Atrocity exhibition: Italians according to stock photography

 In Blog

Yes, so what?

The universe of stock photography always fascinated me in a weird way. All those flat, perfect shots depicting people in such obvious (or often caricatured) postures give me a sense of anxiety, bringing to my memory images of a twisted alternate universe like the one shown in a famous videoclip from Soundgarden.

When it comes to depicting Italians, things get both weird and interesting. This article will show a selection results a standard user can get by typing “italian stock photography” on Google.

For your convenience, we will divide the photos in few categories, each one carrying a slice of how Italians are seen from abroad.

This is the way, step inside…

Italian Food

That was totally predictable, right? But believe me, around 90% of the results depicts food or something related to it. It’s too much even for a country in which people actually make up festivities just because they need an excuse for binge eating.

Ingredients. More ingredients. Even more ingredients, with mountains as an extra feature!
Italian restaurants with ridiculous names. Italian chefs apparently hold their personal set of spaghetti as a weapon… …and they get angry very easily (presumably with the waiters).

People drinking coffee

Again, predictable. But still, you should know that Italians will hardly sit down to consume their coffee. Espresso is a drug and it has to be consumed quickly and smoothly, it is not an occasion to have a chat with your loved one!

In Italy most of the times bars don’t even have tables… …except when it comes to touristic landmarks, where you spend 5€ for an espresso.

Italian Football fans

We are obsessed with football, we admit that. But football fans in Italy are not ugly or stupid as they are depicted in stock images, at least not that much. Let’s just say that we have a better style… sometimes.

Just notice that they are supporting Italy not only by wearing a scarf and some horrible face painting, but also by eating pizza.
The perfect italian night, isn’t it?
Sad italian clown is sad.

Male models

Here things start to get really weird. It looks like the general idea of italian beauty is nothing more than a participant to a Jersey Shorecasting. This is wrong at so many levels I will just let images speak for themselves.

Fashion shot of a young italian in studio WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?
That hint of a beard screams “I am a real man” and the green trousers and the fact that his whole body is shaved whisper “but I can be delicate as well”. WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?

Italians fighting and gesticulating

Apparently in Italy when people take a break from eating, fight a lot and move their hands histerically. This is probably due to the fact that gesticulating makes you burn a lot of calories.

The fundation of every gesture. Is that some kind of italo-american detective fighting with an irish godfather? And what kind of wine are they drinking? It looks like grape cider. This happened to my dad once.
The smiling man on the left is accusing, the guy on the right is denying: italian history in pills. The caption to this picture says: “Milan is the international capital of cheating husbands”.

Romance in Italy

This is what happens when you’re living la dolce vita and thinking that that’s amore. The stereotype of Italian Romance has made more victims than smallpox.

Italian stock photography romance Venice 1 Italian stock photography romance Venice 2 Italian stock photography romance Venice 3 Italian stock photography romance Venice 4
Can you appreciate the worry in his eyes? He is waiting for her, it’s already late… …but fear not, she’s on her way. She wanted to use gondola but then thought it would have been too cheesy. Some embarrassment at first… …but as always in Venice love wins over bad stock photos.
Aaaand this is how it ends, few hours later.
Aaaand this is how it ends, few hours later.

The Tamarri (aka Coatti)

Now, the charachter of the Tamarro (a boor, a yobster) is an archetype of what’s wrong with some Italians, but it seems that people from abroad perceive a distorted and even scarier version of it. Just look at the following pictures and you will understand what I mean.

italian stock photography coatti 1 italian stock photography coatti 2 italian stock photography coatti 3
The aggressive Tamarro really exists, but he doesn’t dress up like a mobster from the 50s. He is talking to you I guess (by the way that gesture doesn’t make any sense to an Italian). Gotta love this guy. He’s not afraid of expressing his opinions, even if you might not like it.
italian stock photography coatti 4 italian stock photography coatti 5
Ugly sunglasses: check. Good old white vest: check. Random ingredients on the table: check. Archetypical hand gesture: double check. Same guy, but with extra mustache! Hey man, you really love your food don’t you?

Italian Celebrities

This is definitely the saddest category of all. You might think of celebrities such as Domenico Modugno or Alessandro Del Piero but no, the only VIP that stock photographers seem to know and appreciate is… Lapo Elkann. Yes, exactly, this guy.

Looking for too long at that suit is probably dangerous for your eyes: viewer discretion is advised.
Staring for too long at that suit is probably dangerous for your eyes: viewer discretion is advised.


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