Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
There are many words that can used to describe Snooki. So many, in fact, that Cathy Horyn's recent New York Times profile on the Jersey Shore star started out with a string of them. But some of the new comparisons to her that are introduced—including a rare, unstable gas, a farmer's market vegetable and a 1960's Elizabeth Taylor—are probably the most intriguing part of the article itself.
It wouldn't be a Horyn piece without a dig, and boy, is it harsh:
That Snooki is not conventionally attractive—"A spray-painted Chihuahua," Mike (The Situation) said when he first saw her—has a lot to do with why she is the breakout member of the cast. She is busty and short-waisted with small legs; sort of like a turnip turned on its tip.
Horyn goes on to describe Snooki's tight clothing and loud patterns as both "atrocious" and understandable considering her attention-seeking personality, making it obvious that Snooki, now solidified as a cultural phenomenon, is the one person who is going to justify the ridiculous wardrobes of hundreds of other shorter, tanner, darker haired girls that are also downright convinced they look good in those clothes.
Still, there's a positive-ish "be yourself!" message buried somewhere between a description of the Guidette's childlike demeanor and her own father's mystification with her fame, especially when she tells how everyone grew out of their pouf phase...except for her. She likes the hair, she likes the tan, she likes the ridiculous clothes, and she won't be changing for anyone anytime soon. —Carlye Wisel
· Snooki's Time on Jersey Shore [NYT]