Tag Archives: Piropolandia


7 Jul

It’s just before 9:00 on the ring road of Granada. The sun is up, hanging as if from a peg above the snow-tipped Sierra Nevada mountain range, but the cars, it seems, are still in the sleepy shadows of garages and driveways. The quiet is a little unsettling. In theory it’s rush hour, but few are hurrying to work since few have a job to go to. Nevertheless, by 10:00 the class of people that always have a job (should they want one) are emerging from their maid-serviced flats and countryside villas to populate the walkways of Granada city centre.

This morning, the pijos are in their pinstriped suits and pencil skirts. Their patent heels, ties, cufflinks and greased-back hair are all gleaming with various degrees of intensity. That is to say, they’re in their office clothes, yet they’re anywhere but the office. Rather, they’re on their daylong morning coffee break, meeting fellow pijos for a relakzeen café con leche (latte) or dodging crisis-riddled beggars on Recogidas (Granada’s equivalent of Oxford Street) on route to Massimo Dutti.

The Spanish work some of the longest hours in Europe, but rest assured that it’s not the pijos that are bringing up the national working time average. That’s because these people form a special class of people. They are the ruling class, the superior class, the pijo class.

How to be a Spanish pija

What it means to be a woman differs according to a person’s socio-cultural context. Below is a guide to the proper way to be a special type of Spanish woman: a pija. That is to say an (aspiring) middle/upper class snob. This is an important task, since by conforming to the stereotype of a female snob, you will not only perpetuate the oppression of women in general, but also oppress other women and men on the basis of class and race!

“Pijo,” or “pija” in the feminine, encapsulates the meaning of a particularly offensive and Spanish breed of snob. It is not so much to do with one’s wealth (although the appearance of wealth must be maintained), but with one’s attitude: pijos like to aparentar (show off) and exert their sense of superiority (o sea, que les gusta “sentir especiales”).

Pijos can be found in all parts of Spain. They are mostly likely to be spotted at your local Club de Campo (playing padel or golf), Corte Ingles food hall, People’s Party (PP) rally or Opus Dei school. They tend to live off inheritance or have jobs with high salaries, thanks to family connections rather than ability or experience, and thus have money to squander on looking as rich as possible at all times.

Needless to say, pijos’ hobbies include looking down at, and exercising power over, those with less economic means or social status. They are “not racist but” believe los sin papeles (“illegal” immigrants) are the downfall of Spain. They pine for the good old days when El Generalissimo (the dictator Franco) ruled the roost and believe that indigenous South Americans are in the world to serve them, those of Arab origin are here to sell them tea and rugs (but should really get back to “wherever they came from”) and gypsies have “infiltrated” Spain to remind them why the Lamborghini must be locked in the garage at night. If they lived in the UK, pijos would invariably vote UKIP, given their intense hatred of Romanians.

Northern pijos maintain a colonial mentality towards the south. The Southern pijo, on the other hand, tends to own vast agricultural estates (near villages that have not evolved since Franco’s time) on which s/he employs indigenous South Americans on highly exploitative terms.

Like the sound of being a pija? A real pija will tell you that it is impossible to become one (un pijo no se hace, se nace, o sea, “good breeding”), but this isn’t strictly true. As I said above, being pijo is more about attitude than anything else. Here are some top tips, o sea, fijaaate cateta:

1) Pijas love the upper classes of Britain and the Iunis Esteits and, when not talking about their various trips to such parts of the world, try to emanate them in speech. When speaking Spanish, try to insert English words so that you sound posh and cultured, o sea, siempre habla con glamur, que queda super fino! Never lisp your Ss, which is typical of the backward peasants of the south. Oh, and pijos have an impediment which prevents the pronunciation of the letter “b,” saes?

2) Send your children to a private school, so that they are trained to understand that they are better than everyone else, and to increase their chances of gaining enchufes (jobs thanks to nepotism). That way, they will be paid a mint without ever having to do a full day’s work. Their teachers’ may also be kind enough to sit their university entrance exam for them, if paid the right price.

3) Learn to love appropriate musical icons such as David Bustamente, Enrique Iglesias, Victoria Beckham and Justin Bieber, o sea, que su musica es super guay, a que mola tia! Super kool. Watch gossip shows (telebasura) in order to learn the importance of superficiality and two-faced behaviour in your relations with others, O sea que loser, es que es tan cutre que lo flipo en colores!!! Y también es una rubia teñida, Saes??

