In the second part of the book, Melissa starts by defining what a lady is and what a parlor is. Cause damn, us hoes are pretty lacking in the brain department. She lays out some pretty broad parameters, including that a lady is courteous and respectful and has manners. Manners which should include not condemning others for the choices they make about their bodies, but let’s not get picky.
Chapter four is entitled “Look the Part” and delves into the complicated world of looking good for you man so he will love you and won’t cheat on you. Melissa starts by stating that great clothes and hair can’t make you a good person, a loved person, or an intelligent person. It’s almost prophetic. She adds that, “Nothing looks sexy on a bitch.” Clearly, she doesn’t know that many bitches.
Then she starts talking about confidence. Something she seems to know very little about. She writes,
There is no way you can feel as good or as confident when you have hairy legs, are wearing no makeup and haven’t been to the gym in weeks. When you put on your lip gloss, feel toned and healthy, and are wearing a pair of jeans that fits you like a glove, you are always going to feel more confident.
Mrs. Gorga, I beg to differ. If you can’t feel good about yourself unless you took 3 hours to get ready then you do not feel good about yourself at all. Confidence is not defined in relation to how much makeup you are wearing or how tight your jeans are. Women need to feel like worthwhile women even when they’re not in push up bras. Every woman is a deserving, worthwhile human being BEFORE she puts on her makeup. Not after.
But Melissa continues, unabated. She informs her loyal readers,
For me, the cherry on top is Joe’s praise. When he tells me I look hot, I feel like I can conquer the world. It’s an indescribable feeling when your man says, “You’re gorgeous! Look at you! You’re the sexist woman on the planet. Get over here!” You will glow.
While it’s always nice when you hear that your mate finds you sexually attractive, Melissa seems to need this praise more than a well-adjusted person should. If you can’t feel confident or beautiful without a man telling you that you are, there is something wrong. Also, with her previous admission that Joe will tell her to lose weight or change her outfit if he doesn’t like it, it seems that she has to work for his praise. He won’t shower her with compliments if she doesn’t meet his standards.
Later in the chapter, she confirms this by stating, “I used to dress to please myself only. Now, I also dress for Joe. I feel the most attractive when I get positive feedback from him.” She continues, “Ladies, I’m not saying that it is the end all and that you have to wear only outfits that your husband loves. But you will feel the most attractive and sexy if you wear something he’s into. I do. If you know you’re going to be with him for the evening, then turn him on with the looks he likes.”
Yes, being a sexual object to your husband is the most important thing. Before Melissa choses an outfit she asks herself, “Would Joe take one look at my outfit and try to rip my clothes off? Would he make me walk in front of him so he can stare at my ass? If so, then mission accomplished.” But remember, kids! She completely independent and doesn’t rely on a man. For anything.
She then goes into her fashion “rules”. Her first three are Dress to Please Your Man, Dress to Please Your Man, Part 2, and A King does not Want his Queen to Look Cheap. So yes, more drivel about striving to make your husband happy at all costs and how you can’t feel good about yourself if you’re not getting constant worship from your spouse.
Without pause, Melissa dives into more slut shaming,
It’s never appropriate to wear a super-short mini dress with a boob-popping, midriff-baring tube top. Absolutely not. Even in my music videos, if I wear short shorts, my tummy is covered. I’m very conscious of this. Joe loves to see my body in clothes, but with a degree of modesty. When a woman shows too much skin, her outfit sends the message that she’s desperate for attention. “I’m insecure and overcompensating” is not the fashion statement that you want to make.
First of all, who wears a mini dress WITH a tube top, boob-popping, midriff-baring, or otherwise? Second of all, has Melissa interviewed every woman in the world who has worn an outfit that she finds inappropriate and discovered that 100% of them were insecure and overcompensating? If not, then I fail to see on what authority she states that that’s what women who show a lot of skin are saying or trying to say.
Melissa drones on about shoes and makeup and jewelry (almost all of her jewelry was gifts from her husband or father). Then her makeup artist gets to write little inserts about Melissa and her method of putting on makeup and other inane things. On the whole, the book goes from boring to staggeringly disgusting then back again. Some parts are so asinine and then others are jaw-droppingly infuriating.
