Maria Paula Giacomelli
She is always on the left end of the big pink sofa in the Saia Justa studio. It is from there that every Wednesday Bela Gil gives her insights on the most varied subjects, live, on the GNT program, alongside Astrid Fontenelle, Gabriela Prioli and Larissa Luz.
In Saia Justa since the beginning of the year, she sees her role as a counterpoint to that of the other presenters to shake up the debate with subjects that no one brings up — even though, sometimes, the leading role can be that of Prioli and Fontenelle, who have already entered into a small discussion.
Bela says she doesn’t run away from any topic but she doesn’t enjoy the fight. The debate, yes, attracts her. “I try to have a certain lightness when giving my opinions, expressing my ideas.” She knows that a poorly placed word can generate a barrage of haters, which is why she takes extra care. Used to being the constant target of criticism, she says that being trained in the “school of beatings” calibrated her.
There is no shortage of clippings and excerpts edited from the program on social media and news sites. But, for the cook, the comments behind the cold screens don’t deserve so much concern. Is it annoying to be criticized, to become a joke? Could it be. But she says she has more important things to worry about.
“I don’t take the repercussions on social media very seriously, it’s also a way for society to defend itself, something like ‘She’s crazy, I’m not doing anything wrong, she’s crazy'”, he explains. For Bela, in addition to disagreements on the topics of food and feminism, the haters’ comments are based on her stance on the program.
Posture really, in the literal sense: the way you sit, the way you carry yourself. “Often we have to masculinize ourselves. I have this tomboyish way, I sit with my leg crossed. What I say in this light way and with laughter can also discredit me, like ‘she doesn’t know what she’s talking about’. If I sat there in a blazer and dress pants, or it was a white woman, maybe it wouldn’t become a joke.”
Anyone who sees her always with a smile on her face, surrounded by incredible relatives and with an extremely healthy way of life, might think that the stress goes away. What nothing. Children, lectures, programs, managing her restaurants (the most recent is Camélia Òdòdó, in Vila Madalena, in São Paulo) almost led her to exhaustion.
“I almost reached burnout,” he says. “I’m always almost there. I start with anxiety, thinking I won’t be able to do it. When I think that, it’s because I really can’t. And then it’s time to ask for help, talking is necessary”, he says. That’s where therapy comes in, which she considers essential for her emotional balance.
Mother of Flor Gil, 14, and Nino, 6, fruit of her relationship with JP Demasi, from whom she separated in January this year after 19 years of marriage, she also travels with her family to different countries and the children participate in shows alongside his grandfather, Gilberto Gil, his uncles and aunts.
There are a lot of trips, which makes it difficult to maintain the healthy and natural eating routine that she preaches, the homemade food of which she is the biggest defender. Bela says that her children followed the same path not through imposition, but through example and observation. “My daughter goes crazy when she doesn’t see a green one for two days. These days my son called me and said he ate a big plate of salad in Europe.”
She denies being rigid in controlling what goes into her kitchen, but everything has a limit: processed foods, soda and condensed milk are strictly prohibited. “If your diet is based on noodles, chips and condensed milk, something will really go wrong.”
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