4) The young pija studies business, law, economics or medicine at her local university. In her free time, she likes to attend nightclubs with chic, foreign names, such as Mae West (pronounced “My Way”) and drink a lot. This can be an expensive business, (o sea, dame dinero mami o papi porfi-please) but is a good chance to show off her latest purchases from Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste or Ralph Lauren. Incidentally, the official pija shoe is the shiny heel (preferably in beige) however this does change from season to season in order to ensure the greatest amount of capitalist consumerism: read the woman’s supplement of the weekend edition of your La Razón, ABC or La Gaceta newspaper to keep up with what you should be buying.

5) As is often the case in other geographical contexts, beauty ideals in Spain are linked to wealth and status. Pijas should wear their hair straight and long, and preferably bouffant and, if the colouring permits it, blonde highlights. Large pearls are a must, as is a (tight) blouse with the collar turned up, plus a huge, shiny bag and beige jodhpurs (a nod to the English upper classes, o sea supermegafashion oh mi god!!!!). You’ll have lots of time to do your nails at your civil service job where you are paid to do nothing.

6) Your boyfriend should wear a pink or nautical shirt with a brand logo and beige chinos that are a little too tight. A blue jersey should be hung over the shoulders. The older pijo may like to grow sideburns, especially if he lives in Andalusia or the countryside (campo-pijo). His hair should not be too short, should be styled with a side parting, or, if older or a campo-pijo, combed back with lots of gel.

7) When your boyfriend is not with you, he should try and have sex with as many other people as possible, including at the ever-discreet putódromo Club Don Pepe Don José (super-sized brothel appropriately located next to Toys R Us in Granada) or another local massage parlour (the place on the spectrum of consent of the “goods”, from sex worker to enslaved girl child, is not of interest to the pijo) owned by the village mayor. Despite being a closet putero (punter), he should maintain the public front of a catholic believer, o sea un tío muy fiel y muy formal. In the words of The Kinks, he should aim to emulate the impression of “a sophisticated man about town, doing the right things so conservatively.”

8) If you are an aged pija, you should be confident in your queue-jump right. When you get to the bank to check your tenants have paid on time, if you find lots of people waiting, just walk straight to the front of the queue. If the cashier’s already serving someone, go ahead and interrupt. You know you are better than everyone else in the bank, señora, because you inherited half of Gran Vía and you can trace your ancestry back to the medieval conquistadores (Columbus-style colonisers). The older pija is the Queen Bee of pijas. She waits for no one.

So, pija, are you better than the other girls? Does your boyfriend wear Ralph Lauren? Do you think Spain is still at war with the Moors? Yes? You are ready. Go forth, consume and don’t forget to vote PP.


Tanuary: Spanish politicians go orange for anti-choice

21 Dec

The Spanish People’s Party (PP) have launched a nationwide campaign to increase popular support for the laws that bid women to seek unsafe, illegal and underground terminations.

The legal changes announced last Friday make abortion illegal accept in the case of rape, malformed foetus or potential damage to the pregnant woman’s health. In an attempt to reverse the poll results that find 81% of Spaniards against the reforms, and following in the footsteps of other cringeworthy but popular Anglophone campaigns such as STOPtober and Movember, the ruling PP party will be setting off the new year with a campaign officially named Tanuary.

Tanuary will see high-profile members of the Spanish government wearing fake tan for the entire month of January in an attempt to celebrate anti-choice. Spanish citizens are encouraged to show their support by doing likewise, or, if already bronzed, by donating to the PP’s charitable welfare fund for party members who have not been lucky enough to benefit financially from the Barcenas slush fund scandal. However, plans for further animating mass citizen support via marches complete with placards painted with the slogan “Orange for (the state’s control of) Ovaries” have been cancelled since the expression of political opinions in public is now illegal.

PP members are excited to attend the spray tan shop on mass

PP members are excited to attend the spray tan salon on mass

Commenting on the campaign, President of the Spanish Government Mariano Rajoy said, “the Spanish taxpayer will be treating me to Christmas in Bermuda, which will give me the opportunity to get brown ready for Tanuary. This is a great opportunity for the people of Spain to rally around our national anti-choice principles and fascist heritage, and anyone who says otherwise can f*** the f*** off and pay a fine of €30,000.”

Rajoy takes a “selfie” whilst preparing for Tanuary

The head of Spain’s Catholic Church, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, commented, “we are pleased with the reforms, but feel that the government’s pro-life stance should go further and incorporate the prohibition of male mastubation. Each time a man ejaculates outside of his wife’s body, millions of potential lives are ended. It is literally murder and quite ungodly, whilst having little to do with a man’s right to control his own body.”

The government has not announced any plans for socioeconomic safety nets for financially vulnerable women forced to give birth against their will.

