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Chloe Fakhri

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Good girls go to heaven. Bad girls go to Hollywood.

This is the byline of the talented Becks sisters show The Sin-Sational Rita and Mae.

Old Hollywood 20th century social conventions, raunchy references, sexual innuendo, catchy Jazz tunes complimented by the sisters talented voices and great scripting, are all implemented in an hour performance, that is guaranteed to stick with audiences for much longer.

Golden Age films like Goin’ To Town (1935), Gilda (1946) and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) is what sparked a passion and curiosity inside two young sisters who yearned to one day live their lives out on the stage.

And their dream became a reality.

Melody and Lucinda Beck are the leads in their own show The Sin-Sational Rita and Mae, playing real life Hollywood actresses Rita Hayworth and Mae West.

Rita Hayworth (1918-1987) was an American actress and singer born in Brooklyn, New York. Hayworth is known for being a WWII pin up girl and for her incredible career, starring in 61 films in just 37 years. She resembled all that the Hollywood industry yearned for female actresses to behave like.

Mary Jane ‘Mae’ West (1893-1980) spanned her career from New York to Hollywood as a singer, actress, comedian, playwright and screen writer. She is most famous for her comment, “I believe in censorship. I made a fortune in it.” West was a controversial figure, pushing social conventions and boundaries and creating a career out of being a Hollywood sex symbol.

The Beck sisters cleverly combined both characters into one performance, mimicking the Hollywood industry and juxtaposing Mae West who abided by social conventions with Rita Hayworth who was a provocative figure.

The show was just ten days into its course when I watched the talented girls perform at the small quirky theatre The Butterfly Club, off Little Collins street in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, for the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Both sisters are trained singers in Classical music, Jazz, Musical Theatre and Contemporary.

The show consisted of the right amount of old jazz songs, musical verses, historical references, conversation and sexual innuendo, usually from Lucinda.

Melody entered the stage in a tight Hollywood inspired velvet sleeveless gown, while Lucinda followed wearing a form fitting black dress and a fur throw over, mimicking her character of Mae West to perfection.

Melody purchased her dress from the US and Lucinda from London, and they both had their hair in tight curls to further reflect the old Hollywood era they were trying to represent.

Melody’s voice remained strong and powerful throughout the show. You could have heard a pin drop in the room when she sang, especially as she hit the high notes. Lucinda is equally as talented, perfecting that old Hollywood sexy movie star voice, that remained consistent and fluent throughout her performance.

The girls were born into a family of performers, whom they attribute their creative genius to with family has roots in the Wirth’s Circus, Australia’s most prestigious circus company, starting out back in 1882.

Their mother, Jenny Beck is also a singing teacher and the girls took lessons from their mother and other singing teachers, which is who they credit their talented voices to.

“We’ve grown up side stage and our parents were in the Gilbert and Sullivan society, so we were always in the wings and singing along and page turning. That’s part of how we learnt to read music as well”, said Lucinda.

The Sin-Sational Rita and Mae was scripted by Melody and Jenny Beck, who ensured the script flowed fluently and logically, despite neither Rita or Mae ever meeting.

“Mae paved the way for Rita and then Rita paved the way for Mae to come back in’, said Lucinda.

Initially the show was just about Rita Hayworth but they decided to combine both actresses, because “they just missed each other but were still moving in the same circles just not at the same times in Hollywood”, said Melody.
This logical decision resulted in a show stopping performance filled with old school Jazz songs that gave you an urge to sing along and transported you to a time and era of Hollywood celebrities, and censorship in the media industry.

“It still resonates today, a lot of what they represented. Like Mae West was ahead of her times!”, said Melody.

She further added,

“they’re both femme fatales but in very different ways. They’ve both have very different values and approaches but they were pigeon holed in the same place.”

Aside from their successful careers on the stage, both sisters are also singing teachers, and are heavily involved in the music industry outside of performing.

Melody lives a double life working as receptionist at a pool in Sydney during the day and writing cabarets, auditioning and performing by night.

Lucinda is also a voice over artist and professional hair dresser.

When asked where to from here the girls were bursting with ideas and excited about the future opportunities they have planned.

Both sisters have organised to perform at the Perth Fringe Festival and Melbourne Comedy Show with ambitions to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival next August, the world’s largest arts festival founded in 1947.

Planning has already started for future shows with so much preparation going into each performance from scripting, drafting, editing, rehearsing all the way to costuming, which is a particular favourite of the sisters.

