I’ve long suspected, and the recent arrival of baby Lorenzo, only confirms that Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi is a great role model for the modern woman. At least, the modern twenty-something woman, looking to pop culture for guidance the way our predecessors turned to Sex and the City and our ancestors read Pride and Prejudice. There’s a current need for such a figure, and Snooki’s recent history makes a very compelling case for her official induction into the role.
Of course, many would scoff at the idea that Snooki and “role model” should even feature in the same sentence. I suspect that these people are still clinging to the image of Snooki that was presented through Jersey Shore. There, the whole world watched Snooki shamelessly party, fight and utter witticisms like, “I feel like a pilgrim from the friggin’ 20’s washing this sh*t right now.”
However, Snooki’s ridiculous behavior is quite normal. In fact, it’s really the story of many millennials. Before the show, she was a sheltered young girl living with her parents with no real plans for the future. Jersey Shore was her first taste of independence, a place filled with food and alcohol and protected from the crippling weight of real-world responsibility; in the past, most people could only experience this by moving away for university. Snooki went through her boozy journey of self-discovery the way most millennials do, with some embarrassment, some unexpected moments of genius, and a few arrests for disorderly conduct.
Snooki grew up, in true Millennials fashion. She is now a bankable television personality and a businesswoman, exploring enterprises ranging from slippers, to cosmetic,s to boxing. She has literally moved on from the Jersey Shore and her antics there, to Jersey City and JWOWW & Snooki, a show centered on adult relationships and family planning instead of wild parties.
Snooki’s public pregnancy as shown on JWOWW & Snooki is a breath of fresh air in the current pop culture coverage of pregnancy and perhaps the most important contribution that she has made to the modern zeitgeist. In recent months, pregnancy has been portrayed as riddled with vicious politics, stressful economic overtones, and dramatic relationship implications. It seems that all female celebrities and fictional women have pregnancies that are either completely glossed over or horribly traumatic. Snooki shows the world a different story: she discovered she was pregnant, decided to stay pregnant, and now she has a baby. It’s positively boring compared to weighty pregnancy articles from Princeton professors.
For better or for worse, intentionally or not, people turn to what they see on television for some guidance on life. Looking at Snooki, young women can see themselves and their potential futures: Sometimes they’ll drink too much and make a fool of themselves; sometimes strangers will turn out to be soulmates; sometimes people will hate the way you look and sometimes they will love it. It’s all okay because, in the end, you’ll grow up and find some happiness for yourself.