So my latest guilty pleasure is a show on the Style Network called Jerseylicious. Set in a New Jersey hair salon the show focuses on the wild antics of its employees including (as everyone good show does) their arguments, tantrums and love lives. Let me reassure you that this is NOT Jersey Shore which brought us the likes of Snooki (not that I’ve ever seen it, only heard the Joan Rivers jokes!), this is a workplace reality show and as such is much tamer in its content. Now not everyone will be a fan…its an acquired taste for sure but for me it has replaced a void left from the absence of my other guilty pleasure shows Girls of the Playboy Mansion, Kendra and Holly’s World.
I’ve noticed lately that this show has started to have a profound effect on me, most notably in my fashion taste. Being a person who usually avoids patterns like the plague I have suddenly become drawn to animal print (as worshipped by some of the central characters in this show), hot pink and garish accessories. The unique fashion style of these Jersey natives, proudly expressing themselves through a haze of zebra print, cheetah nails, orange tan, big hair, bigger earrings, and smokey eyes but with a Godfather twang in their accent has made me realise it is like watching a cross between The Only Way Is Essex and The Godfather movies! The thing which keeps drawing me in however is that beneath these extroverted faux fur exteriors they are all quite ambitious and talented individuals. This is not a programme about lay-abouts or lazy scroungers, they have drive, career goals and chronicle the highs and lows of a workplace (working with people you hate, not getting your own way, having bad customers), which I find remarkably relatable given we exist 3444 (give or take) miles apart! The most ambitious of them all, Tracy, can often be seen arguing her case with the gusto of a lioness protecting her cubs…let me just say I’d rather be on her team in an argument than on the opposing one although one can’t help but feel sorry for Olivia, her nemesis who often cops the brunt of Tracy’s outbursts!! This is not a show about weak people…there are some valuable lessons about productive social interaction to be learnt here.
Quite simply this programme has opened my eyes to a whole new side of New Jersey, where pizza and pasta is celebrated, curves are admired, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, career goals are sought after with vigor and relationships are dealt with openly and (even if at times too aggressively) swiftly. I now feel able to wear zebra print and pink together with pride because Jerseylicious has shown me Jersey gaudy and all that comes with it isn’t always a bad thing 🙂