“A lot of this show involved compiling autobiographies and quotes from both actresses, including their movies and direct quotes and songs from their films. And then figuring out how to gel those together to make it a show that actually flows, and create a story”, said Lucinda.

Finding a talented pianist also went into planning for the show. Throughout the duration of the performance the talented Daniele Buatti performed magically, never missing a beat and accompanying the girl’s performance without overpowering their voices.

You could sense and see the passion on his face throughout his act, only ever rotating his eyes from his piano to his sheet music.

Daniele has worked with talents such as Australian actress, singer and comedian Queenie Van De Zandt and singer and actress Amanda Harrison. His role extends from a pianist to an accompanist, arranger and musical director.

You can find Daniele working in cabarets across Australia and notable dance schools in Melbourne such as Patrick Studios Australia and Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance.

Daniele taught himself how to play the piano after enrolling himself in two music elective classes in Year Nine. He also plays the flute, cello and guitar but is in no time looking to take them up professionally, over the piano.

“Two weeks prior to my first semester, I convinced my older brother to buy a keyboard and I spent every night practising, right up until the beginning of the semester. Before purchasing the keyboard, I had taught myself my theory, learnt how to read and was practising on a paper keyboard I made in Microsoft Paint!”.

He is also the Music Director for Melbourne’s very own Broadway Unplugged.

 

“I work to bring together a bunch of artists that are performing in industry musicals around Melbourne, accompanied by myself and a three-piece band.”

Launched in 2013, Daniele has run the event for the past five years. The show consists of performers taking the stage monthly at Melbourne’s very own Toff in Town, located in Swanston street. Daniele arranges the acts, backs vocalists, rehearses with artists and performs.

But Daniele’s talents don’t stop there. He also hosts and performs several times a month at an event called Be You, that celebrates up and coming talent, at Melbourne’s Jazz Café.

The Sin-Sational Rita and Mae was a show that celebrated talent, promoted great artists and provided audiences with an entertaining evening filled with great singing, humorous historical references and transportation into an unfamiliar era, all whilst commemorating the good that came out of this old Hollywood industry.

With such a strong talent on the stage, all you felt like doing what getting up and performing! Or in my case, wishing I had the talent to perform!

 

The joy both sisters receive from performing, appreciation for all those who attended and passion they feel when singing and acting is felt by everyone in the room, from audience members sitting in the front row right to the lighting director up the back.

Their excitement extends right out to post-performance when they mingle with the audience plastering a contagious smile on their faces, creating a positive, energetic atmosphere and environment for all those who attended.

Such a talented trio – and a brilliant performance that I definitely recommend going to watch.

Want to know how you can cure your insomnia? Feel less stressed? Get rid of your cellulite and wrinkles? Yes, you just read that correct!

The benefits of Aromatherapy extent much further than the Five Essential Oils.

You can even increase your sex drive with the help of Sandalwood, Rose, Jasmine or Ylang Ylang. Aside from this, they also have additional benefits such as improving your mood, increasing positivity and giving you a more healthy, positive outlook on life.

Aromatherapy and Essential Oils have been used for centuries and are linked with medicinally, physically and emotionally altering functions of your body.

Aromatherapy is a widely recognised practice with lots of attached health benefits. These include, but are not limited to, increasing your energy levels, curing insomnia and reducing cellulite and wrinkles.

Lavender is used to relieve stress, help with sleeping and ease menstrual cramps. Grapefruit has been linked to increasing your mood and repairing oily skin. Peppermint helps rejuvenate the body and reduce headaches as well as calm nausea.

Rosemary helps stimulate hair growth, boost mental activity and reduce pain and Cedar Wood reduces acne and psoriasis as well as several other skin issues.

In 2007 a study on Aromatherapy was conducted and revealed that nurses were significantly less stressed after receiving 15-minute aromatherapy massages accompanied by music.

The study was published in the international scientific Journal of Clinical Nursing, and demonstrates the health benefits associated with using particular oils. Lavender, Rose and Chamomile are some of the many oils that are linked with reducing stress.

Aromatherapy works because it has been scientifically proven that smell travels directly to the emotional centre of the brain. Inside your nose are millions of olfactory receptors, which, after a certain process, stimulate particular areas of the brain and send messages to your emotional centre.

If oils are used consistently enough this can encourage physical, spiritual and emotional bodily changes and alterations.

 

Benefits of Essential Oils have been widely recognised for thousands of centuries. The oldest surviving English manuscript that documents Essential Oils was written sometime between 900 and 950, by a scribe called Bald.

