Politician Under Fire For Busty Campaign Poster

Story ByAna LacasaSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyCentral European News

A busty politician has been “hurt” by the criticism and suggestive online comments about her campaign poster ahead of a regional election in Italy.

Caterina Zilio, who worked as a social and health worker for disabled people, was named as candidate for the political party Puglia Popolare for the municipal council of Laterza in the southern Italian region of Apulia on 13th June.

Zilio posted a campaign design on Facebook where she is pointing at the camera while wearing a low-cut top that apparently shows her ample cleavage on 1 July.

CEN/@ziliocaterina

The slogan says: “I am looking for you! If you want change, call me. Together we can.”

In the post, she also tagged Massimiliano Stellato, the provincial president of the Puglia Popolare political party.

According to local newspaper Corriere della Sera, the post caused a stir on social media with some netizens criticising the politician’s choice of photo while others made sexist remarks.

CEN/@ziliocaterina

Netizen ‘Eliana Pappada’ said on Facebook: “What a sad, stereotypical image that no women should support, not for any reason in the world.”

‘Marcello Delfino’ commented: “So what is her agenda? To always wear provocative clothes to achieve her most important goals?”

Following the online backlash, Zilio told local newspaper Il Quotidiano Italiano: “I am a simple person as you see in the poster. There was no marketing strategy behind it, I simply used one of my own photos.

CEN/@ziliocaterina

“I worked as a social health worker for seven years and the comments directed at me surprised and hurt me.

“I worked with ill people who really suffer, ill people with serious conditions, and I have always been dedicated to people’s needs.

“I am the Puglia Popolare candidate for the municipal council of Laterza. We need to get welfare back on the agenda.”

CEN/@ziliocaterina

Massimiliano Stellato distance himself from the candidate’s election strategy but nevertheless supported her as their candidate, telling news site Corriere Salentino: “I would like to say that Caterina Zilia, who has been looking after people with serious disabilities for years, has not followed our marketing strategy, and did not involve the regional representatives of our movement.”

But he added that he had faith in her nevertheless saying: “I believe that women in politics should be judged on their commitment, and not on their cleavage.”

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Ana Lacasa

I am a senior writer and journalist and editor of the Spanish desk for the Central European News agency.

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