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Giorgia Meloni is an Italian politician elected to the Prime Minister position in September 2022. Meloni has led the Fratelli D'Italia or "Brothers of Italy" party since 2014 and is widely recognized as a populist and nationalist leader. She is known for holding conservative views on abortion, immigration and same-sex marriage, among other contentious political stances. Meloni is also known to be an avid Lord of The Rings fan, making repeated references to LOTR lore in her political speeches over the past two decades. The leader also carries a penchant for posting anime-inspired fan art of herself using the hashtag "#MeloniChan." Following her win as PM of Italy in September 2022, Meloni became the subject of various discussions and memes online.
Giorgia Meloni began her career in politics by joining the youth wing of Movimento Sociale Italiano – Destra Nazionale (MSI) party in Italy in 1992. MSI is a right-wing nationalist party formed in 1946 by self-professed supporters of the Benito Mussolini regime after his death in 1945. After holding a series of positions in student movements and youth wings of MSI's legal successors National Alliance (AN), she was appointed to Minister of Youth in the Berlusconi IV Cabinet from 2008 to 2011.
In 2012, she co-founded AN's splinter faction Fratelli D'Italia (FDL) and became its president in 2014. After two failed attempts at being elected to the European Parliament and elected Mayor of Rome in 2014 and 2016, respectively, she led the FDL in opposition to the entire 18th Italian legislature. This helped the FDL grow its popularity in opinion polls, particularly during the Draghi Cabinet in which the FDL was the only opposition party.
In 2022, the FDL was then voted into power in the 2022 Italian general election, making Giorgia Meloni the new Prime Minister of Italy.
In 2018, Giorgia Meloni launched the hashtag #MeloniChan, where she shared fan art and edits of a blonde-haired character alongside various slogans about Italian nationalism. In a now-deleted Facebook post from July 11th, 2018, Meloni shared an anime rendition of herself doing a victory sign with her fingers (seen below, left). Around this time, she also uploaded another since-deleted post using the likeness of Mari from the anime Live Love (seen below, right).
On September 15th, 2018, she posted more anime fan art to Facebook, this time alongside a caption that read, "MeloniChan is back!" The post has gathered over 11,000 reactions in four years (seen below, left). On December 23rd, 2018, she posted more anime fan art alongside her FDL party's slogans and logos and gathered over 5,000 reactions in four years (seen below, right).
Lord of The Rings and Other Fantasy Literature Influences
Giorgia Meloni is a self-professed Lord of The Rings fanatic and has been noted to consider the text in an almost "sacred" regard. In a September 21st, 2022, New York Times article, Meloni described an upbringing enmeshed in the cultural education provided by "Hobbit Camps" where she visited the school in character as a hobbit and gathered at the “sounding of the horn of Boromir” for cultural chats.
She draws heavily from the philosophy of Lord of The Rings, saying that "she had learned from dwarves and elves and hobbits the 'value of specificity' with 'each indispensable for the fact of being particular.'" The interview goes on to say that she "extrapolated that as a lesson about protecting Europe’s sovereign nations and unique identities." She went on to pose with a statue of Gandalf for a magazine spread in 2008 after being appointed Minister of Youth, saying that she would not let the "ring of power" corrupt her (seen below).
The Italian Prime Minister is also known to have frequented online chatrooms under the moniker Khy-ri, calling herself the "little dragon of the Italian undernet"
On September 25th, 2022, Giorgia Meloni posted the following video to her official TikTok channel, gathering over 7 million plays and 200,000 likes in two days (seen below).
Italian Military Jokes
Italian Military Jokes are quips aimed at mocking the effectiveness or prowess of the Italian military, often consisting of stereotypes that Italian soldiers are cowardly and depictions of the Italian Navy as floating pizza.
It's Anti-Italian Discrimination
It's Anti-Italian Discrimination is an exploitable image macro and reaction image using a captioned still of the character Silvio Dante from an episode of The Sopranos. The meme is used ironically when Italian or Italian-American people are embarrassed, hated or mistreated.