Snook Who's Talking!

Snook Who's Talking!

Snook Who's Talking!

Part Minnie Mouse, Part Self-Described Meatball, the Star Of MTV's Jersey Shore Has Made Herself A Mascot For Mayhem and Misbehavior, But Also Emerged A Mogul. Now the C.E.O. Of Snooki Enterprises Is About To Take On Her Most Demanding Role Yet: America's Most Implausible Mother

Part Minnie Mouse, Part Self-Described Meatball, the Star Of MTV's Jersey Shore Has Made Herself A Mascot For Mayhem and Misbehavior, But Also Emerged A Mogul. Now the C.E.O. Of Snooki Enterprises Is About To Take On Her Most Demanding Role Yet: America's Most Implausible Mother

Photography: Nathaniel Goldberg

Styling: Catherine Newell-hanson

Text: Patrik Sandberg

“At this point I don’t give a shit.” Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi—who at this point really needs no introduction—delivers this assertion on the set of her V shoot at Milk Studios, while tearing the aluminum lid off a cup of Dannon yogurt and compulsively diving in. As the queen bee of MTV’s cult megahit Jersey Shore, it’s no surprise that she has arrived in a regal fashion: with her own snacks and a suitcase almost as big as she is—stuffed with Snooki-branded items. “It’s the fifth season now, so I really don’t care.” She shrugs and tosses her hair. “I think the fact that the fans still watch our show and love it is awesome.”

Over the course of five seasons at the Shore, the Chilean-born reality-TV star has morphed from a fun-loving veterinary student on holiday to a ubiquitous multimedia force of nature, fueled by partying, house music, public intoxication, and animal-print extremism. Some of her more iconic moments include crash-landing into a hot tub on her first day of filming and then attempting to seduce each of her male castmates before vomiting and passing out; face-planting in a sand dune and being arrested for public drunkenness; and of course the time she hosted her own televised ball drop on New Year’s Eve—from inside the ball.

She has also appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone, straddling a rocket; she has been immortalized by Bobby Moynihan on Saturday Night Live; Senator John McCain tweeted at her during his Presidential campaign; and she was name-checked by President Obama—albeit in a speech about taxing the use of tanning beds. In a backhanded compliment for a story in the New York Times, fashion critic Cathy Horyn compared her aesthetic to that of Elizabeth Taylor.

In person Snooki’s trademark pouf hairstyle is noticeably absent, as is the gregarious, look-at-me behavior that helped make her the show’s breakout star. Perhaps her no-nonsense demeanor can be attributed to the pressures of being the star of your own reality series, which has led to very aggressive branding. “I have my slippers, tanning lotion, perfume, three books out, sunglasses, and I’m coming out with nail polish, eyelashes, bags, and a Croc-a-dilly”—a plush crocodile she often spoons and carries around on the show, which she is having mass-replicated. She is aloof, bored, petulant, and rarely smiles. When a videographer on set lifts his camera in her direction, the quickness with which the features of her face ignite is borderline frightening. When the lens turns away, they extinguish just as rapidly.

It’s obvious that at this point in the trajectory of her celebrity Snooki knows what sells. “When we film I really don’t care what I look like,” she says. “I just enjoy it and have fun. That’s why people love us. I’m overweight because we’re drinking and eating bad, but when I’m not filming I never drink and I eat healthy all the time.” She blames her behavior on restrictions imposed by the show—a persuasive defense. “You can’t leave without a film crew with you,” she explains. “If you want to leave, you have to tell them an hour before so they can get ready. There are no cell phones, no TV, and you can’t read. You can’t write or pass notes. You can’t listen to music, you can’t do anything. It’s kind of like being in jail for two months—and people wonder why all we do is drink! It’s because there’s nothing else to do! It passes the time and makes it fun. If you’re sober the whole time, you will go insane and kill yourself.”

At the time of the interview, she does look remarkably slim, crediting her toned physique to yoga, running, cardio, and crunches. “I’m really sore right now, I can barely move,” she says. “But I love it all! I just like to be in pain in general. It feels good.”

When asked if there are any misconceptions about her that need clearing up, she lets out a sigh. “I am probably the number one most-bullied celebrity,” she says. “I really don’t go with trends, I don’t try to fit in like everyone else does in Hollywood. I just like to be different and I don’t care.” In terms of fashion, Snooki says that despite her sudden wealth she still gets all of her clothing at the mall-stores-turned-e-commerce-outlets Mandee’s and Wet Seal. “I’ve been bullied all my life. In high school me and my girlfriends were freshmen and we were all pretty girls in cheerleading and stuff, so the older girls would bully us because all of their guys wanted to hang out with us.”

Of her current naysayers, she reasons, “I think even haters love us. And I have a lot of haters. If you’re being bullied, you can’t let it phase you. Stick up for yourself and they’ll get bored of you.”

Any words for the bullies out there? “I would say grow up, like, seriously. I mean, people used to say I was fat when I was the hottest thing ever. Imagine what they say now.”

Evidently what they say is that Snooki is pregnant. A few days after her V interview, an anonymous tip from the set of her new spin-off series—tentatively titled Snooki and JWoww vs. The World, starring herself and castmate Jenni “JWoww” Farley—alleged that Snooki’s new pregnancy was throwing a wrench in the show’s production, since the star will be unable to drink (and humiliate herself, presumably), which is pretty much what drives her ratings. “It’s not going to be us partying and getting drunk and going crazy,” she had previously stated. “It’s more about our relationship as best friends.”

Post-confirmation of pregnancy and engagement to boyfriend Jionni Lavalle on the cover of US Weekly, the burgeoning mogul talks motherhood with V from the set, which has relocated to Mexico. “I can’t wait to meet my kid!” she says. “Everyone will be surprised to see a different side of me. I’m loving, caring, sensitive, protective, and very maternal, no matter what people might think.”

When asked if baby products are next on her branding agenda, she’s quick to entertain the possibility. “My ideas are endless,” she says. “Who wouldn’t want a leopard-print rattle or a cheetah-print bib?” Later, in an interview with MTV, she compares morning sickness to being hungover, but whether parenthood might prove a lifelong hangover of sorts remains to be seen. As usual when it comes to Snooki Enterprises, there is only one way to get the answer: “You’ll have to tune in and see.”

Gorilla Beach hits shelves May 15 Snooki & JWoww airs June 21st on MTV at 10PM

Credits: Makeup Devra Kinnery using NARS Cosmetics (Art-Dept)  Hair Thomas Hintermeier (Art-Dept)  Manicure Kristina Konarski (Ford Artists)  Photo assistants John Guerrero  Jason Geering, Michael Prezioso  Producer Ugo Dumont (Society MGMT)  retouching a small light room  Location Milk Studios, New York


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