Last year, my sister got me hooked on Jersey Shore. In some ways, I feel like if we are going to hell in a handbasket, when I watched the show, I decided that Jersey Shore is clearly that handbasket. The vast majority of the cast is vapid, lazy, and addicted to alcohol. Yet they are all gajillionaires now: one of the women on the show, Snooki, was paid more to speak at Rutgers University than Toni Morrison. Toni Morrison - that makes me throw up a little in my mouth! On the show, Snooki and her friend Deena drink excessively, act like morons (i.e. - falling down on the street because they can't walk in their heels), and take no responsibility for their actions whatsoever. Snooki is the embodiment of a selfish, spoiled, American brat. Deena seems a little more down to earth, but still about as intellectually curious as a worm, no offense to the worm.
Yet I can't help but sort of admire the ladies. Seriously. Neither of them command the perfect physiques of their tall, thin, surgically enhanced female roommates on the show, but both believe they are attractive and worthy of attractive men who value them for being themselves. They are extremely frank and open about their sexuality. They know that women have needs and they see no reason to be embarrassed by them. On a few occasions, I was blown away when they discussed their love of masturbation. That's just kind of awesome.
At the end of the day, I can't say that Snooki and Deena make ideal role models for girls, but I think that they create a fantastic opportunity for great discussion on what is a trait to respect and what might be just poor decision-making skills. It's not only girls. I wish that more women (including myself!) had the confidence of Snooki and Deena.
Now if we could just do something about the way we value people in general...