Jersey Shore: The Show That’s Influencing Your Child

Dana is a 15 year old from Hi-nella, NJ. She loves to write and enjoys reading, singing, and shopping. Her goal is to help others through her writing, and bring attention to important topics.
When you really think about it, you as a parent can’t be there watching your child every second of the day. Especially as they get older and mature. So that’s when you have to trust that you did everything you could to instill good decision making in your children and let them go. Sadly, what everyone overlooks is that the parents’ behavior is not the only thing that influences a child’s actions. You also have tv shows, billboards, magazines, radio, friends, etc. influences. Now a days there’s a tv show for everything. Winning money, making cakes, and PARTYING HARD. Everyone likes to party, granted. But on the hit reality show “Jersey Shore” they are paid to do nothing but party and create drama. With partying comes drinking, mistakes, and confusion. I’m sorry, I know im 15 and this show is designed to “appeal” to me, but I honestly think MTV is glamorizing a lifestyle of drunken mistakes.

Its bad enough Jersey Shore gives the illusion to young girls that drinking and dancing on bars is the way to go. But they are also giving girls from New jersey a bad name. I can only tell you from experience how I was once stereotyped as a “Jersey Girl”. I have olive skin and have Italian in me. My hair is naturally thick so it gets pretty big if I don’t control it. I walked into a local drug store to buy my normal hair care products. As I’m walking down the isle it seems they were out of my regular. I guess the sales girl noticed I was looking for something and approached me. She had a southern accent so I knew immediately she wasn’t from around here. “Are you looking for something?” she asked. I kindly replied, “Yes, but I don’t think what I’m looking for is here.” With out even knowing me for more than five seconds she said “Oh I know what all you Jersey girls want, that big hair like Snookie.” The girls behind the counter agreed and laughed along with her. I looked at them not even knowing what to say. I did a nervous chuckle and left the store. It seemed all they had to offer me was unfair stereotyping. What just because I am an  Italian American from NJ, I must want big hair for a night of dancing on a bar and taking shots? You may not realize this, but Jersey Shore is influencing not only an entire generation of kids, but the show is also looked at the mascot for us Jersey girls and boys. Apparently the “Jersey Shore”cast represents us.

What got me even thinking about all of this is when I saw the show influencing my younger cousin. She is only a year younger than me, but on a maturity level she’s very far behind. Well, “naive” is a better word. When ever I see her all she talks about is Jersey Shore. She does her hair in the famous snookie hairstyle (The poof), tries to talk like Snookie, and even act like Snookie. She thinks that the Jersey Shore cast are just the coolest. I look at her and see changes in her personality. Why? Because look who her role models are! People who drink their problems away and let their hormones do the talking.

I mean have you ever really sat down and watched the show? On every episode either someone is cheating on someone, or getting motor boated. (Motor boating is a sexual term used to describe when a man makes motor boat sounds between a girls breasts.) Ok if you want to do that, fine. But keep it off camera so it doesn’t encourage every other teen to do it. Truly, this isn’t a personal attack on the cast of Jersey Shore. I just don’t think its right to document reckless behavior and advertise it as an exciting new episode. Pay close attention to what your kids see, because you have no idea how much it impacts them as a person.

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15 Responses to “Jersey Shore: The Show That’s Influencing Your Child”

  1. carrie M
    August 28, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    First off, i think your wrong. I watch Jersey Shore all the time and it has had no influence on me. I watch the show because it’s actually really funny. I like to see all the mishaps and bickering that goes on between the castmates. Snooki is like a walking disaster and its fun to see what kind of trouble she can stir up. And it’s not like Snooki invented ‘the poof’, my friends and I have been wearing our hair like that before the show came out. And, if you actually sat down and watched the show for more than 10 minutes, you would realize that they spend most of their time at home, not at a club partying. So i suggest you stop bashing Jersey Shore! btw if you were wondering, im 14 and have been watching Jersey Shore since i was 13.

  2. Dana
    August 31, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    Well thank you for your opinion, but I have not changed my mind about Jersey Shore. And while maybe the show had no influence on you, great. That means maybe your more mature than most 14 yr olds, think more independently, or have more of a clearer path. What ever the reason may be, wonderful. But that doesn’t go for every teen who maybe doesn’t have much guidance and goes by what they see on tv. And yes I have watched more than 10 minutes of it, my cousin has forced me to sit through countless episodes. I would not just go throwing words around on a topic i know nothing about or haven’t researched. Also, you may be right about Snookie not inventing “the poof”, but she certainly did make it famous. I was not “bashing jersey shore”. I simply pointed out the influence it has on the teens I’ve met, and gave my opinion of the show with facts I believe back it up. But regardless I appreciate your opinion. Just thought you should understand where I was coming from.

