Would You Like to Have Them Like This?

16 May

Ok, folks. Here we go. I don’t know what’s going to be more graphic about this post. The fact that I actually have to type the word “pantiliner” (cringe) or the fact that I have to subject you to a pair of boobies that are inflated to bursting capacity with the excruciatingly awful headline: “Would you like to have them like this? I’ll pay for them!”

Lord, have mercy on my soul.


This is NOT what I wanted to see as I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes this morning and opened this brand new box of feminine end-of-monthly-cycle (also known in Italy mysteriously as “my things” – le mie cose) protection product.

Now, this brings to mind how I could probably write an entire post questioning the etymology of why menstruation in Italian is referred to as “my things” and how it’s possible that a woman can simply say Mi sono arrivate as in, “They’ve come to me” and that is like some weird code phrase that really means “I have my period.” However, I will leave that for another titillating future adventure. Because, no. Today I really want to ask my faithful public how it is possible that Velluto Salvaslip (Velvet? Really? Who was the marketing genius that green-lighted that brand name, BTW?) is running a sweepstakes in which the lucky winner will receive €6,000 for their “new look” a.k.a. as listed in the ad “breasts – butt – nose – lips – tummy”

HOLY EFFING SHIT, people. I mean, pardon my French, but are you effing kidding me? Wow. I didn’t know that we had reached this level of terrifying superficiality around here. No, seriously. The blood is running cold in my veins.

“Just send in 3 barcodes to participate in the drawing.*”

*see complete rules at www. sweetwipes. com

OHMYGOD. What’s worse? The fact that I have to read through rules about a plastic surgery sweepstakes? Or the gag factor inherent in the fact that there’s a website out there called SWEET WIPES DOT COM?

Oh Mary mother of God, pray for our sins.

I’ll try to type in without breaking into a fit of uncontrollable creepy laughter. Ok…I’m going in. Cover me.



No, no, a million times NO! Why didja have to go and show a half nekkid buxom woman with yellow dotted lines drawn on her plastically modified body?


“Would you like to have a body like this? I’ll pay for it!”

Oh, look! On the website they helpfully add that you could also have your hips or eyes “remodeled.”

In the fine print it says if you don’t opt for the plastic surgery you could use the €6,000 in “beauty treatments.” Whatever that might mean. Frankly I don’t have the patience or the inclination to read through the entire downloadable PDF file of contest rules and regulations.

Let me just leave you with this, incidentally, that I found while browsing vintage ads today, which happens to be one of my many Internet time-wasters hobbies. (I graduated with a degree in advertising. Yes, they issue those.) Lest we forget that the stick-thin body wasn’t always the ideal of beauty, check out this post that reveals how vintage ads encouraged weight gain and curvy figures.


But: sweet wipes.

Seriously, folks. You think you’ve seen it all, and then you get a website called


33 Responses to “Would You Like to Have Them Like This?”

  1. bev May 17, 2013 at 1:43 am #

    Where do I begin?? Ok, I think I need one f those velvet things cuz I wet my pants laughing! Mary mother of God save us all.

  2. May 17, 2013 at 2:24 am #

    Mild compared to tv ads in the USA these days! Gil

  3. Jennifer May 17, 2013 at 3:17 am #

    Scary on so many levels!! I loved your post about the ‘italianate’…so true! I live in Singapore now but that’s what I grew up with!

  4. Catherine May 17, 2013 at 8:19 am #

    FREAKY! ‘I’ll pay for them’ is really frightening talk – but I’m sure they’ll have takers. And sweetwipes! Is it exclusive to Italy, this rubbish, or do you think it is global??

    There is a banner that comes out at one of the local tanning salons every spring (I live in a Lega Nord area) that says ‘Vi facciamo neri!’ !! I mean, what?! They are terrified of dark skin up here in Veneto… Awful twisted stuff

  5. Liana May 17, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    Here in the Philippines I was horrified to come across whitening product for your bikini area. Whitening products aimed towards woman run rampant around here, but this one takes the cake.

  6. D May 17, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    Incredible…yet believable. lol. Some aspiring Velina will fight tooth and nail to win, I’m sure! As for ‘le mie cose’, I’ve heard it too and noticed it’s certainly a different way of saying period….but not unlike (IMO) saying ‘it’s that time of the month’ (vacation time? car wash time?), or in my mother’s time “I have my friend.” lol.

