Berlusconi is in the crosshairs again. This time for cavorting with young escorts, even though, as he said in his own defense, it was in a strictly amicable and—here’s the clincher—”elegant” way. Berlusconi? Elegant? Will oxymoron’s never cease?
As the papers are gleefully dissecting his latest social gaffs and political shortfalls, they can’t help but notice and dedicate precious column inches to the fact that Silvio seems to have a problem with growing old gracefully. We knew that his hair had a certain painted-on quality, but did we realize too that he was using an ultra-light Chanel moisturizing cream, a “French” foundation (brand not mentioned), and a bit of bronzer or cipria dorata?
According to the Corriere della Sera (“L’estetica di Berlusconi,” September 13, 2011), il Cavaliere, as Berlusconi is called, is convinced, of “the moral value of retouching” by which is intended plastic surgery. In a weak attempt at irony, he claimed that he’d wanted to resist “lifting” but that his then wife Veronica had insisted on an “aggiustatina.” (You have to love the understatement of the Italian diminutive in cases such as this: an eensy-weensy adjustment.)
Berlusconi is quoted as saying: “I admire women who undergo these operations. They are even more beautiful because they’ve earned their beauty.” And, “Every morning in front of the mirror, I look at myself and repeat, ‘I like myself. I like myself. I like myself.’ Remember, if one likes one’s self, others will like him too!”
Supposedly he comes by all this self-“esteem” genetically. His aunt Marina, now in her 80’s, is said to have stood in front of a mirror in a flowered dress, paying herself compliments when no one else was inclined to do so: “Marina cume te se bela!” Strong dialect which probably needs no translation. Marina, how beautiful you are!
I agree that self esteem goes along way, but gosh, I never knew that closer attention to my make-up might actually sway great power in my general direction. But then again, I shouldn’t overlook the truth revealed by the Italian language itself on this front:
Trucco is “make-up” in Italian. But it’s also “trick.”
Obviously, a little trickery—or is that just a strategic swipe of eye liner?— can go a long, long way. So, Ladies, Gentlemen—make yourselves up! And may the world be none the wiser as you take it by storm.
[NOTE: This post was written by a woman without a particle of make-up on her face, but if the Prime Minister Kit works for you, she is really happy and suggests that you might also like the Laundry Hanging Kit to put the finishing touches on your “Italian-ness.”]