Let's talk about Italian hair!
There's a lot of Italians with straight hair so I really don't understand why so many Americans believe that Romano and Veneziano with curly hair are supposed to be the most accurate version?? I will talk a bit about hair.
Small disclaimer: I'm not talking about anyone in particular, this is for those who believe that an Italian character to be accurate has to have curly dark hair.
Now, back to Hetalia:
I live in Campania (South Italy) and I can say that curly hair in my city is pretty common. Wavy hair even more, but not as much as straight hair. My friend @j-crna-zvijezda who is also from Campania told me that (approximately) half of the people they know have curly OR wavy hair and the other half straight hair. And it's the same for my friend @elelloletee who lives in Salento (the heel of the boot). On the other hand my friends from North Italy told me that almost all of their friends have straight hair. Obviously there people with wavy hair but curly hair isn't as common as in the South! My Genoese friend @hws-cernunnos told me that her classmates were so shocked when they had a classmate with curly hair that they kept asking her questions about her hair for months. I tried to search online and all Italian articles and blogs I found on this topic agreed that in Italy straight hair are more common than curly hair, especially in the North. This shows that saying that curly hair are more common is just a stereotype!
Is Romano with curly hair accurate? Yes! Is Romano with wavy hair accurate? Yes! Is Romano with straight hair accurate? Yes!
All three hairstyles are accurate for Romano. Yeah, ALL of them. So if you give Romano curly hair because you find it cute it's okay!! If you do it because you believe it's "more accurate" or because someone told you that most S.Italians have curly hair, I'm happy to see that you have good intentions, but you're just following a stereotype, not real life! The canon designs are already accurate, there's nothing wrong with them, so there's no need to try to fix them. It's okay to change them a little for your own headcanons but please remember that "all Italians have curly hair" is a stereotype!!
Let me explain why I love all the Italian characters designs:
Canon Romano has dark straight hair and he is accurate because here straight hair are AS COMMON as non-straight hair. "Would he be as accurate if he had curly or wavy hair?" Yes!! "Are light brown or blonde hair accurate for Romano?" Not really. Surprisingly the only "correct" stereotype I can think of is that MOST of us have dark hair. I wouldn't mind if Himaruya gave us a S.Italian character with light brown hair because there are light haired S.Italians (my best friend and her family are blonde, for example) but Romano is literally South Italy and the majority of us have either black or dark brown hair so it's better if you don't change his hair colour! (For those who are into 2Ptalia don't worry there's nothing wrong with blonde Flavio because it's just an AU lol.)
Canon Veneziano has straight light brown or blonde / almost reddish hair. Is he accurate? Yes he is! His design is really good! Light straight hair are more common in the North than in the South! "Would it still be accurate if he had darker hair?" Yes! Any hair colour can work for the personification of North Italy!! I personally prefer his canon hair colour because I've never seen an Italian character with this hair and it surprised me in a positive way. So if you want to follow 100% his canon design too I would recommend you to be careful to not make it "too red" because red hair isn't common, but to give him light brown (or blonde) hair with red highlights instead! The colour is called "Venetian blonde" and it's really pretty and can work for his hair. After all his name is Veneziano and looking at the most recent canon art I think this is what Himaruya wants to do with his hair :). "Would it still be accurate if he had curly hair?" Yes, but not completely. As I said there are N. Italians with curly hair but they aren't the majority. I believe straight or maybe wavy hair are better for the personification of North Italy. So it's okay if you give him curly hair if you like it!! Just please don't say you're doing it because "Italians have curly hair".
Canon Genoa (he's N. Italian) has straight hair on the top and cute curls at the bottom, the colour is unknown. I love his design! His hair is perfect! A lot of Italians have this weird "straight at the top, wavy at the bottom" type of hair (me as well!) which is why I'm so in love with him! And any hair colour except red can work for him just like Veneziano.
Canon Seborga has completely red straight hair. Like I said red hair isn't that accurate to represent the whole population but 1) we're tired of seeing Italians in foreign media always represented in the same way. Italian hair come in all colours so it's possible for us to have red or blonde hair!! And 2) Seborga is just a micronation with 300 people so even just 3 red hairs there makes 1% of the population. And 3) he isn't supposed to represent the whole country he just happens to be Italian. So don't worry about us being misrepresented by him, we're happy the way he is! Red haired people (especially women) have it bad in Italy so a good character representing red haired Italians is perfect! I've never seen anyone in the Italian fandom complain about his design so <3
(extra) most people don't know about Canon Littorio but she's an Italian war ship with blonde hair and blue eyes. I'm not sure if I should count her as an Italian character, but if she is I really like her! She's just a ship so just like Seborga she doesn't represent the whole Italian population she just happened to be Italian and there are some Italians with blonde hair and blue eyes, so why can't she have this colour palette?
So what I wanted to say is that you are free to change their designs a bit if you like it!! Just one thing: if you want to be accurate don't follow stereotypes, if you want to follow stereotypes because you like them (it isn't necessarily a bad thing!) don't claim you're being "more accurate than the original" because you're accidentally spreading misinformation. I've seen a lot of Americans really believing that Italians with natural straight hair or blonde Italians don't exist :/.
I don't want you to misunderstand this post so I'll explain it one last time: I'm not saying that changing designs is bad!! You can do it and I do it too sometimes!! All I'm saying is that if you change them to be more accurate, but you accidentally follow a stereotype, it's harmful.
"Romano should have curly hair because he's Italian" is misinformation ❌
"I headcanon Romano with curly hair because I can relate more/because he's cuter this way" is good! 👍
Talking about hair headcanons I headcanon that Romano used to have curly hair when he was a child but it got straight growing up :)
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