Here she is, subject of that iconic photo named ‘American Girl,’ photographed in Italy, in 1951. Ninalee Craig is the 23-year-old American girl (at the time) who’s gone on the record to say she “wasn’t alarmed or feeling harrassed,” though some argue her facial expression says otherwise. This was her second walk down this particular street, this time for the camera held by commercial photographer Ruth Orkin (since deceased).
The women had just recently met when they were staying at the same modest hotel. Photographer Orkin’s plan? To photograph a single woman traveling across Europe, alone. Though they both admitted that type of travel had its challenging moments, they found the pluses far outweighed the minuses.
In the photo that’s become world-famous, Ninalee Craig claims she never felt gawked at or ogled.
Now, we’ve all heard the expression, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” (and Ninalee certainly is beautiful–even today), but I guess one man’s “gawking or ogling,” is one woman’s idea of simple appreciation….nothing more.