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Swedish models & Blahniks

Walk down any street in Scandinavia, in Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, or Helsinki and you will be struck by the number of beautiful women you see.

There are hardly any unattractive people, neither the men nor the women. Most Scandinavians are somewhere on the scale between attractive and beautiful. And theirs is a natural, fresh-faced beauty, not one that relies on heavy use of cosmetics to hide or camouflage disproportionate features.

As a result, Scandinavian models are world-renowned. Dating back to the sixties, they have earned a reputation for fantastic looks, a great work ethic, excellent command of English, and a calm presence, with no freak-outs and tantrums.

Model Elsa Sylvan

Nina Persson. Models in high heels

Emma Andersson

Emma Andersson. Models in high heels

Noomi Rapace

Noomi Rapace. Models in high heels

Lena Olin

Lena Olin. [See more Lena

Sofi Fahrman, fashion columnist

Sofi Fahrman. Models in high heels

Model Elsa Sylvan

Elsa Sylvan. Models in high heels

Do you remember Danish model Helena Christensen, back in the supermodel era? More recent names include Emma Sjoberg and Elsa Sylvan -- and glamour model Victoria Silvstedt.

Greta Garbo

Scandinavian actresses have also reached international fame. The most famous of all are Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman, but we can also name Swedes Anita Ekberg and Lena Olina, Norwegian Liv Ullman, and Dane Connie Nielsen.

Scandinavian beauty lights up track and field, plus sports such as golf and soccer. Think of Annika Sorenstam, Karin Koch (both golf), Carolina Kluft (heptathlon and long jump), Josefine Oqvist (soccer), Kajsa Berqvist, and Emma Green (both high jump).

Beauties with a local reputation who have not yet reached an international audience include news anchor Anna Lindmarker, actress Lena Endre, fashion writer Sofi Fahrman, tv stars Agneta Sjodin, Kattis Ahlstrom, Carola, Ebba Blitz, Jessica Almenas, Linda Bentzing, and the Graf sisters. And that is just the tiniest tip of the Scandinavian iceberg.

World of music

Nor must we forget the world of music. From Abba to the Cardigans with Nina Persson, Scandinavian beauty has stood center stage.

Stunning looks

I first fell in love with stunning Scandinavian good looks when my parents rented out an apartment to an art and photography student, Linnea Carlsson, from Uppsala, north of Stockholm.

Model's figure

She had the lightest blondest hair I had ever seen. She was gorgeous without make up, whereas every girl I knew in Chicago applied a face mask of cosmetics to look presentable.

Linnea would melt by heart first thing in the morning when she opened her apartment door in t-shirt, running shorts, and bare feet. Of course, I had to invent reasons to call on her. Did she need anything to be fixed? A dripping faucet perhaps? Did she need a ride to school or the grocery store? Did she want to visit some of the downtown art galleries?

Not fazed

She took my eagerness in her stride, was never rude, and never once made me feel bad about my obvious and clumsy advances. I was very seriously in love with Linnea. I developed an interest in photography just to have something to talk about with her. We walked the same streets, looked at the same skyscrapers as Harry Callahan had done when he photographed Chicago so many years ago.

I bought maps, read biographies, and interviews just so I could retrace Harry Callahan's walks around the city and impress Linnea with my knowledge.

She taught me the value of friendship with women. A man can be exceptionally close to, and trusted by, a woman if she feels safe in his company, if she knows he won't clutter and spoil the friendship with improper advances

By Linus Brannstrom