Leechbook became widely recognized for being written ahead of its time, especially in instances when Bald suggests surgery for a harelip. The book includes outdated rituals on magic and tree lore, but also documents over 500 plants and the properties they contain when bathed in, poured on amulets or consumed.

The ancient Egyptians use to burn incense as an offering. The Romans would release perfumed doves during celebrations and if you go back further into biblical history, the Magi gifted Mary and Joseph frankincense and myrrh at the nativity scene, which are both recognised for their alluring fragrance.

The Crusaders returned from the Holy Wars with new discoveries such as rose water and perfume that they brought back to various parts of Europe including Rome, the ancient Constantinople and certain areas in France.

The wealthy began washing their hands in rose water and herbs were used to decorate homes, however, still no knowledge was linked at this stage to the benefits of oils.

Centuries later, in 1603, a second wave of the Black Plague swept over Europe. People panicked and burnt benzoin, styrax and frankincense around their homes to stop the spreading of the disease.

Although this was unsuccessful, it was recorded that workers who worked in the aromatics and perfume industry were immune to the plague due to the high antiseptic properties they were exposed too every day.

During the early 1900’s a French chemist named Rene Maurice Gattefossé (1881-1950) worked for his family’s perfume business and began researching into the benefits of Essential Oils. During the 1920’s Gattefossé became responsible for coining the term ‘Aromatherapy’, that we know today.

Gattefossé knew his hypothesis on the benefits of Essential Oils was correct after an accidental experiment where he severely burnt his hand in his laboratory following an explosion.

 

 

After the explosion he dipped his hand into pure lavender oil and was amazed by how quickly his swelling reduced and the accelerated healing process that followed.

 

Gattefossé was further amazed by the fact that he was left with no scar.

This discovery became popular all over Europe and caught the attention of Germany, Switzerland and France in particular. Between the 1950’s and 1970’s studies were conducted into Aromatherapy all throughout Western Europe.

Austrian born Marguerite Maury was a biochemist who dedicated her life to educating people about the benefits of Essential Oils in Europe. She was inspired by the 1838 book Les Grandes Possibilités par les Matières Odoriferantes written by Dr. Chabenes, who wrote extensively about his research on aromatic materials.

During the 1930’s Maury developed new worldly renowned massage techniques incorporating oils into her practice. Maury also advocated her belief that by incorporating oils into your daily life you could retain your youth both physically, emotionally and spiritually as well as increase your energy levels.

Maury opened up aromatherapy clinics in Paris, Switzerland and England and worked until her death in 1968 and during this time published a novel, The Secret of Life and Youth (first published in 1961 and republished in 1964) dedicated to her research into the benefits of Aromatherapy.

Fragrance and oils have existed for centuries and have been associated with physically, spiritually and emotionally altering messages to your brain. Dr Julian Whitaker is an example of an American practitioner who has spent a majority of his career promoting alternative medicines and natural oils.

Since these historical and scientific breakthrough discoveries on the benefits of oils, the Western World has dedicated studies to the field of Aromatherapy.

French patisseries in a German speaking country, ballet shows in a foreign theatre and having to learn how to say the word “help” in Deutsch in preparation for your first day on the slopes (it’s Hilfe if you were wondering).

If you find yourself looking through page after page on travel guides looking for things to do in Munich, then this guide is just what you’re looking for!

Bitte! (feel free to Google).

 

I was lucky enough to spend three weeks in Munich at the beginning of the year where I studied a unit on the EU and European Relations at Ludwig Maximillian University.

I had never spent such a long period of time in one place while travelling and loved the experience because it gave me the opportunity to explore so much of the city, and see more than the average tourist.

 

Markets

I accidentally stumbled across these markets after getting lost in the city centre and taking the wrong bus back to our apartment (unfortunately, I’m embarrassed to say this wasn’t the first time this had happened). But this is definitely something every tourist should do when travelling to Munich!

There was so much fresh produce and cute little stalls that sold everything from cheese, Mediterranean mixes, coffee to fresh fruit and vegetables. I could also buy famous German pretzels and sausages, which was much fresher than the produce being sold at the supermarkets.

I spent a whole day at these markets, walking around and talking to locals and taking in the smell of freshly baked goods and coffee aroma in the air.

Ballet

I found going to the Ballet to be such a culturally eye-opening experience. The theatres in Munich are just beautiful, with large deep red curtains draped across the stage and huge diamond chandeliers. The theatre is very formal, and everyone is dressed so elegantly. The women are dressed in classy long black gowns and the men in tight neat suits.

