Gigi (MGM, 1958)

Leslie Caron as Gigi

As an admitedly French admirer, it comes as no surprise one of my favourite movies is Gigi, a Classic Hollywood musical shot in reconstructed/enacted 1900’s Paris, starring one of my most adored actresses, Mme Leslie Caron, which had 27 years at the time, interpreting a 15 years old French naïve girl, tutored by her grandma and aunt to became a courtisan.

Now sugarcoat it as you want, but what in all the realms is a courtisan? A courtisan is an upper echelon prostitute. Maybe not a wh*re, let alone a sl*t, but still someone who sells her body for money or, as the retired courtisans who raised Gigi, now sympathetic grannies of the movie call it, ‘men’s protection’ . It is still a transaction where sexual favours are returned with material benefits though, so my point stands.

Gigi is sent every Tuesday to her grandma’s sister, aun Alicia, to be taught how to pick cigars, to walk with mellifluous grace and to distinguish phony and true jewelry. As almost a little tomboy, she is as bored as can be, which paralels to her match, Gaston, who claims every little magic aspect of Paris ‘Is a bore!’.

Gigi learns how to evaluate a true gem from a fake admirer

At some point, Gigi questions her unavaliability to have friends and get married, the answer of her aunt being she must avoid commoners because “We don’t marry at once, we marry at last”.

This is such a terrifying, if you start to reflect upon it. Not only Gigi is forbiden to socialize and pick friends, a boyfriend and maybe a spouse according to her own taste, she is also being expected to prostitute herself to whoever pays more, following the lead of the mistresses’ ‘family business’. Please, what else can this be except highly disturbing.

If this sounds painfully bizarre to me as a watcher, I can only imagine how it sounded to the character. When the tutoring deepens, Gaston decidedly acknowledges the interest he has been nurturing for Gigi since long and her grandma finally dots the ‘i’s of everything she is expected to perform, Gigi’s reaction is one of bewilderment, unfairness and hurt. Coming to understand how narrowed are her options in this hypocritical society, Gigi comes to understand there are not many options standing in front of her other than plain prostitution or labour slavery and states “Gaston, if I have to be unhappy, I’d rather be unhappy with you”. This heartbreaking line expresses the lack of free will Gigi is submitted to, being forced to put her own body into the market, her only privilege being the right to pick who is going to buy the merchandise.

Gigi and Gaston at Maxim’s. Notice how the glow of Gigi seems stiff

Since this is a Cinderella retelling and Colette (a woman) being the original author of the tale, it all comes to a happy ending when Gaston understands he wants a wife, not a mistress, and the original Gigi, not the doctrined seductress she has been turned into. All is well again, except for a creepy old bachelor singing into a crowded Bois de Bologne park ‘Thank Heaven for Little Girls’ a slightly paedophilous theme about what would boys do without them.

Some may argue Gigi is a movie that hasn’t aged well, I on the other hand defend Gigi is a very ahead of its time movie. Why? Because it doted the ‘i’s about how women have always been expected to base their existences on the art of pleasing men. We are in 2019 and girls are being expected to excel in PE, care about their skin & hair, not to drink at parties to avoid date rape, get a serious boyfriend after college and not stay single for longer than one year. Is Gigi too modern for 2019?

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Les Misérables

Who are the Miserables of the famous novel by Victor Hugo and the West End Muscial?

Remember the theme of the ending song of the Musical

To love another person is to see the face of God

According to this logic, the only truly miserable are the Thénadiers and Javert, for they are incapable of loving another human being.

Jean Valjean is a thief who stole to feed his sister and nephew. He also loved Cosette and raised her as his own daughter.

Fantine loved Cosette and blessed her in her last words.

Cosette loved Jean Valjean and Marius.

Marius loved Cosette, his deceited colleagues and was grateful for Jean Valjean.

Eponine loved her (loathesome) parents and Marius.

Gavroche loved his siblings and the Revolution.

I strongly beleive the main concept of Les Miserables is how resilient is the human race and even in the toughest conditions, being wronged politically, suffering endless injustice, nearly starving and physically exhaused there is still love to be reached and beauty to be found inside one’s own heart.

Regency Fashion: The Muslin and Net Period

Very informative!

Jane Austen's World

Jane Austen fans are familiar with the high-waisted muslin dresses popular during her adulthood. How many are aware that machine-made net or gauze became a “hot” item from 1810 and on?