Ensuring femininity on holiday 3

17 Jul

Once again I’m passing my summer in piropolandia (cat-calling land) aka Andalusia, where every young woman’s street harassment dreams come true. Whilst bronzing my bikini body by the pool, I have had the chance to sample the Andalusian edition of ¡Qué Me Dices! (Fancy That!), which is the woman’s Saturday supplement of the catholic right’s newspaper La Razón.

The magazine is a fascinating read on many levels. Perhaps the aspect of  it that most baffles me is the juxtaposition of an advert for a catholic, diamond encrusted gold charm bracelet (complete with one of god’s commandments on each of the ten charms) with three A4 pages of adverts for prostitutes and erotic phone lines.



One advertisement in particular caught my attention: that for “Lolitas,” implicitly aimed at the Andalusian gentleman for whom the underage partner is preferred. In case there is a need to remind the reader, international laws dictate that a child cannot consensually prostitute her or himself and thereby automatically classes punters who buy sex from children as guilty of rape and paedophilia, and pimps of sexual exploitation. As well as the obvious question as to why there are three pages of prostitute publicity in a woman’s supplement, one also feels compelled to ask Fancy That’s editors: do Catholicism and paedophilia really go well together? Oh.

Fancy That’s most inspiring feature this week is its cover story “The Secret’s of Charlize Theron.” I have photographed this for you below, and highlighted ways in which you can recreate Charlize’s secrets with your own resources at home.



Remember ladies, “being pretty isn’t easy” so, hell, you better be making an effort

Road test Charlize’s secrets in your very own Laborattoir*

As Fancy That reminds its readers, “being pretty isn’t easy,” but it is implicitly necessary, hence the need to study Charlize’s secrets and apply them to oneself. If you stack up the prices of the products Fancy That says you need if you want to look like Charlize Theron, you will find that the total exceeds €500. Lets remind ourselves of Andalusia’s economic situation. With unemployment at a high of 36.87%, more families made homeless on a daily basis, and food banks becoming a necessity for ever more people, should Fancy That really be spending its existence persuading women that, without expensive products, women will never be as pretty as they ought to be? Well, yes, for beauty in a woman is so vital a quality that it should be your top priority even when you have lost your livelihood and home. So if you don’t have €500 lying around, then why not, just as I have, create your very own home laborattoir for fabricating beauty products? As well as using them yourself, you could also convince your friends that they are in need of such products and flog them for a buck or two. Ideas follow.

FANCY THAT SAYS: Charlize uses “phytoserum” to make her breasts “better”, “firmer” and “more volumised”.  NATURAL WOMAN SAYS: Kill a wasp and extract its sting. (Watch out girls, here comes “the science bit!” – best get a man to read this then explain it to you slowly…) Your immune system reacts to the wasp venom by sending in blood cells to fight the invading chemicals. The extra blood supply results in swelling. If you rub venom all over your chest your breasts will therefore grow, and it won’t cost you €42 (but you could sell it for that).


FANCY THAT SAYS: At €83.07, Lift Bras miraculously “tones (Charlize´s) arms, especially the zone below the bicep, which is prone to being flaccid.” NATURAL WOMAN SAYS: Add semen to your regular moisturising cream. This will prevent flaccidity, aka chicken wings. If you don’t have a man to hand, any other male mammal can be used.

ImageFANCY THAT SAYS: Charlize uses “Frownies” to stick back the frowns around her forehead and eyes. NATURAL WOMAN SAYS: sellotape is cheaper than Frownies, but is basically the same thing.


I have taped back all the wrinkles on my forehead, yet you can barely see the sellotape. Ten years younger, instantly.


FANCY THAT SAYS: Charlize sprays Eau Sublimatrice/Moisturizing Beauty Water on her legs when wearing dresses or shorts. NATURAL WOMAN SAYS: Take tap water and place it in a plastic bottle with a perforated lid. As long as you give the water a French or scientific-sounding name, it will make your leg instantly beautiful when sprayed. Unlike other natural resources, water has yet to be fully privatised, so this method is currently free for all.



Spray Beauty Water on your leg and it will be beautiful, instantly

Enjoy! Before you navigate away from this page, take a final thought from Fancy That!


“Fancy That” has spotted this famous Spanish actor in the supermarket. The magazine makes the observation, “the actor, interested in vegetables, even went to the extent of touching – without making use of the plastic gloves – the artichokes in the market”. Well,  just fancy that!

*Laborattoir: a laboratory where animals die so you can be beautiful. You might also be interested in Garnier’s “laboratoire” by Mitchell and Webb: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOYCkHFMnVc.

Ensuring femininity whilst on holiday 2

1 Aug

Once again leafing through the modern day woman’s bible that is Mujer Hoy (Woman Today. See blog post 31st July) I realised that the latino ladies depicted in the magazines – brunette, slender, olive-skinned beauties – were far more feminine than me. Something had to be done. Copying the pensive pose adopted by Woman Today‘s top model and expert in “tropical seduction”, I contemplated what to do.

