How lovely summer is approaching, soon school will be ending and the Nation is dreaming of beaches and holidays.
I look at an ‘intelligent’ women magazine which should be a good mixture of interesting current affairs articles, some intellectual and artistic stimuli, no gossip… and just a little fashion. Ads of bikini are everywhere, beautiful bikinis of course, worn by even more beautiful (and sometime a bit too unrealistic) models. Most women on Italian beaches seem to wear bikinis, no matter what their age, a sight that shocked an Australian friend of mine who was convinced that Italian women were stylish until she saw them at the beach. I remain of the opinion that you can wear what you like at the beach, but at the same time I find it really really really negative that so many women are actually desperate and depressed because they do not look like the models of the bikini they bought.
The worst thing is that it is contagious! Usually I arrive in summer, wear what I have and be done with it. Now I have seen the slow work of advertising and brain washing (and I very rarely watch TV!) that sets in, starting slowly from January 1st for the more 'serious', and escalating in spring for the late starters with one every two ad pages dedicated to stomach, hips, legs, and secret fat tissues. The other half is bikinis.
And then I see that also half of the Italian bloggers seem to be on a diet.
Good on you to diet if you are fat, a must if you are obese, and ethically correct if you are eating like a pig while so many people in the world go hungry. But I could not believe that so many Italian bloggers can be on a diet all at the same time. This is not normal!!! Maybe it is because I don’t know what they look like (I only read their blogs or comments to other blogs) and maybe they are really fat, or could it be some sort of Italian tradition for May? Or some kind of blog solidarity (you diet - I should too, sort of thing)?
…or maybe they are just comparing themselves with those models whose bikini they would like to wear. Please someone tell me that I am wrong!
Because if these Italian bloggers are anything like the women I meet on the street and in the shops everyday (i.e. normal women) They cannot be possibly be all that fat!!!
And here comes my second discovery: in Italy the not-fat are told that they have many other PROBLEMS!
I have ‘learned’ here that often your tummy is not fat, just ‘bloated’! Of course that you can cure, the ads say, just by taking some fermented milky/yogurty mini drinks, or by buying some ‘stronger’ versions of miracle bacteria in the chemist shop or health food shop. I have been looking at my own reflection on the shop windows where these ‘cures’ are advertised, wandering if I am also ‘bloated’, since this aliment doesn’t exist in New Zealand (unless you drink a lot of beer). Maybe I got it here!?! Mmmmh, I feel a bit soft...possibly I could do some abdominals to shape up a bit, those seem to work well for everyone in every country, and they are free…
But it doesn’t stop here: I have ‘learned’ from an ad in one of the major newspapers that cellulite in Italy is actually an illness and can be cured with a medicine. Funny, In New Zealand it is not an illness. It is something that 80-90% of women get, to different degrees, because they are women. Oh dear, I thought that I was normal, and now I read that I am sick!!! And no abdominals will work for cellulite!
I could go on: in fact there are problems, illnesses, aliments, unevenness and scary fat tissue everywhere in this country. But never fear: there are remedies for everything, from creams to lotions to pills to cures to cosmetic surgery. Fancy that! Some even work at night while you sleep, some will give you instant results, and some will be long lasting. Obviously none of them is free...
I’ll go for the abdominals for a bit more tone; I won’t diet because I believe in eating well, eating little and eating ethically everyday (and this includes the occasional ‘treat’, which for me is delicatessen food, never junk food). I won’t take a medicine for cellulite because a good scrub and some massages (self made) when putting on moisturizers do miracles anyway, and I am sure that with what I eat and drink I cannot possibly be ‘bloated’: normal adult women do not have an 'ironing board' stomach (or worse, a concave stomach) when standing up!
Now, I just hope that this summer I won’t break into tears if the bikini will make me look like an healthy and normally shaped 40 years old mother of two rather than a photographically enhanced 17 years old lingerie model.