You Don’t Know Snooki: Have We Been Too Harsh On the ‘Jersey Shore’ Star?
Snooki’s new interview with GQ reveals some surprising things about the reality star. Have we been too harsh on her?
Okay. I’ll admit that I have little patience for Snooki. Generally, I have little patience for the whole Jersey Shore phenomenon. And yet for some reason, I still read about it all the time, possibly because I’m trying to figure out what it is about the whole thing that draws people to it. (this is probably the same reason I keep following the Kardashians, even though I really have no actual desire to “keep up with them”) As such, when Snooki’s new interview with GQ hit this week, I wandered on over to it and gave it a read. And it’s… kind of surprising.
There are, you see, a lot of things that we don’t know about Snooki, and that’s the angle this interview takes. But the thing that I find most interesting about it is that sometimes, Snooki comes out with some surprisingly insightful remarks—and then she turns right around and says things so utterly inane that they almost cancel out everything else. Almost… but maybe not quite. And I’m sort of having trouble reconciling these two seemingly contradictory Snookis.
For example, Snooki is, in fact, aware of how she and the rest of the Jersey Shore cast are perceived—and she kind of hates it. When asked point-blank about it, she replied, “They just think that we’re stupid, that we have no education, and all we do is drink, [and] have sex.” She doesn’t like the fact that all they show on Jersey Shore is the cast drinking and partying. They do, apparently, just chill out sometimes, and, according to Snooki, “We don’t even drink those nights, but we laugh all night. They don’t show anything but us drinking and hooking up.” And yes, that is so—because these days, that’s what constitutes watchable television. I’m not saying that that’s a GOOD thing; it’s merely true. Moreover, Snooki is apparently self-aware enough to know this. Unexpected? Yes. But fascinating all the same. Point for the “Snooki isn’t an idiot” side.
She even went on to say that she’d like to change people’s perceptions about the cast in general and herself in particular; she does have a college degree, after all. This, by the way, is something I didn’t know about her, but her degree is in veterinarian tech: “Test me and bring me to a hospital. I can induce an animal, do surgery, do anesthesia, and take blood. So if you want to tell me I’m stupid again, let’s go to an animal hospital.” That’s… pretty cool, actually. She even wants to go back to school to get her actual vet tech license. Another three points for “Snooki isn’t an idiot.” (1: She actually wants to change how she’s viewed; 2: She has a college degree; 3: It’s in vet tech.)
But then when asked if she thinks that the next season of Jersey Shore might be an opportunity to change that perception, she said, “This is so serious. I’ve never really had to think in an interview.” Not even with Barbara Walters? Nope: “I didn’t even think with her.” To be fair, before she made the comment about never having had to think in an interview before, she explained that Jersey Shore is always going to be Jersey Shore, and that if you want to break away from that, you have to do something completely unrelated to it. But still: Not once has she ever had to think about stuff like this? I’m not sure if that’s more a comment on her (for never considering it), or on us (for never having asked her before). But in any event, that’s a point for the “Snooki is, in fact, an idiot” side.
She has also famously said that she doesn’t read because its “not her style,” and yet she keeps writing all these books. Granted, the books are probably heavily ghostwritten, but does it strike anyone else as a little odd that someone who doesn’t really dig books seems so intent on write them? How can you learn to write books if you don’t read them? “But you’re a New York Times best-selling author!” GQ pointed out. “Yeah, doesn’t mean I have to read,” she replied. Point for “Snooki is an idiot.”
And then there’s this: She doesn’t think the word “Guido” is at all offensive. She considers it a lifestyle. And this sort of makes me go, “Whaaa?” Sure, the “Guido” lifestyle can be seen as a way of taking the word back—but does Snooki actually know where it comes from? My guess is no. Also, she’s not Italian, so of course she wouldn’t be offended by it. But that doesn’t mean that the word itself—and, to some extent, the “lifestyle” it now describes—isn’t offensive to those of us who actually are Italian (like this gal right here). Point for “Snooki is an idiot.”
There are probably a couple of more points to be awarded here—Snooki seems to be doing well on the business side of things (point: “Snooki isn’t an idiot”), her ideal first date is Ruby Tuesday’s (point: “Snooki is an idiot”), and so—but either way, there are a surprising number of points on the “Snooki isn’t an idiot” side. Which—gulp—is causing me to reassess my opinion of her. Perhaps I’ve been a little too harsh on Snooki. It’s easy to do that with people who make their living by doing increasingly crazy shit in front of a camera. But (and part of me can’t quite believe I’m saying this, but bear with me) maybe Snooki has some unplumbed depths. Maybe. Will I ever really LIKE her? Probably not; but maybe I’ll start cutting her some slack. At least she’s not the Situation, right?
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.
Check out the entire interview here.