The girl walks down the street defiantly, clutching her shawl. Young, and not so young, men stare, catcall, and grab their crotch. The place is Florence, the year is 1951, the photographer Ruth Orkin, and the mood is of budding feminism fighting against old, haggard European misogyny. Or is it? The subject of the famous photo is still alive and speaks out about the real context of this iconic picture (via MSNBC — click to see the picture in larger version):
The iconic 1951 image “American Girl in Italy” turns 60 on Monday. As its anniversary approaches, the stunning woman in the photo — Ninalee Craig, now 83 — is speaking up about it. She wants to explain what the photo represents, and what it doesn’t.
“Some people want to use it as a symbol of harassment of women, but that’s what we’ve been fighting all these years,” Craig said in a telephone interview from her home in Toronto. “It’s not a symbol of harassment. It’s a symbol of a woman having an absolutely wonderful time!”