  7. Un'americana a Roma May 17, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    I’m not concerned by the boobs or the body, we see that everyday around here. I’m concerned by the fact that the sweepstakes prize is €6,000 in plastic surgery. What that tells us about where we’re at as a culture, when that becomes the grand prize. Frankly I find it totally disturbing and to think that I have to raise twin girls in a society in which the prize is a new set of boobies or a new butt, makes my job all the more important as a parent. *stepping off soapbox now*
    What ads are you referring to in the States? I haven’t watched TV other than cartoons in over 5 years… share!

  8. Un'americana a Roma May 17, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    Scary on so many levels. My thoughts exactly!

  9. Un'americana a Roma May 17, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    OMG that is crazy. And I’m sure people just lurrrve the “doppio senso” — of course there’s no political correctness here but I’m not criticizing just stating a cultural fact. Chinese people are still referred to as “almond eyes” and on a pack of American Spirit cigarettes they proudly state that the tobacco is packed by “red skins” in America…

  10. Un'americana a Roma May 17, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    Whoa! I’ll leave my whitening needs to toothpaste, thank you very much! πŸ™‚

  11. Un'americana a Roma May 17, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    Or, my personal favorite: “Aunty Flo is visiting.”

  12. Wayne Kurtz May 17, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    Women, by their very nature, are attractive. They don’t need to fill the coffers of these mega-Corporations by buying something so frivolous. If someone wants more from you, then it was not meant to be….from Wayne.

  13. May 17, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    All of the drug and lawyer ads. Also, they still have some feminine product ads. Totally amazed and disgusted about the use of plastic surgery growing to such proportions. I am not against plastic surgery being used for reconstructive purposes. Didn’t realize that the Italians used plastic surgery to such an extent. Especially, for butts. I’ve always said that women are beautiful the way the good Lord made them. Good luck with your daughters growing up in today’s World.

  14. Un'americana a Roma May 18, 2013 at 6:41 am #

    I’ll drink to that, my friend! Seriously, this might sound trite and clichΓ¨, but if our modern society would simply teach us more about what really matters, in terms of what it means to live a compassionate, human life of service to others, I honestly think that we could pretty much do away with all this superficial nonsense. Just my two cents. Of course, the mega corporations wouldn’t profit. But then again, society wouldn’t support the idea of a mega corporation as a thing to be valued. Sigh… back to Zen Buddhist meditation. πŸ˜‰

  15. Un'americana a Roma May 18, 2013 at 6:43 am #

    Oh my gosh I totally hear what you mean about the drug ads. When I was living back in the States between 2008 and 2011, I’ll never forget it: there was this ad that was on TV all the time for “restless leg syndrome.” Now, I’m no doctor so far be it from me to criticize if this is in fact an actual illness that needs medical treatment. But I’m of the belief that it’s totally and completely unethical to use suggestive advertising to try to coerce the general (non medically-trained) public to “ask your doctor” about these medicines. How blatantly consumeristic can you get? And with pharmaceuticals, no less? It’s crazy.

  16. Catherine May 18, 2013 at 7:13 am #


  17. romaexperience May 18, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

    Plus, if you check out any great painting from the past, female models are all but what we see today in stupid adsβ€”ah good old times!

  18. ciaochowlinda May 20, 2013 at 4:02 am #

    Oh my, now I’ve seen it all. But it’s not at all unexpected. The women on Italian tv are so puffed up in all regions, starting from the fish-lips on down. But to have this as a contest prize is just wrong! I love those old ads, glorifying the curves and pounds. How did we change so drastically?

  19. Andrea Troiani May 20, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    do you want to know my two cents?
    this is the real way that Italy was changed by berlusconi.

  20. Jano Janotech May 22, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    I was waiting for the first idiot comment like this!
    LOL it’s really true, plastic surgery has arrived in Italy in nineties, Berlusconi himself went to Usa, take it and brought it in Italy saying: “WOMEN NOW YOU HAVE TO DO PLASTIC SURGERY OR I DON’T SLEEP WITH YOU!” and every woman said “Oh! yes I think with my mind, but Berlusconi orders me to do that, and I’ll do!!!”


  21. Jano Janotech May 22, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    Plastic surgery has come to Italy as in Usa, in 80’s
    This post is a little hypocrit, almost every woman wants to change some part of hers body.
    Italian women are the same as other women in the world, what’s strange?
    Do you: use lipgloss, mascara, eyeliner, go to hairdresser, use nail varnish, buy purses, nice new dresses/shoes, do you shave legs?
    Yes? Why? Omg! How superficial! You have to like you as you are!
    See? Same thing.
    But plastic surgery is expensive and few people can afford it.
    This product gives a chance to everyone, like a lottery, yes (democratic πŸ™‚ )

    And just to know:
    it’s the 5th year of this thing
    and you can use money just for beauty treatments aka SPA.

