Maria Carfagna: “Mara La Bella” Showgirl turned Politician
“If anyone wants to linger over my physique – well, let them have their fun.” – Mara Carfagna
Mara Carfagna first came on the scene when she participated in the 1997 Miss Italy contest – she finished in 6th place. In 2001, she received her degree in law from the University of Salerno – her thesis was on information law and broadcasting systems. That combination makes perfect sense for this beautiful, smart, and enterprising politician.
She worked in television for Mediaset – a company controlled by Silvio Berlusconi’s family. Berlusconi served as the Italian Prime Minister for three separate terms (1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2006 and 2008 to 2011) and was initially quite involved in Mara’s political rise.
She entered politics in 2004 and was first voted in as a Minister in the Chamber of Deputies in 2006. In 2008, Berlusconi appointed her to his cabinet as Minister of Equal Opportunities, a position that has been held by a woman frequently. Mara later left that position but continues as one of the Ministers in the Chamber of Deputies. Her political affiliation started with Forza Italia, then to People of Freedom, and back to Forza Italia, center-right in politics.
At various times much has been made of her time on television, as a showgirl, and topless model. Silvio Berlusconi once made a public statement that if he weren’t already married, he would have married the beautiful Mara immediately. But, she has come through it all with dignity and grace. And some have been surprised by her conservative presence in the political world.
In her early days as a minister, she publicly went against same-sex marriage and said homophobia was essentially a thought crime, and you can’t prosecute people for what they think. More recently, she proposed a bill against homophobia, when such is used for bullying purposes though the bill was refused by the Parliament.
Other causes she is noted for are anti crime measures, and opposing both gay marriage and street prostitution. Noting that in Italy pimping and brothels are what is illegal, but she finds street prostitution a problem, in the same way, illegal drugs are. The people making the obscene profits are doing so at a high cost to the people on the streets.
Carfagna was named “the most beautiful minister in the world”, and was ranked number one on Maxim’s “World´s Hottest Politicians.” But despite those accolades, she seems more focused on the task at hand – whatever that may be at the time. Her fashion sense is impeccable, she has hosted many of the wives of world leaders, including Michelle Obama, she has presented many bills for passage in Parliament, and doesn’t seem to be bothered if others find her beautiful. In other words, she’s comfortable with herself as far as we can tell and doesn’t mind what others think about her – good or bad.
Mara La Bella, is forging her own path and has managed to be a bit controversial without it stopping her progress. That is not an easy task.