The Government spokeswoman, Patrícia Plaja, wanted to settle the controversy after TV3
covered this Wednesday the neckline that she was wearing in an interview in ‘Els Matins’ without her asking for it. The journalist has stressed that she was not uncomfortable with her clothing nor did she feel “censored” because they repositioned her neckline. Beyond the specific episode, Plaja has denounced the aesthetic pressure suffered by women.
In an opinion article sent to the media, which elDiario.es reproduces in its entirety at the bottom of this page, Plaja gives his version of what happened. “The blouse that I put on did not make me feel uncomfortable before or during my intervention,” she explained, to immediately add that she did not feel “censored” when the chain’s stylists entered mid-interview to reposition it so that it would not be see the neckline
“I did not understand what was happening and I was focused on trying to take stock of the first year as spokesperson,” he added. Plaja has reported that she asked twice if she had seen a breast to the costume professionals who repositioned her blouse, but that she did not receive an answer.
“Someone mistakenly thought that she was not comfortable and with the best of intentions they tried to fix it, but the decision was not the right one,” concluded the spokeswoman, who shared the opinion article on Twitter with this message: “We dress like we want, without asking permission or waiting for an opinion”.
This is the article in its entirety that Plaja has sent to the media:
They say that out of every crisis comes an opportunity. Which should be used. Every time I feel it I think the same thing: and shit. Opportunities must be sought and can be found without having to deal with a problem. The cleavage of the Government spokeswoman has not caused a crisis but it has caused a controversy as absurd as it is avoidable. I have not looked for it, I have not loved it and I have not contributed to it. That’s why I haven’t said anything about it until now. But journalists, and also some who are not, have since asked for my version of this controversy as retrograde as, unfortunately, too repeated with protagonists, always women, all involuntary. Let’s go.
The low-cut blouse that I chose to go to a television interview did not make me feel uncomfortable. Write about my boobs in this article, yes. But let’s talk about it. And that this serves so that tomorrow no woman has to give explanations about the size of her neckline in particular or about her aesthetics in general. The blouse I put on did not make me feel uncomfortable before or during my intervention. Nor did I feel censored when they came in to reposition my neckline halfway through the interview. Because I did not understand what was happening and because I was focused on trying to take stock of the first year as spokesperson, but above all because I wanted to announce that this summer a new format will be launched that will allow any Catalan to ask the Government directly about all issues that interest and affect people. And the spokesperson, that is me, will answer them.
‘Have you seen my breast?’ I asked as costume professionals repositioned my blouse. Nobody answered me. ‘Have you seen my breasts?’, I repeated again. But we were live and there was no time for the explanations that came later and that are already public. Someone mistakenly thought that she was not comfortable and with the best of intentions they tried to fix it. I believe it. But the decision was not the right one and there is no longer any doubt about that because otherwise we would not be talking about it.
From the Govern communication team we had decided weeks ago that we would look for new communication spaces for the spokesperson beyond the press room of the Palau de la Generalitat, to achieve a closer and calmer communication outside the immediacy of the news and the press conferences. Opinion articles are one of these spaces and I take advantage of it.
An opportunity does not come out of every crisis, but from that controversy we learn that we cannot normalize the aesthetic pressure that women still suffer today. That we should stop commenting on the neckline of the spokesperson, and of which she is not, if they have not asked us. Unwanted comments about our bodies, breasts, weight, pants size, ass, belly, nail color, too strong or nonexistent makeup embarrass us, make us uncomfortable.
Those of us who have had to go through it in a few years will be a sack of evil or we will be a rock. And the moments of looking back will hardly be funny and, almost certainly, they will hurt us. The grace period is over: it is no longer valid to justify that the comments are well-intentioned or that we had not foreseen that they could offend. Do you know what is the best way to not make mistakes on this issue? Say nothing. We will dress how we want, without asking permission or waiting for an opinion.
In 2008, Angela Merkel made far more headlines than I did for wearing what some considered inappropriate and provocative cleavage to the opening of Oslo’s new opera house. No similarity between her and me, too much between where we were fourteen years ago and where we are still, today, when some see a cleavage.