The patron of the competition speaks: far from being out of fashion, we are the largest tour operator in the country
Miss Italia is not just a beauty contest, it is a beacon for the younger generations, a popular event which, from the post-war period to today, has told the story of this country’s customs, becoming a television phenomenon. Its popularity has served to convey important messages of inclusion and promote social awareness campaigns, such as the fight against gender-based violence. At the helm of the Competition, since 2003, the patron Patricia Mirigliani.
What does Miss Italy represent for you?
It is the symbol of our country’s identity, one of the last Italian brands not to have passed into foreign hands. It is the Italian spirit that the world envies us, not only for its beauty but for the talent it expresses. It is like the Sanremo Festival, a liturgy that is renewed every year.
But probably it will not be renewed on Rai…
I have great respect for the public service because it is the home of Italian families, and there is an ancient bond with Miss Italia; certainly, however, I would have avoided that “slip” about women who would not reflect an image in line with the times.
What didn’t he like?
I found it offensive. Not only for the more than 11,000 girls who register for the competition every year, but for the former competitors who still work for Rai and for the female universe in general. Italian identity is closely linked to beauty and yet, in Europe, we are the only country that will not broadcast the national competition on public TV.
In reality, it has always had to defend itself from attacks
I find it wrong to give femininity licenses and if you participate in Miss Italy it is not true that you are worth less as a woman. I will always fight to affirm women’s freedom, it’s a battle of civilization.
Beauty is often humiliated, offended, denigrated
Beauty is a quality of life that is intertwined with morality: there can be no better world without beauty. It is the answer to the ugliness, to the excesses of modern times. For this reason, it must be protected and promoted.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi also spoke on the values of beauty
Yes, I greatly appreciated a passage in particular from a letter he addressed to us some time ago: “In the eyes of many it may seem paradoxical to speak of beauty, when apparently far more radical emergencies loom and the protection of primary rights seems to be a irreplaceable. Yet there is a warning from Dostoevsky that has become almost a slogan: beauty will save the world”.
And what beauty will save the world?
The one able to excite us and which contains all the values that represent the Competition: solidarity, inclusion, kindness, respect, ethics and above all freedom. The only one that really matters.
What struck you about Ravasi’s words?
He was able to express a perhaps banal concept that is overlooked today: what is beautiful is also good. If you notice, the representations of female religious characters are always pleasant.
Can we really educate to beauty?
Maybe we could do that. Beauty education always involves culture and social issues because to recognize beauty you must have the tools, even for comparison. Tools that, from an ethical point of view, the school and the family should provide.
Culture and beauty, an indestructible combination?
Absolutely yes. Culture allows us to recognize beauty more easily, research it and recreate it, given that it can have infinite forms. It is no coincidence that aesthetics embodies the word ethics.
How is the bond of beauty with the territories expressed?
Through the Competition we enhance the Italian regions, municipalities, villages and our immense artistic heritage. Miss Italia could really be the biggest tour operator in the country, if only we leave aside prejudices and stereotypes.
About bias. Can a Miss Italy break the glass ceiling?
Giorgia Meloni has demonstrated, albeit among thousands of sacrifices, that it is a feat within the reach of all women who have ability, preparation and determination. Like many contestants of Miss Italy.
Miss Italia is a symbol of beauty and Italian spirit, come back soon to Rai | CultureIdentity