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Bringing Natural Femininity Back @ Miss Italia

Natasha Lardera (August 20, 2012)
The national beauty pageant looks at the classic and immortal charm of the fifties for inspiration in an era that moves away from too much skin and tattoos and welcomes elegance, spirituality and inner beauty.

“Farewell” bikinis and “hello” one piece suits: Miss Italia 2012 travels back in time to the glorious fifties, where sexy was something that did not show too much skin. So this year's competitors will wear either a black or a white one piece featuring flirty frills on one shoulder that will be used as a base to different outfits.

“We are looking at the classic and immortal beauty of the fifties, an era of feminine icons that still inspire us today with their elegance, class and sex appeal,” the competition's producer, Patrizia Mirigliani, said, “We – this includes the fashion consultant Simona Cagnoni and the costume designer Maria Baiocco - are bringing femininity back.”

Let's not forget that among the participants, finding later success in cinema and the entertainment industry at large, we find some of Italy's beauty icons: Sophia Loren, Silvana Pampanini and Stefania Sandrelli.

In an era where young, and not so young, girls aspire to become reality show stars or half naked TV starlets and TV is source of trashier and trashier inspiration, it is commendable that Rai, mostly pushed by its new president Anna Maria Tarantola, is turning to sobriety and a greater dignity in showing off the natural beauty of Italian girls.  

The show, which will take place on September 9-10 and will be hosted by Fabrizio Frizzi, aims to exalt not only external beauty but interior beauty as well, and this new philosophy shows in the choice of special guests that will meet the girls before and during the show. Whether she is a teacher, a politician, a friend, or a mother, having a woman to look up to has proven to be a crucial part of girls’ development and this year the producers count on Tara Gandhi

Gandhi's granddaughter, a promoter of non-violence and peace, together with ballet dancer Carla Fracci, will meet the 230 contestants on August 22nd in Montecatini. “The competition has always been portraying a good image of femininity yet we have decided to let the bikini go. I respect president Tarantola's ideas and I think it is necessary to change course and show our girls that there are different ways of standing out. The general population agrees with us: our followers on the web have voted the bikini out,” Miss Mirigliani continued.“The presence of Tara Gandhi symbolizes the importance of wholesome beauty, of the importance of inner beauty and spirituality. We are sure that the 230 girls will be inspired by her.” 

Miss Mirigliani is also hoping that Jane Fonda will accept to be president of the jury. “She has not confirmed yet but we really hope she will. She is an incredibly inspiring woman... she has aged gracefully, she has revolutionized the female world (she started the fitness craze in the 1980's and promoted good health) and she has always been an activist (Fonda has been a longtime supporter of feminist causes, including V-Day, a movement to stop violence against women). My other dream would be to have Rita Levi Montalcini, a beautiful, charismatic, intelligent and socially conscious woman.”

But the list of inspiring examples continues “Emma is a strong and charismatic young woman, as are Amoroso and Tatangelo. Caterina Balivo is an ex Miss, but she recently became a mom. They all are great female role models that are welcome on our stage". 

What is not welcome at Miss Italia 2012 are plastic surgery, piercing and tattoos. “Last year, we presented the girls with 10 rules of good behavior or better, useful tips for all the girls to be respectful and coherent. My initiative was considered old fashion by those who have not understood the change the female world is going through right now. The world is trying to bring natural charm and femininity back. Miss Italia is always a reflection of what is going on and oftentimes anticipates change. We were the first who abolished measurements, who introduced married contestants and girls wearing size 44. We promote a natural image, the girl next door that everybody likes not the sexy, photoshopped vamp.”