The performance went on for nearly two hours with a short intermission in between acts. The ballet was about a young couple whose love was forbidden, and mimicked a Romeo and Juliet type of story.

I found it easy to follow the story line, and despite being in another country that spoke another language, there was no language barrier while watching the show, which made it a much more enjoyable experience.

Hoffbrauhaus

This is one of the most tourist heavy destinations in Munich, but proved to be one of my favourites to visit! I have never been a fan of beer or pretzels, but when in Germany they are two things you definitely need to try. I tried my first ever German pretzel at the Hoffbrauhaus.

I was shocked when the waiter placed it on my table, because of its size. It was bigger than my head!

I also ordered a stein of Heineken beer to get into the true German spirit of being at a beer hall. I really enjoyed this venue because you were able to communicate with so many other locals and tourists. Because of how busy the venue is, you take a seat at one of the large tables that fits 12-14 people and are sometimes placed with complete stranger.

Although confronting at first, it really makes the experience enjoyable because you get to enjoy the German music, beer and energetic atmosphere with people that you soon call friends!

Café Luitpold

I found this little treasure after (once again) catching the wrong and finding myself in the outskirts of the city centre. Café Luitpold is the cutest most chic little café. I walked inside to see a café filled with small antique style rounded white tables and matching chairs. In the middle is a large colourful dessert bar, that you can walk, serving everything from the famous Apple Strudel to Strawberry Cheesecake.

The smell of fresh desserts coming out of the oven and roasted coffee beans filled the room and the French decor extended throughout the cafe, from the hand painted antique cutlery to the 16th century style classical paintings on the wall.

Skiing

Whether you’re a beginner, novice or an expert, a day on the slopes is a must! I had personally never skied before until I took a class in Germany. After three hours of classes I became too over confident and decided to go down a red slope, the second hardest slope.

Safe to say, I ended up walking down half the mountain (or should I say falling) and woke up with a dozen bruises.

But nonetheless, it is an experience I have treasured! The air was crisp and cold and the smell was so fresh that it almost made me feel lightheaded. But the views are exquisite.

I loved standing up at the top of the slopes (right before I would fall again) and look around and see snow everywhere, with the occasional glimpse of green, and dozens of kids, teenagers and adults wearing colourful gear and skiing down the slopes.

The four-year-old professional skiers became the highlight of my day, because they would laugh at me screaming loud enough for my family to hear me back at home in Melbourne as I (once again) tumbled down the mountain.

Travelling to foreign countries really changes who you are. Through the people you meet, the experiences you encounter and the new found appreciation and value you gain for your own life.

But the biggest blessing of all is calling your friends, family.

From travelling around the South, standing by my best friend at her wedding and a few hiccups on the way (missed flights, wrong accommodation, you know the drill).

I pushed through my culture shock and preconceived expectations, and am glad to say that it is a place I was soon calling my second home.

I had the honour of being asked to stand by my best friend at her wedding as her bridesmaid in Bitola which is her home town in Macedonia, in July this year. So I did what any normal person would do (after I accepted their offer of course). I Googled the word ‘Macedonia’ because I had absolutely no idea where it was.

I soon learnt it was a small country in the Balkan region of Europe, bordering Greece, Albania, Kosovo, Serbia and Bulgaria and the excitement of a European summer and holiday planning soon kicked it.

After having first-hand experience travelling to Macedonia from Melbourne, here are my top five suggestions.

Skopje

I had never experienced culture shock before until I travelled to Skopje.

This is where I spent my first day in Macedonia and the language was unfamiliar, it was extremely hot and some streets were beautiful with lots of history and really old worn down buildings while a few hundred metres down it would portray a real image of poverty.

It was a really confronting experience and it wasn’t until a few hours later that I felt comfortable walking around the unfamiliar streets and engaging with the predominantly locals, who lived in the city centre.

But I found that once you passed the poorer areas of the city which are quite confronting, there is so many beautiful buildings and history to be experienced. The main city centre is where we spent a majority of our day.

We purchased Kozinjak, which is sweet bread that is a famous Macedonian dish. We walked around the main square which had old historical statues of Alexander the Great, as well as thousand-year-old ancient ruins.

We also went shopping in the old town and decided that Macedonian fashion was very far off from how we dressed in Melbourne. They wore lots of bright colours, like blue, orange, red and pink and everything had a diamanté or crystal on it and was tight.

My friend and I spent the day trying on their clothes and getting an understanding of their culture  before we called a taxi and began our three hour car ride to Bitola.

