Some days ago, an Italian journalist, Beppe Severgnini, wrote an ironic thought on his Twitter account: “Spring starts with a war. In the past, spring used to start with flowers in bloom.” This made me think of the difficult moment the world is living: just a few days after the catastrophic earthquake in Japan and the impending doom of a nuclear disaster, here come the breaking news from Libia. When I face these events, I feel smaller than ever, and I realize I should really start to appreciate my life, which is going through a rough patch, but is definitely easier than the lives of people who live in other parts of the world. I don’t know what the future has in store for us, but I’m sure it is important to help the ones around you, trying to make your own world a better place to live in. Independence, freedom, justice and righteousness should be treasured, not traded for fame or money or whatever: for this reason, I do what little I can to fight for them and to make others aware of their importance.
* What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Having no hope, no belief, no freedom, not being able or allowed to be who you are or never being satisfied.
* What is your idea of earthly happiness?
– Love (corny I know)
– The relationship between people/family/friends
– Freedom to do, speak, move
– And I really enjoy being a woman, I love to accentuate the external femine sides – make up, dressing up, a kind of fetish I suppose…
* Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
I don’t know….
(I have a weakness for damsels in distress and fairytale women, Cinderella, etc. Horrible, I know).
*Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
None specific, every woman who does what they believe in doing, despite what everyone thinks and wants them to do, whether it be a housewife, a dancer, a nurse, a writer, a politician, a teacher, a mother….
* What is your most vivid memory of the 90s (from music, fashion, politics, culture)?
Music festivals! MTV; not feeling comfortable in the fashion that was in; the falling of the Berlin Wall (1989, I know); the fear of the disappering ozon layer. The best teenage summers and the darkest depressing teenage winters.
* What does “feminism” mean to you?
I’m afraid the word “feminism” has a negative sound to me when I first hear it. I know several feminists today that rather than preaching love and equality and fighting for rights that should be obvious -which is what I think it stand for – they make a war, drive a battle towards men in general and exhalt themselves over men thinking they are better than men and not celebrating the natural differences. To me it’s not a battle between the sexes, it is a battle to give women the rights that are currently exclusive to men. Men love women and women love men somehow or another, sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers – not just lovers and couples.
* Have you ever experienced sexism?
Oh yes! Both positive – being given certain privileges because of blonde hair, the way I dress and (fairly) good looks and because of being a mother, and negative – not being regarded as smart and strong because of blonde hair, the way I dress and (fairly) good looks and because of being a mother (mostly in regard of getting certain jobs).
* The quality you most admire in a man?
Being a good father, standing by your beliefs, not using others to assert yourself.
* The quality you most admire in a woman?
Being a good mother, standing by your beliefs, not using others to assert yourself.
* What is your motto?
Live and let live.
* What is the object that represents you most?
(Probably the most difficult question…)
(If dead object) A mirror, for my vanity
(If cultural object) A dance
(If organic object) A swallow
* Who would you have liked to be
The best version of myself all the time.
* Could you put your identity (for example, student/journalist/clerk or whatever) into a few key words?
Mother, wife, self-employed business woman, jewelry and hat designer, dancer, not to proud to let go of my personal goals and desires for a while if necessary to provide for my family.
* How do you imagine your identity changing in ten years? Or twenty?
I hope that I can naturally let go of some of my current indentities (my youth, my looks, my mobility) and ease into the identity needed at that time and the identity time and fate demands of me without losing the core of my being.
The picture above portrays one of the many tattoos Heidi has. I particularly love it because it’s a brilliant homage to Sally Rand, a burlesque dancer and actress who became famous for her ostrich feather fan dance.
I don’t know where to start in praising Heidi, a talented woman who dares being different, pursuing her own ideas of beauty and harmony. I think everybody should learn her lesson, especially young girls, who usually think conforming to a dominant role model is the best they can do to be accepted by others or to be considered “cool”.