    Sorry for:
    my english
    my tone, maybe too rude I know πŸ™‚ don’t want to offend πŸ™‚

  22. Jano Janotech May 22, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    PS: about period… in Italy “ho il mio periodo” sounds bad….
    and there are a many ways to say that:
    le mie cose
    i parenti in casa
    il marchese (very bad)
    non sono in ordine
    mi sono venute

    and I think girls can say you a lot more πŸ™‚

    by the way:


  23. Andrea Troiani May 22, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    thank you for your lovely words, but I think “idiot” is someone who don’t know something about. And you are.
    Because you need more than “two cents” I’ll explain more, for people like you:
    I was here when start some tv programs like “Drive in”, girls with boobs almost showed, a bottoms in front of cameras (in Rai there was ladies with skirt on the knees). After came “Non Γ¨ la rai”, with ‘lolitas’. Then “Striscia la notizia”, with the veline, girls with something more perizoma on. These are just a few of examples, I can write a lot of.
    Berlusconi, with tv shows on his network changed people’s minds. And change the presence of women on tv: not just anchorman assistant but naked body showed for basic instincts. Not people but things. And Rai network follow Mediaset about this, because people became like a drug addict: they wanted again, and again. Marketing.
    Have you seen something like this in other countries? Have you seen girls with bikini in a tv program (even in a satiric show)? Letterman use something like this?
    The “beauty at any cost” culture, this is what I’m talking about.
    And yes, I’m talking what you wrote either. Have you seen Noemi Letizia? Do you know who she is? Take a look:

    Some girls want to be like her.
    Someone needs to know before writing about.

  24. Jano Janotech May 22, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    lol you are funny πŸ™‚ you missed Ruby and Nicole Minetti πŸ™‚

    Anyway, your twocents were enough I know people like you. πŸ™‚

  25. Andrea Troiani May 22, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    Probably because your brain two cents worth.
    Don’t bother, take the rest.

  26. Jano Janotech May 23, 2013 at 8:11 am #

    Maybe you mean:
    “Probably because your brain IS two cents worth.”
    Thank you for your lovely words πŸ™‚

    Ok I stop here and you’re right, ok?Bye

    Shelley I’m really sorry!
    This thing has gone too far, my fault.

  27. Andrea Troiani May 23, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    Well, we agree about many things:
    how much far this thing has gone, who is right, who has fault, what’s your brain’s value. πŸ˜€

    Ok, I don’t fight you anymore.
    (sorry Shelley)

  28. Un'americana a Roma May 24, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    Not offended by your comment, everyone’s entitled to an opinion. I am of the opinion that it’s totally diseducativo especially as I have to raise my young girls in this culture, to teach them that it’s desirable to make permanent changes to their physical appearance for esthetic reasons, because I’m still of the old-fashioned and perhaps overly idealistic notion that what matters is what kind of person they are, not if they have huge tits and a nice ass. But hey, that’s just me. Plus, I’m a woman. You’re a man. Therefore your comment is biased by definition.

    I mentioned that it could be used on beauty treatments. But honey who’s going to honestly use $6,000 in spa treatments, and furthermore, who are we kidding here. Any woman who goes to the trouble to cut three barcodes from boxes of pantiliners and send them in certainly isn’t looking for a day at the spa.

  29. Shelley Ruelle May 24, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    So very true. Culture always dictates what’s beautiful and what isn’t, from skin tone to body weight to all number of other things…

  30. Shelley Ruelle May 24, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    Yuck, I really don’t find the overly Botoxed lips attractive. So totally unnatural.

  31. wondrousnora May 24, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    I missed this post – how I could!
    It is just… Embarrassing.

    Please take your girls – and your boy too please – and come living here in Amsterdam.
    I am so relieved to live here and see that you can actually make advertising without putting naked women on it.
    And as a result, teenagers here look – well – like teenagers, not like “veline”.

    I think plastic surgery is a good thing, especially when used for reconstructive means, as many progresses in healthcare.

    But it scares me how women, and worst of all, girls in Italy tend to think they NEED to look in a certain way: Sex objects.

    Anyway, to add my two cents, I also heard “my things” referred to as “the reds” – but not in Rome, I think it is more in the north? Classy.


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