Looking at the recent success of shows like Jersey Shore, Kate Dobromilsky asks, Has the recession in America caused young adults to consume “trashy culture?”
After viewing the Century of Self documentaries, I asked myself what kind of extension of the documentary I would create to represent the consumer culture I have seen in my own lifetime. I began to think about the “trashy culture” that seemed to rise in about 2008, the same time as the economic recession in America. Beginning in 2008, teenagers and young adults became obsessed with MTV’s The Jersey Shore. Members of the show quickly became cultural, fashion, lifestyle icons for young Americans. Therefore consumer culture developed what I call a “trashy culture” theme.
As you can see above, the “trashy culture” comes with a great deal of consumption. These young adults on the right greatly represent the many young adults that mimic the members of The Jersey Shore seen on the left. These “guidos and guidettes” must spend lots of money to obtain the “guido look” and do “guido-activities.” They buy makeup, skimpy animal print clothes, and hair extensions. These young adults want to buy the image of the “Jersey Shore guido” lifestyle. They also pay for night club admission, alcohol, gym memberships, and tanning memberships.
The thing I find most curious about this “trashy culture” phenomenon is how it has evolved in America. I wonder if The Jersey Shore cast are relatable to young adults because they do live in a time of recession. Many young adults are paying for college, car payments, etc. and do not have the extra money to go to Mexico for the summer. Therefore, this “trashy culture” is a cheaper, easier way to have a good time. Young adults cannot afford expensive vacations and therefore they glamorize a cheap weekend stay at an old shore house.
As you can see, Snooki as well as other people and businesses have taken advantage of the growth in “trashy culture.” They are now selling their products, like Snooki’s perfume at high prices and people are purchasing them. I wonder if this movement that first began as a cheap way to have a good time has now become a lifestyle that young adults feel is worth investing more money into. I ask you what your impression is of this growth in “trashy culture?” Why do you feel young adults are literally buying into it?
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