdraw herself from having to speak to anyone, or smile at anyone, or dare find herself vulnerable, or judged, or even seen.
The secret of Italian women is that they like to be seen.
They don’t withdraw—they own the space they’re in. They believe they deserve that space. They believe that they’re worth the gaze of another person’s eyes; worth being heard by another person’s ear; worth being admired by another person’s ego. They believe they’re worth being seen.
And, you know, it translates. Into long, leggy strides. Self-assured shoulders. Valiant faces. Daring eyes. And very few apologies as they move through life, blessing every space with their presence instead of apologizing for it.
How would you feel if you bought milk as an Italian woman today?
How would you sit in your chair at a business meeting?
How would you enter a room—any room?
And, how might it affect the way you do business? Ask for money? Negotiate contracts? Assert yourself? Write the check? Open the door? And stand in a way that tells the world that you are worthy?
You don’t have to be an Italian woman to own the room.
But you do have to learn how to own yourself.