Then two sections pop up that made me laugh out loud. The first is: Beauty is Effortless. The second is: Effortless takes Effort. There’s this thing called Effortless Perfection that describes women who feel pressured to have it all and do it all while making it look like they achieved and accomplished so much without any real sweat involved. Melissa easily promotes this impossible concept for her readers by making it seem like the one true path to happiness and a great marriage.
Melissa continues her unending shaming of women who don’t do the same things that she does in her Pick a Feature, Any Feature section:
With a big eye, tone down the lips. The same thing goes for a strong lip in hot pink or red. In that case, bring down the eyes and cheeks. Keep the rest soft, or you’ll look like a clown or a streetwalker.
Why not try for both? A clown streetwalker. Sounds like a fun look to try out.
Then Melissa lets us in on some tightly-kept secrets including, Men Hate Makeup and Men Hate Sloppiness, Too. I know what you’re thinking; your mind is blown. So many men talk about how they love sloppy girls covered in makeup all the time. This revelation should be on a Cracked article.
By this point in the chapter, Melissa is off in her own little world. She rambles about skin care and lotion in what would be a horrific one-sided conversation with the most self-obsessed person you’ve ever spoken to. She goes over her morning routine and her night routine without even a vague sense of how pointless and self-indulgent all of those paragraphs are.
She delves into facials and advises women to get a facial at least once a season, as if it’s something that all women have, or should have, built into their budgets. She talks about tanning and recommends spray tan. As someone who has to buy the lightest shade of foundation available and has never been tanning, spray or otherwise, in her entire life, I have to say; fuck this idea that you have to be tanned to be attractive and look healthy. If you want to tan, then fine. Knock yourself out. But don’t start telling me that I need to or I’ll be the ugly white girl.
Then there’s more mindless chatter about body shimmer and makeup. She goes on to describe, in depth, every kind of makeup that she uses. It’s so tedious it actually becomes painful around the second page. Thankfully, she moves on to waxing and nails. Which isn’t really that much better, but at least she’s not blabbering on about blush anymore.
On waxing “down there”, she writes, “I wax. Not all of it. Joe is a man and he like me to look like a woman. A very well-groomed woman.” Really? Womanhood is now defined by the amount of pubic hair you have? And manhood is defined on wanting to see pubic hair? I was exactly expecting this book to be a triumph of gender theory, but come on.
But she finishes off the paragraph by talking about how Joe “manscapes” and gives his own public hair a little buzz cut. Because she’s a woman and she likes to see her husband looking like a man. A well-groomed man. And no real man is bald downstairs.
Melissa then shares that she likes to keep her nails short, shiny and square. She would never come home with large, dagger-like nails because then Joe wouldn’t let her near his penis. Also, she rubs her feet against Joe all the time so she has to get pedicures, constantly to keep her feel smooth.
All in all, this chapter was horribly boring and tedious. She gives no real advice to other women, she just drones on about what she does. And while it works for her, that doesn’t mean that it’s really going to help anyone else. Also, the amount of money and time that she spends on beauty care is rather startling.
Does she really think all of her readers are going to rush to make salon appointments for facials, manicures, pedicures, hair colorings and massages so they can look the best for their husbands too? The book mentions nothing of Melissa’s intellectual pursuits or any hobbies other than her “singing”. Her hobbies seem to be beauty care and creating bad pop music. Isn’t there anything more to this woman?
Chapter 5 is all about going out. Melissa starts the chapter off by saying that she would rather stay home. Then goes on to thoroughly disprove this through the rest of the writing. She writes about dating your husband and keeping him your boyfriend. Even though you’re married… Yeah, I’m not sure where she was going with that.
Then Melissa recommends only double dating with couples that share your marital values. So you never doubt your insane, mixed-up beliefs. When you’re going out on your own, however, it’s a whole other story. She writes,
It’s always better for your relationship to go out with people who have more in common with you. You are less likely to get yourself in trouble — girl or guy. Again, I’m not saying never go out with your single friends, because both Joe and I do, from time to time. But too many “Boys’ Nights” at the bars or “Girls’ Nights” with the single ladies can only lead into temptation.
I’m not even sure what she’s implying here. If you go out with your single friends you’ll be so desperate for freedom that you’ll break your marital vows? That you can’t trust yourself or your spouse with people who are single and devious? Your single friends are a dangerous influence? Most of my friends are single and I hang out with them all of the time. I have yet to get into “trouble” or be led into “temptation”.