 

Tip: It is a huge advantage to travel with somebody who knows their way around.

Resen

We travelled here purely for a day trip to have lunch at my friend’s relative’s restaurant. The restaurant was overflowing with greenery and looked like it was out of a fairy-tale.

The first thing I saw after walking down the wobbly cobble stone stairs, was a humongous pond with dozens of blue and orange fish swimming around. I then walked through a large area of garden, with small trees and large well-kept bushes, overflowing flowers hanging from pink garden pots and bright red roses.

To get to our lunch table we had to walk over a cute little white painted handmade bridge that was built over the pond, where the smell of fresh crisp air and flowers followed. Resen is a small town in Macedonia’s Southwest will just under 9,000 inhabitants, who are, in my experience, very humble and welcoming people.

The food is also very fresh. We ordered the traditional Ćevapi which is a mincemeat based sausage dish, that the restaurant owners made from scratch in their kitchen. I also had the traditional Shopska salad, which is tomato, cucumber, peppers and onion topped with the ingredient Macedonians put in every dish… Sirene cheese.

Ohrid

Described as Macedonia’s most ‘seductive destination’ on Lonely Planet, Ohrid is probably the most beautiful town I have ever visited in my life. The town is surrounded by a beautiful crystal blue lake, that has a strong calming tranquil feel to it, especially when you swim in its icy cold waters.

 

The lake is one of 28 sites listed on UNESCO’s Cultural and Natural World Heritage sites.

The town has such a happy positive energy to it, especially in the summer time. The main street is filled with traditional houses with red tiled roofs, buzzing with tourists taking photos by the lake and at every corner walking down the ancient cobble stones of the main street, you catch a glimpse of one of the 365 churches and monasteries Ohrid is known for.

One for every day of the year.

I climbed up a hill to visit the famous Church of St. John at Kaneo.  The church had tints of the same red tiles that filed the town, and had a main entrance surrounded by round pillars and was situated to overlook the whole lake. It was extremely dark inside the main area, and only around five metres in length and width.

The smell of essence was very overwhelming and everything inside, including the dozens of images of Christ, was gold. But you could feel the history when you walked around and felt a spiritual connection to the church and the lake.

Struga

Struga is definitely a town worth visiting and is only an hour’s drive from Bitola. I didn’t get to experience much of the town but went to the Hotel Izgrev Spa and Aqua park.

I spent the day going on a large waterslide that was about 50m high, and felt like a little kid every time I screamed down the slide and splashed into the water. I alternated between this, and ordering a fruity cocktail at the large pool side bar and laying on a tanning bed.
What I loved most about the Aqua park was that you could sit on the edge of the Luke-warm pool and get a 180-degree view of Lake Ohrid. I really enjoyed Struga because it was so relaxing and calming and gave me a day to wind down, especially after the wedding.

The Saint Jovan Bigorski monastery

Travelling to this monastery proved to be a bit of an adventure. This is where my friends decided to have their wedding ceremony, which was a 3.5-hour drive from the town we were staying in.

So we all woke up extra early the day of the wedding (which also happened to be the morning after the Hens night) and hopped onto a bus on an empty stomach and three hours sleep, to travel to this monastery which seemed like a lifetime away.

 

Especially after the bus broke down and we hitchhiked on the side of an unknown Macedonian highway, which I can now tick off my bucket list.

Two buses and several hours later we finally made it to the Orthodox St Jovan Bigorski monastery, and it was (almost) worth the trouble of getting there. The monastery was first built in 1020 and rebuilt in 1743 by Monk Ilarion after being destroyed by the Ottomans.

The monastery is fully equipped with a two fountains filled with fresh mountain water, a dining room, tower and old charnel house, that you can walk around and visit.

The views are absolutely exquisite and so picturesque. You can walk around the whole monastery and get views of the deep green Mountain Bistra and the crystal blue river banks of Radika.

Inside the monastery, you feel transported in history. In the middle of the room was a large round chandelier, at least two metres in width, in the shape of a crown, that was covered in jewels.

 

The mass, even though it was in Macedonian, felt really special and it was so interesting watching how another culture celebrates and performs religious sacraments. The priest placed large gold crowns on both the bride and grooms head and everyone stood up and surrounded the newlyweds, making it a really intimate ceremony.

The dim lighting and strong smell of essence made the experience even more special. And what topped it off was that the bus didn’t break down on the way home!

Read our exclusive interviews with Lorinska and Maria from Seven’s new hit reality TV show Yummy Mummies.

