Yesterday night, after a hotly contested quiz at the Pygmalion (in which we placed a deserved fourth [/14] 2 points away from the joint leaders) I returned home just in time to see the ending of the Miss Italia contest. Now I am not the kind who would sit through the whole contest for four days analysing every pound of flesh in order to evaluate the best of the lot in a manner that would make Shylock proud. I still keep an FHM calendar hanging in the Luxembourgish excuse for a toilet (as in separate from bathroom) as a constant reminder of my being one of the last bastions of bachelorhood in my generation. On balance I think that it could be well said that I am an appreciator of refined beauty whenever it is (freely – I am Gozitan after all) available for the eye to see.I also relish the idea of a contest and the thrill of competition – anything from Eurovision to the World Final of Curling can become interesting if the competitive, almost cut-troath, element can in anyway be perceived. So, back to Miss Italia. There I was, lucky enough to have avoided all stages but two of the competition. The final five. Having scrutinised them as carefully and as subjectively as television pictures would permit I quickly narrowed down my selection to the obvious winner…. number 60. She was a Penelope Cruz lookalike from Sicily called Anna Munafo. Surely she would win hands down.
One agonising hour later, which had been spent with absurd fillers which could only have caused the most acute of ulcers in the stomach of the competitors, the choice had narrowed down to two. Penelope from Sicily was one of them, the other was a Miss Normality called Edelfa. She reminded me of the eighties girls we are used to on programmes like Drive In! or presenting one of the early Mediaset programmes like Bim Bum Bam. She was Piemontese, a northern girl with lovely eyes but lacking all the charm the South has to offer. There we go I said… Penelope should be handed the crown and enough with all this charade.
Instead… ten minutes later Bruce “Die Hard” Willis was placing the crown on Edelfa Masciotta’s head much to my consternation. I was flabbergasted. The main reason was that televoting had a big part in this event and I would have thought that the Latinos have much the same tastes as me. Another case of the polls gone wrong?
And the crown goes to…. Piemonte
The conspiracy theorist in me (the little Labourite midget I keep hidden for these occasions) immediatey plotted a racist slant to the event. The constant repetition of the phrase “Un altra Piemontese ha vinto” could only mean that this was a sublime message of Italy’s powerful “C’e l’ho duro” north to its southern counterparts. But the anger of the moment subsided and was quickly and easily controlled. It was after all only a game, and like outlooks to life it tends to be very subjective at the end of the day.
The beholder indeed. Maybe eighties girls are back in fashion and the latina is being elbowed out of the scene. I wonder if we could speak of a majority when it comes to taste rather than opinion. Edelfa is queen while Anna lines up the lines of has beens. Till another year that is… when the absurd rules of a beauty contest are once again put into play for another trend to be set.
Meanwhile, as far as beauy goes how’s this for a good description of beauty: Speaking of the iconic ST Dupont lighters, Raymond Chandler once said that they “could make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window.” It may be his opinion but I sure love the way he described it.
The Dupont Lighter… an Adult’s Zippo
* Small final note. When asked their footballing allegiance, the two finalists Anna and Edelfa, both professed their faith in La Grande Signora. Sometimes there’s only one objective truth… beauty can only beauty appreciate!