I found that pouting my lips as if wishing to perform fellatio indeed does help the process of thinking, and I realised that, if I donned a bathing suit along with high heels, make up and excessive jewellery and headwear, I might appear more like a feminine-ideal and attract a moody gentleman such as he with crossed arms in the photo below, taken from Woman Today magazine.

After riding down to the local town centre in this outfit, my very own gentleman friend did indeed appear a little more moody than usual, but sadly he did not find the outfit particularly attractive. Furthermore, I found that trying to ride a motorbike in heels is not particularly practical, and I fear my trip to the village centre in swimming suit and headwear has made me even more of a social pariah amongst the local Andaluz community than I was before. I’m not sure what went wrong. Perhaps I should not have “ridden” the motorbike (leave the driving to the guys, girls), but merely stood beside it and stuck my bum out. That said, Don Francisco, father-in-law of the local Mayor, did ask if I’d like to join his wife and he for a jolly threesome, so maybe the outing was worth it after all.

Ensuring femininity whilst on holiday

31 Jul

Whilst leafing through Saturday’s edition of Ideal, a local Andalusian paper, I chanced upon Ideal’s very own Woman Today magazine. I was very fortunate to do so, since it has been a long time since I have read something so current and relevant to the modern day Western woman. Indeed, as well as an enlightening interview in which I learnt how David Gardy (star of the Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue aftershave advert and top role model for all men) smelt (“If the sensuality of the Mediterranean was a perfume, David Gardy would smell exactly like it.”), the magazine was full of useful insights into how to make myself more perfect. Sitting in the hot sunshine as I was, one article in particular caught my attention and immediately caused me a considerable degree of worry.

In the article, Moncho Moreno (hairdresser, make up artist and proper scientific expert) advised that women should take “extreme care” of their hair during the summer season, since the hair’s “true enemies, like the sun, sea or pool water, sand and repeated washings really are hostile elements, which mean dehydration, lack of shine and hair weakness.” Reading these words, it dawned on me that the hairdresser was right. After a couple of days of abusing my hair with sun, sea, chlorine, sand and repeated shampooings, my hair was in a horrific condition and was so dry that its texture was almost pubic.

Something had to be done, yet I was reluctant to spend €25.50 on the Hydrating Hair Filter Mask recommended by Moreno as the preferred solution to this horrible problem (we are in crisis after all): Therefore, in absence of a parasol, I decided to protect my hair from the sun with an umbrella.

At first, this worked a treat and I was able to continue to read top advice for the modern day woman from Woman Today magazine with a newfound tranquillity. Nevertheless, when I went for a dip, the umbrella proved impractical.

I then thought of simply wearing a hat, but the sand continued to blow in my hair and I would still need to carry out a damaging shampooing session at the end of the day. What to do now?

I contemplated this for a while, and came to the conclusion that there was only one solution. The sun filtering hydration mask for one’s hair is indispensable for any modern day woman who is on holiday, because if your hair is not shiny and soft, you are not really a woman. So, I applied the sun filter, carefully following the hairdresser’s advice to the tee and applying half and hour before exposure to the sun and again after each swim.

Given that I swim 6 times per day (it is very hot in Spain), I used up a whole bottle in one day. So, over my 2 week holiday, I used 14 bottles, which cost €350 or 220% of the weekly equivalent of the average local unemployment benefit (the unemployment rate in Granada, the city of Woman Today’s readership, stands at 36.5%).  But, as Woman Today knows, crisis or no crisis, it was worth it as my hair was looking younger, if not a little crispy. Voila:

However, a final word of warning for the reader who is about to invest in a few bottles of Hydrating Hair Filter Mask, as Woman Today warns, take into account the PAO, or “Period After Opening”, of your product. As soon as  you open the lid of your product, its “Useful Life” will be ticking away, and it “may be contaminated by various causes, such as the actions of microorganisms originating from contact with fingers or the air.” But, not to worry, you can avoid the minefield of PAOs by investing in Lactic Argan Crème, which will only set you back €31.10 a bottle, and comes recommended by Woman Today’s expert, Paloma Calderon, of the Institute of Medical Aesthetics of Madrid and pharmacist Manuel Lopez (also PR Director of a cosmetics company, presumably one that sells Argan). Argan, according to these experts is one of the “stars of the moment”, comes from the Moroccan “Tree of life” and lasts for “over 200 years”. According to Woman Today, you can even use the product on your baby (assuming, firstly, that your baby has hair, and secondly, that she suffers from lack of hair shine, that common worry above all worries for babies).