I Love Snooki and JWoww
Nicole Polizzi and Jennifer Farley—better known to the pop-culture-consuming public as Jersey Shore’s Snooki and JWoww—are brandishing toy swords at each other as a photographer snaps their picture in a studio somewhere in the West 20s. “Do you guys ever swordfight with the boys?” the photographer asks suggestively. “You do!” JWoww fires back. The room erupts into laughter.
Considering that the Jersey Shore guys ended up on the cover of The Village Voice’s annual Queer Issue two years ago—shirtless and bronzed, of course, washboard abs flexed—it seems odd that these larger-than-life broads have yet to be featured on the cover of a gay magazine.
“Why’d it take you guys so long to put us on the cover?” JWoww asks, ever the brassy, in-your-face ballbuster. Snooki, on the other hand, for all her wild-girl reputation, is the more subdued of the two. She’s quieter, more aloof. Still, at one point she spots a bottle of Chardonnay in the studio. “Ooh, there’s wine!” she exclaims. “If I wasn’t pregnant, I’d be drinkin’ that!”
“Everyone pictures me drunk and crazy all the time,” she says later. “When my fans meet me they’re like, ‘What’s wrong? You’re so quiet!’ This is how I really am!”
The shoot’s vibe is cartoonish, with the girls dolled up as Lucy and Ethel. There’s a lot of leopard print, lots of inflatable props, lots of big jewelry. It’s an homage to the great female comedic duos of the past, which Snooki and JWoww say inspired their new MTV reality show. If Jersey Shore is the vacation, Snooki & JWoww is what happens when the vacation’s over. It’s a Laverne & Shirley kind of premise: two women taking on the world, dealing with their relationships and, or course, Snooki’s pregnancy. “We have real problems,” says JWoww. “Not just, ‘What are we gonna wear tonight?’ or ‘Our spray tan doesn’t look good!’ It’s like, ‘Oh shit! She’s pregnant!’”
Still, the spin-off was dogged by the Jersey Shore cast’s rowdy reputation almost from the beginning. Long before Snooki & JWoww premiered on June 21, there were reports that Jersey City businesses near the former firehouse where the show was filmed had refused to give MTV filming permits, and one liquor store posted a “No Snooki” sign.
“We brought millions of dollars into communities,” JWoww says. “We’re not trying to make negativity. Not once in the Jersey Shore, not once in Italy or Miami did we ever disrespect the community.” “If the people who say bad things about us, if they met us, they would like us in five minutes!” Snooki insists. “Because we’re nice people! We’re not gonna hurt anybody!”
Whatever you may think of Jersey Shore as a cultural phenomenon, the truth is that these are just two girls who are determined to enjoy the rarefied and highly unlikely position they’ve found themselves in. Who would have thought three years ago that a Real World knock-off—eight strangers picked to live together—with a seemingly random concept—the exploits of New Jersey’s young “guidos” and “guidettes”—would become such a massive hit, propelling its stars to the realm of celebrity and infamy? And their success is not something Snooki and JWoww take for granted.
“We’re still the same people from season one,” JWoww insists. “Our look might have changed, but our attitude hasn’t. And that’s why I think people love us so much: because we have a ‘we don’t give a shit’ attitude.”
That attitude is precisely what makes the Jersey Shore cast so fun to watch: the drunken antics, the fights. But while Ronnie, Pauly D and The Situation’s sculpted, frequently shirtless bods probably have a lot to do with the franchise’s appeal to gay men, there’s no denying Snooki and JWoww exude the same kind of out-of-control fabulousness that has inspired a million drag queens to dress up as Absolutely Fabulous’ Patsy and Edina.
“We dress up like trannies too!” says JWoww.
“Yeah, we’re trannies!” Snooki echoes, laughing.
What Chelsea boy wouldn’t want to knock back Jell-o shots with JWoww? What circuit queen would turn down the chance to party all night with Snooki? Is there a gay boy among us who wouldn’t try—knowing he’d probably fail—to match these ladies kamikaze shot for kamikaze shot? Even their taste in men is strikingly similar to many gay men’s—though the kind of muscle-bound guys they call gorillas, we’d more likely dub juice pigs, a term that doesn’t appeal to either of the girls. “We need to make ‘gorilla’ a universal term!” says JWoww. “I just learned what a twink is!”
Snooki is still a little baffled by the concept of an “otter.” But she admits that it wouldn’t take much to adapt her latest novel, Gorilla Beach, into something a little more homoerotic. “I can just picture the porno!” JWoww exclaims.The conversation turns to nightlife, and those lucrative club appearances that are a major part of a reality star’s income. With Real Housewives seemingly popping into gay clubs and parties on Fire Island every other week, you have to wonder why Snooki and JWoww haven’t hosted an underwear party yet.
“We always film in the summer!” JWoww says, obviously disappointed.
Snooki has the solution: “You can do summer appearances, and I’ll do winter when I can drink again!” She says she has a bottle of pinot that she’s saving for after her baby’s birth.
JWoww laughs. “I’m coming to that appearance!
Photography by: Kevin Thomas Garcia
Production Assistants: Anthony Cefala and Justen Kilmer
Hair and Make Up: Kurtis Dam-Mikkelsen
Styling: David Withrow