In Defense Of New Jersey (AKA Don’t Believe What You See On TV)

Something awful happens tonight. CBS premieres Made In Jersey. Because another show (about an Italian girl from Jersey with a big family and big, figurative balls) that grossly misrepresents New Jersey is just what we all need. Good thing, too, because I almost forgot that Jersey is full of nothing but Italians with big families that don’t take any shit. Right? Oh, wait, now I’m confused… is this show scripted? (Yes. Yes it is.)

Thanks to the magic of TV,  misconceptions about Jersey have spread like herpes in a whorehouse. Dramas like The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire make Jersey out to be interesting and mysterious for reasons other than the Jersey Devil. Jersey-based reality shows like Cake Boss, JerseyliciousThe Real Housewives of New Jersey, and my personal favorite (the one that makes me want to stab my eyes out the most) Jersey Shore make the state look like it’s populated by idiots.

Now people all over the country think they know what the Garden State is all about. (In case your wondering, New Jersey is the Garden State.) This is understandable, because television is really our only trusted source of information. But today, TV, I’d like to call bullshit. Stop misinforming the people!

See, I was raised in New Jersey. And while people like the juice heads and the Gorgas do exist, they’re not overrunning the state. (Chris Christie, however, is a different story.)


I cannot remember the last time I used a dinner table to get my point across. The Real Housewives would have you think that everyone in NJ engages in this type of behavior regularly, but they are mistaken. Flipping furniture is not my go-to reaction in the event of a disagreement. I, like many other people from New Jersey, know how to use words (without a shitty accent).


I am not a hair stylist/make-up artist. I can only think of one person from my graduating class of over 500 that actually is a stylist. Sorry Jerseylicious, but it seems like not everyone in the state has jumped on the beautician bandwagon. I’ve also never worn extensions in my hair.

I couldn’t tell you the last time I wore leopard print anything. I maybe owned a pair of leopard print panties when I was like, 16. And that’s a big maybe. The cast of Jersey Shore would have you believe that every girl in New Jersey has a wardrobe full of animal prints, but “will these zebra striped pumps go with my new hot pink leopard print tube dress?” is a question I’ve never asked. Or answered, for that matter.


Jersey’s not some magical land where you become the boss of something by self proclaiming yourself a boss. Sorry, Buddy. “Boss” is a term reserved for people who should be taken seriously, and I don’t think the Cake Boss is dumping anyone’s cold, lifeless body in the Pine Barrens anytime soon. (But hey, watch out for that flour.) And maybe it’s time people knew: The cake? Not that good.

I’ve never had the pleasure of dating a guy from NJ who was into tanning. Or tribal tats. Or hair gel. I know it might be hard to believe, but not every man who comes from NJ looks like one of the dudes from Jersey Shore. Shocker.


Making my tits look like they have their own built in anti-gravity chambers before going out to the club while down the shore has never been high on my list of things to do. Furthermore, going “down the shore” is not a state-wide thing. I have never been down the fucking shore. That’s because I go to the beach. Like a normal person. Going “down the shore” is what shoobies do. Shoobies, and people from North Jersey, I guess.

And lastly, I’m just gonna go ahead and say it—nothing could get me excited enough to hold my balled up fist high over my head and punch the air repeatedly. Nothing.

Except, maybe, a new show that could really make a difference. Maybe one about an Italian girl from New Jersey with a huge family who doesn’t take any shit. I don’t think that’s been done before.


(Photo: Tumblr/Tumblr/WENN/Tumblr/WENN/WENN/WENN)


You can reach this post's author, Emma Bracy, on twitter.
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    • not a guidette

      as a girl from the south jersey shore, i LOVE that you said “shoobies” – you just made my friday :)

      • Emma Bracy

        Shoobies were the bane of my existence for a solid three summers in a row! I never understood why anyone would wear sneakers–with socks–to the beach. Did they not realize that sand is a thing?

    • Larissa

      THANK YOU. *Jersey born and raised, Manhattanite since 2008…defying stereotypes about my home state since 1987.

      • Emma Bracy

        No, thank YOU… for not contributing to the madness.

    • LoLexecutive123

      Great topic, with plenty of room for ghastly introspection, but unfortunately it was horribly written. Whoever taught you to write should be ashamed…