Melbourne socialites Lorinska Merrington, Jane Scandizzo and Rachel Watts and Adelaide’s Maria Di Geronimo, are all apart of Seven’s new hit reality TV show Yummy Mummies.

Set in both Melbourne and Adelaide, the show follows the girls through their journey into motherhood, which they all approach differently. The Melbourne girls learn the importance of relying on friends when challenged with the new and confronting issues that all first time mothers face, while Maria relies on her husband and family while she welcomes her newborn baby girl into the world.

Despite being set in different locations, the girls are all vocal on all the controversial issues that mothers face, like is it socially acceptable to breastfeed in public? What can I do to lose my baby weight quickly? And occasionally less controversial issues, like where should I host my baby shower?

The girls strengthen their bond and friendships through the mutually life-changing experiences they enter around a relatively similar time-frame, but encounter some obstacles on the way, learning that there’s more than one way of doing things when it comes to family, friends and most importantly, raising children.

Married to former Carlton player Andrew Merrington, Lorinska is not shy from the camera. She has always been a busy woman, juggling a career as a model, traffic presenter on Channel Nine and a teacher specialising in educating autistic children. She has a warm heart and strong morals, as well as strong family values saying that “as long as I have my heater on, and I can come home to a warm house and feed the family, put electricity on and go away for a little weekend, that’s what I’m happy with.”

I sat down with Lorinska at Grey and Bliss Café, in Melbourne’s South-West. Lorinska walked in and immediately turned heads with her bright blonde hair and supermodel looks, possessing a charismatic and confident aura. Her lack of a filter, enthusiastic attitude and strong personality was noted straight away, as she delved straight into her new life and how it has changed since the birth of her beloved ‘Lady P’.

This stylish new mum is all about work, love and family and being a school teacher has taught her how to interact and look after children, which are techniques she plans to adopt into her Penelope’s life.

“There are certain things that are important, and its complete and utter love. And I’m like that with my kids in school, as long as you give them utter love you can conquer anything.”

After experiencing labour during interviews, and with the guidance of her mother, husband and loving family and friends, Lorinska gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and added being a mother into her already busy schedule building a new home, teaching, modelling, traffic presenting and looking after a family.

“That’s a funny thing, being a teacher, you’re always really organised. But that was one thing I didn’t want to plan. I didn’t want to set and expectation for myself and then not deliver.”

Motherhood often opens women up to being subjects of controversy and criticism; as one can probably expect, and being a part of a reality show that follows their individual journeys into motherhood and raising children has only intensified such scrutiny.

But Lorinska has “never felt pressured to do one thing or another, if anything I just wanted to do it my way. I didn’t want to rely on anything but my gut feeling”, which is her new approach to juggling her many careers and Lady P.

Similarly, Adelaide Yummy Mummy Maria Di Geronimo, revolves her life around her newborn Valentina, affected by the criticism she receives on social media is praying and by choosing to focus her energy on her beautiful baby girl.

“I thought I would be teaching Baby some things, but Baby’s taught me things. I always thought I’ve got my family, I’ve got my friends, I’ve got everything I need, but after having Baby, I don’t think I had anything before. I needed her.”

The show alternates between filming Lorinska, Jane and Rachel in Melbourne, and Maria in Adelaide who is often the subject of much criticism, because of her materialistic values and love for all things designer.

Married to full-time barber Carlos Vannini, Maria has now become a stay home mother with a nanny who looks after her new-born.

Maria’s obsession with labels and love for the attention the show has given her is almost immediately noted almost right at the beginning of my interview with her. When asked about how she deals with all of the controversy the show has created, Maria says that “you don’t really know someone unless you walk in their shoes… and I have expensive shoes.”

Being approached to join the show because of her ‘big personality’ Maria says she loves all the controversy and hate that has evolved since its first episode aired on Sunday July 9th. Maria says that through the show she has learnt a lot about life, but simply doesn’t care.

Her demanding attitude and views on controversial issues such as beast-feeding which she publicly claims should never be done in public, makes her a figure that is difficult to relate to by a majority of viewers, most notably mothers.

But although she is not particularly close with the other girls on the television show, Maria respects the other women as mothers.

“We are all strong women, so we all have strong opinions. And we have some heated moments. We’re all hormonal, we’re all tired, we’re all hungry. There are so many factors involved, but the final ground is that we’re all going to be mums. So it’s kind of a connection that we have.”

Maria decided to do the show so that her daughter would be able to re-visit and experience her journey through pregnancy, birth and motherhood and can’t wait to have more children, but she is considering adoption.