Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, one of the stars of MTV’s new show “The Jersey Shore” was paid quite a bit of our tuition money to come talk about nothing. The night was filled with fist pumping and Snooki’s judging of JMU men’s abs.
Though the night was all in fun, I found it to be extremely disappointing. Before attending, I was hoping that the way Snooki was portrayed, as an easy drunk airhead was complete junk. The media edits things to make their audience see things that don’t exist. This performance just seemed to be an extension of the way she was on the show.
Two empty chairs and a small desk set the stage for the show. The University Program Board decided that Snooki was our best choice for fun at JMU despite protesters. Her purpose in coming was for sheer entertainment for JMU students. There were several sections of the show involving JMU students, and then there was question asked by the comedian Michael Dean Ester. He simply asked Snooki questions about the show and her quick success. He even encouraged student participation in different events with Snooki. He discussed how recently in Congress a man was discussing a bill and said, “Snooki has more substance than this bill”. When asked about it she responded, “Snooki for President!” The crowd cheered at each of her responses whether or not they pertained to the question. She seemed to have no response to people thinking she has no substance.
As the night went on, Snooki was asked a couple questions by the audience. I was lucky enough to have my question asked. I asked, “Do you think the way you portrayed yourself on the show further stereotypes women and the way men perceive us?” After my question was boo-ed by the audience, her response was something along the lines of, “I’m sure whoever asked that has gone out and gotten drunk and hooked up with a couple guys.” I found that this answer avoided the question entirely. It was disheartening to know that someone who has such an influence on young adults had nothing to say about the message she is sending out. The other questions students asked fell short of critiquing media images. Instead students asked questions about Snooki’s poof and her boyfriend. We live in a society with media screaming at us to get drunk and have casual sex. These things are leading to addictions at young ages, young pregnancy, STDs, rape, a number of things. What happened to knowing someone before we are intimate with him or her? What happened to drinking responsibly and respecting ourselves enough to cover our private parts? I feel at a loss here. I am so bombarded with all of these messages in the media to have no morals and be proud of it. It makes me scared for my future children. We are a University! The point in her coming here, I assumed, was for educational purposes about the media.
Later, I saw in The Breeze that people commented saying, “It was good to see she was down to earth” and “She’s not sending negative messages”. Were they watching the same show as me? I am disgusted by this whole event, and it saddens me to see that young people don’t understand or care about what it is doing to our society. Our youth is our future and they are ceasing to realize they are idolizing people whose message is to get wasted and be sexually promiscuous at any time and TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT OURSELVES DOING IT! What happened to idolizing people worth idolizing? What is it about her that makes people admire her? Next time you watch “Jersey Shore” ask yourself what you would think of your child acting in that manner, and would you want them watching it?