Melissa then gives the advice not to compare your relationship to your friends. While this might be a good idea if you’re in a good relationship. In her relationship, however, she probably should be looking at other people and realizing that what goes on between her and Joe is not normal. Maybe she should look at a friend who wouldn’t let her husband dictate what she’s wears. Or a woman who doesn’t need constant approval to feel good about herself. Just a thought.
She continues to talk about having to live with a person’s flaws and mentions little things like kitchen drawers not being closed and the milk not being recapped. Like this is the biggest problem she would have to face in her relationship; the milk cap being left off. It’s rare that you stumble across someone with such little self-awareness.
In a section entitled Flirt with your Husband, Melissa informs the readers that she and Joe both get insanely jealous when a person of the opposite sex talks to one of them. When they used to go out, Melissa would walk around and talk to everyone and have a good time like a normal person. Then Joe sat her down and told her that he didn’t like it because he wasn’t getting enough of her attention.
Because they only live together. It’s not like there are any other opportunities for him to get attention from her. At first Melissa came to the correct conclusion that Joe was being needy. But then she assured herself that he wasn’t and found comfort in a Frank Sinatra song called “Luck be a Lady”.
She lays out how the night out goes, “We arrive together. We stay near each other. We leave together. I still talk to everyone there. Plus, I shared the night with my husband. Added bonus: When we rehash what went down later on, it’s easier to compare notes.” Uh huh. Imagine she would actually want some privacy or have a conversation that doesn’t involve her husband. Too bad! She should never try to do anything that doesn’t involve her husband!
But to be honest, it’s probably best if they can both compare notes after the events. That way they know what to tell the police. But anyway, it’s okay, because Melissa is such a strong and independent woman. She certainly hasn’t built every single aspect of her life around the whims of this controlling man.
And now, Melissa’s top three things never to say to your husband when you’re out on the town. Pay careful attention now, ladies. I bet none of you would ever have thought of this on your own.
1. Why don’t you do laundry like [fill in the blank]?
Never ask your spouse to work on something or do something for you. They will only do what they already do and nothing else. There’s no such thing as human growth or change. Just get used to it. By the way, you look a little chubby. Why don’t you go to the gym and lose a few pounds?
2. Why want to leave? Go ahead. I’ll see you at home later.
If said in anger, I can see why this would be a bad thing to say. However, if your significant other doesn’t feel like staying out and you don’t want to leave, having them go home while you get some more social time is perfectly normal. But Melissa disagrees. And so does Joe. She writes,
I might as well say, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!” The idea of sending Joe home by himself while I stay behind partying without him? It’s unthinkable. He’d never allow it and I would want him to. It’s just not in his DNA to leave a woman behind.
Melissa Gorga has clearly discovered something about DNA that the rest of the scientific community just hasn’t worked out yet. Quick, scientists, get on this! Discover the gene for never leaving a woman behind.
3. Is that woman prettier than me?
Does anyone in the world honestly think that this is a good thing to say to your husband at any time, ever? Has this blatant fishing for compliments ever led to someone having a better, stronger relationship? Seriously. But Melissa explains exactly why this silly thing to say is a silly thing to say. She writes,
–Why in the world would a woman intentionally draw her husband’s attention away from her and towards another woman? No! When you out with your husband, you want his eyes on you. You want his ears on you. God knows, you want his lips on you. His hand should be on your thigh under the table. He’s smelling your perfume and playing with your hair. That’s seduction. Never, ever, ever intentionally direct his attention away from you. If it does go elsewhere, gently draw it back by asking a much better question, like, “Do you have any idea what I’m going to do to you later?”
Yeah, never let another human being get your husband’s attention. Ever. Even if you’re at a restaurant and it’s a waitress. If she tries to flirt with him by asking him what he wants to drink, order for him and grab his crotch. That will keep him in line.
The final section of this chapter is about praying. Melissa and Joe both love god and god brings them closer together and god this and god that and fuck, I don’t even care anymore. My brain is seriously melting. This fucking chapter is over.
To read all review entries of Love Italian Style, click here. Blogs are in reverse chronological order.