Very few celebrities can solicit vicious attacks from armchair quarterbacks and gossipmongers like the reality icon du jour. Take for example, the latest “most reviled girl on TV”, Snooki Polizzi of the “Jersey Shore”. You can’t bat an eyelash without seeing or hearing something about her, usually negative, cajoling you from the TV, computer, or the wags at the water cooler. This diminutive, orangey- bronze burst of energy is everywhere these days. She’s as omnipresent as Paris Hilton was a few years back. (Remember when AP blacked out Paris Hilton stories for one day?)
Snooki, and the other “Jersey Shore” cast members, are different than most other popular reality stars. They aren’t attractive in that “Barbie and Ken” way like the cast of “The Hills.” They didn’t marry into money or come from money. Snooki and JWow are “low-rent” compared to other overexposed 20ish reality show females of the past and present. The Kardashians deal with daily talk of botox, designer clothes, repairing the Porsche and dating football players. Snooki complains about the tanning tax, gets busted for being “obnoxious” on the Boardwalk, and gets into fights at tacky bars. She’s a feistier, working-class version of the reality rich chick/wannabe rich chick.
The irony is that Snooki may still act like a tough-talking Jersey girl, but now she’s making enough money to get an Eliza Doolittle-type makeover. She earns $20,000 for a red carpet appearance, according to PerezHilton.com. It just shows you the power of reality show fame. If Snooki had never gotten a part on “Jersey Shore”, the event organizers wouldn’t let her anywhere near the red carpet. And she would probably be branded too loud and obnoxious to even sit in the bleachers and watch the stars pose.
Snooki’s outlandish personality is not unique. I’ve worked with women who are 45 year old versions of Snooki. They’re attention-mongers who can’t stop talking, wear garish, patterned clothing and supersized jewelry, and have no self-editing reflex in social situations. It’s just that Snooki is a young girl on a reality show, the representative for louder than life females everywhere.
I’ve never rooted for a reality star before, but I’m pulling for Snooki to parlay her fifteen minutes of fame into something other than future obscurity and drug addiction. Let her have her fun. She’s a sitcom/caricature /anime character rolled into one, an individual out of the current crowd of pampered, carbon copy, reality girls. What Snooki lacks in intelligence and talent she makes up for in scrappiness and self-promotion. It’s that unintentionally comic self-absorption that’s got me hooked. Sure, it grates on your nerves after awhile, but is ultimately harmless. C’mon, hanging out with Snooki for awhile would be fun, though I suspect you wouldn’t get a word in edgewise.