Debauchery, Table Flipping, and Pseudo-Italians

On any given episode of “Jersey Shore,” you can guarantee at least three things: gym, tan and laundry. Add in a lot of alcohol, a high poof of hair and fights on the beach, and you have the recipe for MTV’s highest-rated program. Jersey Shore is returning for its third season this month. It seems like people cannot get enough of the loud, belligerent, Italian personalities from Seaside Heights, N. J.

Although the show has two seasons’ worth of episodes playing constantly in reruns, I can successfully say that I have managed to avoid them all. As someone of Italian descent, I cringe every time I see or hear about the cast of “Jersey Shore.” With their excessively tanned, practically orange bodies and their over-the-top behavior, the cast members of the show depict a very warped portrayal of the Italian community.

“[T]he outrageous behavior evident on ‘Jersey Shore,’ which was laden with promiscuity, debauchery and violence, was a disgrace,” said Joseph Del Paso, president of the National Italian American Foundation, in an official statement released last summer. Such debauchery includes cheating on partners and arrests for DUIs. All the while, the cast proudly proclaims its Italian heritage by referring to themselves as “guidos” and “guidettes.”

To read more, check out the original post for Georgetown’s weekly magazine The Guide.


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