Cycling striptease as a survival strategy

I am not an avid window shopper, but I like throwing an occasional stone look into a well-dressed window hoping to see a reflection of local culture in its design.

This bicycle repair shop (while not technically a window) gives an interesting insight into Italian interpretation of the Dolce Vita phase of art history.


This image is an icon of a modern girl whose looks turn heads; it is reproduced live all over vacation hot spots in Italy.

These girls do turn heads and twist necks. The public response would usually include lust, envy, and disdain in roughly the 4:4:1 proportion.

I can understand lust and envy, for this is something very difficult to control by the mind. But scorn, pity, condescension?

These women are not escort girls trying to seduce a sugar daddy: they have already secured one, a proud summer resident of a Forte dei Marmi villa, whose only problem in life is tax police agents secretly recording Ferraris’ and Maserattis’ license plates to back-check if their owners’ tax forms show they can afford the luxury toys.

These bikers are dressed to kill, but murder is not on their mind. Their objective is to get an adrenaline boost when men look at them with desire, and other women go green with envy.

Arrogance towards them is wrong. Not because it is judgemental. Everything’s judgemental in this world. It would be UNKIND.

Come to think of it, what would you do if you realised your success is due to your young body and silky skin only? I mean it’s like feeling oneself to be a new luxury leather travel bag bought by a successful gentleman… So making people look at you, desire you, envy you – and not your/the bag’s owner – is the only way to stop being a leather bag, that is to get a purpose of existence.

It is emotional and moral SURVIVAL strategy in a society, caramelised by glamour, which in its turn is propagated by sophisticated men and women who then look upon their victims with contempt. Now, that’s UNFAIR.

My resume is, enjoy the show, and give them the looks they want, even though you may feel neither attraction nor envy.


Is Italy a dream destination to send feminist ideas on vacation? if you are Italian (and if you are not), and happen to read this blog, tell me what you think and feel about the cycling striptease trend.  


  1. I don’t know much about Italian culture, but – typically – when I want to look *GOOD* (whatever good means to me in that moment), I do so to please my own self and to be true to my own esthetic. While some women MAY in fact dress up just to incite lust, envy, or distain, I suspect most dress themselves more with a view to pleasing the person reflected back in the mirror. Even if we opt (occasionally) to show a little leg or cleavage.

    Just my personal opinion on this one…

    1. I agree with Butterfly. I’m not sure if I fit the feminist mentality completely, but I’ve also never been one to plan on extracting lust or envy from passersby when I pick out my clothes or groom myself. I’ll shave my legs because I like the feel of smooth legs. I’ll where a dress today because I feel like a dress is a good and comfortable idea. I’ll add lipstick because I think my lips look fantastic with color. All of these are my own confidence boosters to help me through a judging and critical world. But kudos to those who are pleased with the final outcome as well.

      1. I am sorry I removed some of your repeating comments, which appeared because of a posting malfunction, I believe.

        Well, thank you for saying what you said…

        I didn’t want to go into the psychology of beautification of oneself, but you’re giving a valuable insight into this. Yes, the world around us is judging and critical. Yes, to succeed in this world one must have confidence. Yes, this world makes most women take extra care of themselves to be confident (unlike most men). And yes, this is not fair, because a woman without make-up and/or not caring about herself (which would be just what men do – nothing), would be seen differently than the one who looks pretty, and thus would have fewer chances to succeed – AND ALL THIS HAS NO RELATIONSHIP WHATSOEVER TO HER PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS. There’s something wrong about it, I feel.

        So, in a way, yes, most women say they dress up “for themseltves”, for their own pleasure – but that “themselves” is defined not by them, but by the “society”.

        And, certainly, very few women would dress up to incite lust or envy. It just happens these feelings are incited )

        1. I think it’s a long fought battle for women, yes. And the whole chicken and egg conundrum of “what’s pretty” is definitely balance-altering. I do observe though, that men are also getting trapped in the same issue as well! A lot of times prettier (or more attractive), whether man or woman, equals greater opportunity for success. The concept makes me flash back to those animal documentaries on the Discovery channel where the strongest get the pack, the prettiest get the mate and the smartest survive…I think I’m spiraling farther and farther off-topic so I’ll stop for now 🙂
          P.S. Sorry for all the repeat posts! WordPress kept telling me failed connection, the deceitful thing.

          1. Recently, I’ve seen a presentation on the growing market of men’s cosmetic products: lipstick (with colour), eye-shades, powder, etc. That’s a trend, albeit a bit worrying )

    2. Thank you – personal opinions are the most valuable ones )) and don’t take me wrong on this. I fully behind the concept that pleasing one’s own reflection in the mirror should be one and the only purpose of dressing up/make up/caring about oneself.

      A French girl who never wears high heels, and prefers somber and convenient outfit likes her reflection in the mirror just as much as a Russian lady in a T-shirt with garish prints and jeans studded with swarowsky crystals all over the bottom and the front. They are similarly pleased because they look “good”, but what is good is – ON AVERAGE – dictated by their respective societies that happen to have very different values and standards.

      Pleasure is the end-result of satisfying any psychological need. Feeling not confident? Dress up to boost it, satisfy this need – and get pleasure. Feeling lonely? Dress up to look desired but distant – satisfy this need – and get pleasure. So, indeed, needs can vary and define different “looks” even for a single person.

      Yet, ON AVERAGE, the prevalent values in a society dictate how people want to look in the eyes of others, what they want to seem in the eyes of others – and that largely defines what people wear.

      And of course, there are people who get pleasure from being different from their society.

      I, being a man, feel no shame to admit that I like it when women dress to look desirable (except when they come to me for their final round of job interviews).

  2. Oh my, since when is feminism defined by wanting to look ugly? I’m a feminist (as every sensible person) and I love clothes and beauty. But it is perfectly ok with me if women choose not to spend their entire day shaving and dressing up. It’s just about letting everybody be the person they want to be.

    1. I don’t know since when feminism is defined by wanting to look ugly, for there seem to be no “ugly” vs “beauty” conflict in it (as opposed to “natural”), but if I google up “feminist look” and “glamorous look” I get to see the average difference. I am not judging anyone (neither the ones who dress up all day nor the ones who take minimum care of themselves), but the average feminist look, I believe, does not involve the effort that’s required to look like these girls )

      I’ve heard an opinion though that these women are not “the person they want to be”, but the person their rightful “owner” wants them to be.

  3. What would Italy be without hot Italian women (and men, for that matter), basking in their joyful vanity? I don’t think these girls are desperate to please – quite the contrary, they feel great and will mature into no less attractive, well groomed, stylish middle aged Italians. And you may find out that they are not necessarily vain gold diggers. In Italy beauty is the culture – has always been. In conclusion – Viva Italia, vino and real food, down with hairy-armpits-feminism and gluten-lactose free seaweed shakes!
    I may be living in the Bahamas, but right at this moment I totally envy you for being where you are. Sigh …

    1. Without hot Italian women Italy would be.. well, France? )
      You are mentioning vanity – and there’s so much of it it could be exported. The reason for vanity though is the desire to be envied )))

      Didn’t I say, “Viva Italia”? Oh, I am saying it now ))

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