I nearly choked on my falafel the other night in the kebab shop when, during a popular quiz show on channel 5, the camera zoomed in on the very pert rear end a 'show girl' climbing some stairs in a bikini. It was gynaecological. Viewers were treated to alternating shots of the girl's highly waxed private parts and the sweaty faces of young men ogling and applauding her from the studio audience. This was before the 8 o'clock news, by the way.
For those of you who don't live in Italy, let me tell you that terrestrial TV here is aimed at (and apparently made by) 15 year old boys. Italian TV is an avalanche of breasts, bottoms and cringe-worthy Carry On-style innuendos. Nearly all the Italians I know complain about it, but it seems such an ingrained tradition that nobody is REALLY surprised to see a half-naked woman in a cage used in an advert for anti-rust paint. Absurd botoxed lips are a must if a woman wants to stay on TV beyond the age of 35. Live here for long enough and you start to lose perspective yourself.
Reading 'Io Donna' this morning though, I discovered a blog and documentary all about how women are represented on TV in Italy and the ramifications for us normal women on the street. The documentary makes very interesting viewing (there's even a version with dodgy English subtitles)and asks why we put up with such drivel on our TV sets. Watch it and send the link to your friends! Author of the blog and documentary is Lorella Zanardo, my new hero.
What bothers me is that in 'Io Donna' magazine, the interview with Lorella is only on page 55 and is next to an advert for a hair-removal cream that shows a sexy tanned woman with 3 metre long legs dancing and smiling innanely. Is there any hope?