In an interview with Neta Barzilai conducted by veteran Israeli newswoman Ilana Dayan, the esteemed interviewer said to her: “It frightens me that someone will take you and promise you a great career and you will go on the path that all of them go on and the first thing you’d do is lose weight.” Barzilai was surprised by the question, but quickly pulled out: “I’m not going to pay attention to what other people think, and if I diet, it’ll happen and I’ll change.”
‘Living her truth,’ is why Netta is adored by the local gay community, who relates to her when she speaks about being different and remaining truthful to who she is, for good and for bad – no matter what other people say. She’s the girl who was bullied because she was fat- but didn’t let the bullies get to her. Turns out that her message was pretty clear in Europe throughout the entire Eurovision week.
“[Netta’s answer to Ilana Dayan] was 14 words that sum up Netta, who brought us the Eurovision victory for the fourth time on Saturday,” wrote famous journalist Eran Swissa, “and it’s not a coincidence [that she managed to do so].”
“Neta is a reality-version of Wonder Woman,” continued the publicly gay journalist. “Without metal shields on the arms and without imaginative powers and visual effects. She is much stronger, inspiring, and also invincible.
“You won’t find here a classic Cinderella story that we all like to hear and get moved by. Here is a story about socially rejected girl who suffered from bullying, but insisted on ignoring the environment and always remain who she was. She didn’t go to sleep with tears on her pillow, although she woke every morning to a new war against unrestrained children.
“Even if you look for it really hard, you’ll find that Barzilai doesn’t fall into any definition. When she feels like being fat, she’ll be fat, and if she wants to attend an official press conference with all the cameras pointing at her with marshmallow in her hand, that is exactly what she will do, or rather; that’s exactly what she did last week in Lisbon.
“She’s not here to disappoint us or make us happy. Even when the betting odds had bad news for her last week it didn’t really affect her mood. She’s here to be her, and by ‘her’ I mean the ‘her’ of that moment, because at another moment she can be someone else. Someone who she wanted to be and no one would stop her from doing so.”
“The competition on Saturday was far beyond music,” concluded Swissa. “It was to be thought that this was a competition between the rejected fat girl who suffers bullying, and of the safe and starred prom queen. But for Netta, she was always prom queen, no matter what others thought. And this is a real Wonder Woman. It’s just that on Saturday hundreds of millions of viewers in Europe realized it too.”
Netta didn’t make a huge impression only on the gay community in Israel.
Before the competition took place on Saturday, Netta had won an award from the gay Dutch television network OUTtv.
Netta was chosen as gay community favorite in the Eurovision 2018 contest and was awarded with an OUTmusic award.
A moment before the award was given to her, the network’s interviewer told Netta: “You came so far, look at you, you serve as an example to so many people. No matter what you do, no matter where you end up in the competition, you will never disappoint.”
A survey that OUTtv conducts every year examines who the contestant that deserves to win Eurovision. Thousands of viewers participated in the survey and decided that Netta should receive it. “I think you don’t have to look, or think, or sound or do things like the standard in order to succeed,” Netta said, “it’s just there. You have to find a way to take it.”