“Someone stretched out their hands, but I knew how to defend myself” – Corriere.it

«The world of engines it is made up of men. The umbrella turns for i paddock in a miniskirt, it’s normal for them to look at you. In four years I have twice met some slimy people who, while taking the picture, touched my butt. I have never always known how to defend myself ». Today model and influencer, Francesca Sofia Novello, 26, interviewed by a well-known weekly, recalled the times in which she followed the world championship as an image girl. And now come back with Corriere.it on the subject to clarify some aspects of an experience that allowed her to meet Valentino Rossi, “the love of my life”, but which also guaranteed her a decent salary for 4 years.


Today works as a model and model for brands and cosmetic product companies: “A job that is mainly done on social media, I really like it”. Among other things, his Instagram profile has 365,000 followers. Her appearance at the Sanremo Festival caused a sensation, also because it was preceded by the controversy over the phrase of Amadeus who defined her “a woman capable of always staying one step behind a great man like Valentino”. Now the small screen doesn’t interest her that much: “In reality it’s not my world, I don’t like cameras.” The work from umbrella on the contrary, it is part of his past, and does not deny it at all: «And why should I? It’s a job like any other – he adds -. Of course, a female figure is used because in the male imagination it intrigues to combine her with engines. But in my experience, apart from a few idiots, I never had the perception that there was one disrespect».

Valentino Rossi, new 9 million yacht: 23 meters long, will be ready in May
Titilla III
The interview with “Vanity fair”

In an interview with «Vanity Fair», in which he also addresses many other issues, he spoke briefly about early days of his career from «umbrella girl», referring to the unpleasant episodes that also happened to her: «A 19 years it’s not easy to work with people who look at your butt when you walk by and touch your butt when you take a picture. Engines are a male chauvinist environment. You have to wake up, you can’t be a smiling goose“. She explained to the Condé Nast magazine, in words that have been taken up by some Spanish sports information sites in a way that she did not like: «They wrote that I reported an abuse in the paddock. Are we joking? I just said, and I confirm it, that when we took pictures with the public it happened, and it has happened to me twice, that someone stretched out their hands“. In those circumstances she reacted very firmly: «I replied with a loud slap, so you have to do it, you have to defend yourself ». And in any case, the harassment always came from someone confused among the spectators of the race, never from the staff of the paddock: “Absolutely not, in my experience I’ve only met fantastic people”.

Umbrellas yes or no

The role of umbrella disappeared from Formula 1 in 2018, in the wake of the “metoo”. In MotoGP he survives: «And why not? He asks Novello – It was an experience that I do not regret at all, on the contrary. For four years it has given me the opportunity to make it to the end of the month with a decent salary and to travel the world ». On average, the salary can reach 200 euros per day, in the months in which three Grand Prix happen (Covid permitting) it can reach almost two thousand euros. “For a young girl it’s a job like any other, also a lot of fun. Unfortunately the risks, the offenses, the provocations, in short, the catcalling of which Aurora Ramazzotti also speaks, I am always there, even outside a motorcycle circuit ». What can be the countermeasures to be adopted? “We need to change the mentality of some males. Educating kids to respect women. Banning miniskirts, or firing the umbrellas, in my opinion you do not do women a favor. Indeed, perhaps the opposite ».

April 8, 2021 (change April 8, 2021 | 17:28)


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