  3. maria
    September 17, 2010 at 3:30 am #

    Any good parent of any 13 or 14 year old that has seen this show in its entirety cannot in their right mind let their child watch it.

  4. Tiffany
    October 23, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

    Jersey Shore is not real life. It is funny and we all like to clear our minds and watch other peoples drama every once in a while and be assured we don’t have it so bad. Yet I would NEVER let my daughter watch it.

  5. ME
    January 7, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    I agree with you Dana. This show is a terrible influence in girls just as it is for boys. It promotes, drunkeness, it promotes fornication and it definitely promotes violent behavior. Young kids look up to people they see on TV, they don’t know any better unfortunately. And jersey show is just a trashy show. Its disgusting and very very very vulgar, did i say vulgar? Yes, and seems like the seasons keep getting worse….

  6. Riane Miranda
    January 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    Okay @ Carrie M. I’m sorry but YOU personally may not be influenced by this show because maybe your parents has raised you the correct way. But unfortunately, not everyone’s parents has been their to raise there kids the proper way so when they watch shows like that the have good character, and morals that they don’t wanna grow up and be just like Snooki, or any of the other hoes that are on the T.V show. I’m a sophomore in high school, and I know everything that goes around. I hear everyone talking about it I hear all the guys talking about that’s what they look forward to and shit. Really people if you think that this T.V show is sooo \great\ you don’t know what great is. To be completely honest this T.V really is just like a insult to our generation, and makes me realize how messed up it is. Now this new show on MTV is skins. Which is going to be the new influence for teens I can already see it now. But I will say this T.V show has made a good impact on me and made me seen that I don’t wanna be one of those people when I grow up. By the way I’m 16 yrs old and disgusted already by the edict of teens. For Gods sake Mike \ The Situation\ is like 35 or 37 yrs old and still doing shit like that, and living at home with his parents… \yeah lets go be just like him!!!\ .___. This also makes me realize that a lot of things has been lost in this generation including, good character, good morals, and most of all love. It’s hiding beneath the generation and it sucks. Once everyone realizes it, it will be to late. But I know for sure I’m not going to be one of those people.

  7. Loren
    January 26, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    I completely agree with this article. I am an Italian-American 14 year old, and this show has only made my life worse. I used to not get many friends based on my name, but I found a few kids who could look past that. Then I got to Middle School, and the Jersey Shore came on air. Within weeks, my friends stopped hanging out with me because “Their parents didn’t want them hanging out with those partying Guidos”. I haven’t had a party (other than a study party) since my eighth birthday. My reputation is ruined because of this stereotypical view cast upon Italian-Americans. Thanks, Jersey Shore.

  8. Kinzie
    March 26, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

    I agree 100% with this article, i’m a freshman and there are a lot of people at my school who i believe has been influenced by this show. They think it’s ok to get drunk and party all the time and let their grades slip. They go tanning and get spray tans and use the terms they use on the show. I don’t think this behavior is acceptable what-so-ever. Its one thing to watch the show but its another thing to start acting like the people on the show. Especially considering their age and that their parents allow it.

  9. Cassie
    April 23, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    I agree, even though it may not influence all people to behave like they do, it is bad exposure. All it does is promote promiscuity, every episode they go to club, grind with random strangers, and Smush with them every night! I hope that they spend all their money from partying and hang-overs before they die from a STD.

  10. Nikkilita
    April 26, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

    To be honest here, im not trying to stir things up but i am 18, and i watch the show jersey shore. to just get things straight, i watch it to laugh at it, its funny to watch. If you look at this logically, it should be the parents controlling whether or not their kids watch jersey shore. I have a 13 year old sister, and my parents banned her from watching it after they saw part of an episode. its a simple as that. And look at it this way, there are always going to be people that go out and get wasted every weekend, but its not just one stand alone factor (eg jersey shore) that will cause them to behave this way. It is their own choice. the best thing you can do is either advise them your opinion or let them act this way, they will soon realise what they are doing with their life, which is nothing. nobody is forcing anybody to watch the show, thats what it comes down to. and the parents who should be teaching their children good morals like mine have. as for the stereotypes, i am sorry, i feel bad for you :(

  11. Gina
    April 27, 2011 at 6:43 am #

    I really want to use this article for a school project about how the media influences teens. I would love to know how to cite you for your article.

  12. Madelaine
    May 11, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

    I think parents like to blame television shows for their kids’ problems because they don’t want to face the that THEY might be the cause of their kids’ problems. Although, I don’t think most teens drink/smoke/etc because of TV or their parents. They do these things because they want to.

  13. Arthur
    October 13, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    currently using for a school project, thank you for this amazing insight on stereotyping. As a good person with thuggish looks, I feel where you’re coming from, and yes parents, please keep pushing intelligent tv usage on children, or all they’ll know how to do is cause drama and screw up their lives.


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