The Pros and Cons of Being a Jersey Girl
For most people, being from New Jersey has a stigma around it because of some localized stereotypes. Not everyone speaks with an accent or hails from the mob. New Jersey is just like any other East Coast state. It's hot in the summertime and gets cold in the winter. You can play in the snow or on a sandy beach. Life in New Jersey isn't an episode of The Sopranos. James Gandolfini isn't walking down the street eating a cannoli in one hand and carrying a gun in the other.
I've been a Jersey girl all my life and I'll probably die being one. I can't change where I'm from because it's part of my heritage. My father and my mother grew up in New Jersey. I'll raise my hypothetical children probably down the street from my parents. What Tony Soprano stereotyped about Jersey girls is that we have a sense of family. We know that our family is going to support us regardless of the decisions we make. Sure, our fathers are a tad too overprotective, but that's the hazzard of being from a tightknit family.
In order to understand what it's like being a Jersey girl, you need to know what the pros and cons are first. Here's a list of five pluses and minuses to read through and decide for yourself if being a Jersey girl lives up to the hype or the stereotype.
Pro: You're close to the hub of east coast living. In a matter of hours, you can travel to New York City or Philadelphia. Those two cities are among the most active of hubs for a bona fide Jersey girl to love. You can go see a Broadway play or hang out at the Academy of Music. Museums are at your fingertips in either city. Learn about some historic cultures you're not too familiar with. Being a Jersey girl is always having a home to come back to after travelling to a big city to see what life is like somewhere else. Once you see that, you know that living in New jersey isn't the worst thing in the world.
Con: Jersey girls love adventure and feel stifled if their days aren't adventured filled. You might go stir crazy if the pace of New Jersey isn't what you're looking for. Some girls prefer the fast paced city life to living in a more family oriented area. They don't mind the idea of the really high rent cost to live in a sardine can of an apartment. It's an adventure to be out on their own and in a different state. A new experience to add to your road to living as an adult. Accept each trip as an experience and know that New Jersey is always your home away from home.
Pro: Jersey girls have their own sense of style. You know when you see one of us based on our appearance. Sounds stereotypical, but it's true. Jersey girls dress with attention getting ease. We can be ourselves and turn heads at the same time. For example, I like to dress up in such a way that I don't lose my individual style. I do this through mixing up dressy items with some more casual ones. Simplicity is my best accessory. Mixing concert tees with a pair of black dress pants. You're presentable enough to go out to a casual restaurant without looking like you rolled out of bed, which is a good thing. We like reading fashion magazines but we only copy styles that we can use to our advantage, not the other way around.
Con: Sometimes our looks might end up on the late Mr. Blackwell's worst dressed list. Of course, this is not always true. Not every Jersey girl looks like an 80s relic. Some girls have blended in with the rest of the 2008 set. Don't laugh too hard at the image of a Jersey girl with overly teased hair. There might be a reason behind it besides wasting a can of hairspray. If a Jersey girl you know looks unhappy in beige, she might have to go somewhere she doesn't want to. She could be going to her in-laws for dinner and they expect her to look and act a certain way. Just know that once the event is over, everything is business as usual. The way your appearance should be.
Pro: Jersey girls tend to get right to the point. We don't like to waste time with small talk. I'm like that because I don't talking about the weather when I want to tell someone what I really think of them. Life's too short to focus on idle conversation when there's so many more things to deal with. When it comes to being subtle, I'm not. I learned to practice some subtle conversational warm-up before getting right to the point. Allow sometime for an opinion to sink in before going in for the kill.
Con: We are often too blunt for some people's taste. There are times where the truth is best left unsaid. Don't tell your boss you really dislike everything about them unless you're ready for the unemployment line. Jersey girls have been labeled as not holding back their opinions when they should. Look at Edie Falco's character on The Sopranos. Whenever Tony did something she disliked, she let him have it no matter what his mood was. She didn't care if he flew off the handle based on her remarks. She wanted to get her point no matter what the cost.
Pro: Jersey girls take pride in their roots. We know a lot about our state's history and broadcast to everyone who'll listen that we're from New Jersey. We ignore the sounds of laughter when we tell people we're from Jersey. Occasionally, a comeback is created to defend our state by pointing out the flaws of someone else's home state. Reiterate that not every state is perfect so stop making fun of New Jersey. This should stop people from making fun of where you come from. If not, move on to something else. It's not your problem they don't like New Jersey. You're proud of where you come from, and that's all that matters.
Con: Not everyone loves where they come from and shrug it off as another debatable childhood. I knew one girl who hailed from Jersey and lied about to some mutual friends. She pretended to be more exotic than she really was. I wanted to expose her as a fraud, but I figured she already felt like one so I didn't bother. She knew in her heart it was a lie and had to deal with the consequences herself when the truth came out. I wasn't going to be the one to do it.
Pro: Girls love Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and Kevin Smith films. We take pride of things that originated in Jersey. Many loyal Jersey girls flock to Springsteen and Bon Jovi concerts whenever they come in the area without fail. In terms of Kevin Smith films, we only stick with the ones involving Jay and Silent Bob. The rest can remain forgotten like the rest of the U.S. did.
Con: Jersey girls have tastes that extend beyond those three things. Not everyone likes everything that comes out of New Jersey. Some girls don't like taking a bite out of a Jersey tomato and find Kevin Smith films to be stupid. It's their preference to like what they choose to like and dislike what they want. The freedom of being a Jersey girl is accepting all the highs and lows without any distinction.
In the end, being a Jersey girl isn't the worst thing in the world. You live in a state that's only prone to stereotypes and not earthquakes or tornadoes. Safety is an important part of living in any state, but New Jersey guarantees it. Every state has its flaws, so learn to accept them in order to happy living anywhere. That's all that matters. Be who you are and forget everything else.