“Net dresses were very fashionable and their popularity was spurred by new inventions. The development of machine-made net in the late 18th and early 19th centuries meant that gauzy lace effects were increasingly affordable either as trimmings or garments. The bobbin-net machine was patented by the Englishman John Heathcoat in 1808 and produced a superior net identical to the twist-net grounds of hand-made bobbin lace. It was so successful that women in the highest ranks of society, including the Emperor Napoleon’s first wife, Josephine, wore machine-net dresses. Initially, however, all machine nets were plain and had to be embroidered by hand.” – Victoria and Albert

Machine-made bobbin net was first made in France in 1818. Until this date, lace…

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For Once And For ALL – The Difference Between Overt Narcissim and Covert Narcissism

Let’s compare, shall we?

This is an attractive narcissist (let’s call him L.)

(Not only he is handsome – he speaks 5 languages, is hygienic, is highly popular, collects accolades, helps the community, has many friends online and in real life, has been married to a gorgeous woman – a super empath with the face of a Victoria’s Secret model – and notice the gal behind him giving him the yummi stare)

This is an unattractive narcissist (let’s call him J.)

(Only speaks correctly his mother tongue, talks in broken English, has been reproved on Swedish for Immigrants level one after living in Stockholm for over one year, has less than a handful of friends, his toothbrush has a huge hole in its middle, his towel has never been washed, aged 26 before me has never had a girlfriend, his only contribution to society is shaming non-vegans)

Want to see them closer?

L. receiving some sugar:

“Yay, she must like me! Nice addiction to my already huge harem!”

J. posing with yours truly:

“Yay, this time I finally got a soul to feed on!”

Now which one is more dangerous?

L. is clever, polite, pays his bills, has had many girlfriends, has a good relationship with his family. If you are friends with him, you are safe, if you work with him, you are safe, just don’t date him exclusively and you will be fine, as you know, monogamy is only cultural. And even if you do have a fling with him, don’t worry, if you want to leave at anytime, just do it and the next one waiting on the line will gladly take your place.

J. is an underachiever, whiny, always plays the victim, does sob speeches often, claims to have been abused by his family and bullied by his friends, leechs his dates, shares confidential info about the places he used to work, sabotages his colleagues covertly to rescue them and play the hero. If you work with him you will be manipulated, if you are a member of his family he will speak awful things about you behind your back, if you date him he will freeload you, if you want to leave him he will guilt you into complying to all his wishes, after all, he is a poor helpless baby, how dare you not mother him 24/7. He appears to be pathetic, however, he is highly abusive.

The difference, therefore is: the unattractive narcissist is far more dangerous.

Now bid them bye bye and remember: Overt Narcissists are Hollywoodian

…while Covert Narcissists are wolves in sheeps’ clothing!

Never go out to the woods alone!

Some Clues a Relationship Must End Rightaway

1) Disrespect. It may be as simple as not asking permition before eating your groceries or as serious as the insistence of you consumming alcohol when you have stated previously alcohol is off limits to you. A person who disrespects your boundaries disrespects you and is not worth keeping.

2) Cheating. I don’t need to argue about this, the concept is self explanatory. A person who cheats is a person who betrays.

3) Physical Altercation. Again, if it comes to this point, the relationship is very abusive, dangerous and not worth saving. There is no excuse for violence. Pay attention also even if the strike was not aimed at you, because if your partner has hit someone, you’re next in line for a black eye.

4) Name calling. Calling someone a ‘p*ssy’, ‘sl*t’, j*rk’, *sshole, ‘c*nt’, ‘wh*re’ or even more insidious comments, such as condescending remarks ‘even you can do that’ (implies you are weak), ‘here, let me take care of money issues’ (meaning you are not intelligent) and those subtle little insults such as ‘silly rabbit’, ‘fool’ or ‘stupid’ are reason enough to re-think a relationship.

5) Bad mouthing . If you ever find out your SO is talking about you behind your back, set the things straight immediatly.

6) Being exploitative. “Can you pay for this?” “Can you pay for that?” “I have no money to go out on vacations, but I really want to go with you, so you have to pay my share as well, because I don’t want you to travel alone”. It’s okay to pay for a nice dinner or a special occasion getaway now and then, however, if this behaviour is insistently persistent, it’s not you your date is in love with, is your pocket (and travel checks).

7) Playing the guilt card. “How can you do this to me! After all I did to you! You could at least…”. If you find yourself being guiltied into complying things which were not out of your own free will. get out of this relationship ASAP. With some healthy distance, you soon will realise you owed nothing to this person, more likely the other way around.

……………………..……Connecting the dots…………………………..

People show us who they are all the time, we just prefer not to see. Allow people to be themselves openly, pay attention to their deeds more than to their words and decide if the relationship brings you joy or suffering. When in doubt, trust your insticts.