Showing posts with label Stereotype. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stereotype. Show all posts

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Why It's Hot To Be Italian American Right Now..

Is it just me or is every other word on TV, Internet or paper talking about being Italian American? The Internet is blowing up with new Facebook pages of people wanting to create some type of Italian American presence.

I think to be Italian American is a life time thing, its your life, its your identity.. its not something you jump on the bandwagon for because you see a show that makes you think this is Italian. Is this why it's hot to be Italian American right now?

To each his own, I suppose... but I am getting increasingly disgusted with the amount of garbage out here in cyberspace and in the media. Who is being genuine? NO-ONE!!! It's all about the payout, who attends the most events, sign on for reality shows and then those who opposed the negativity are now in alliance with those who stand for negative stereotyping.

I don't want to harp on this but the real Italian Americans are not being heard and the phony people are standing up at the front of the press line.

What are your thoughts?
If you're interested in discussing live: Visit the Italian American Girl group on Facebook:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Reality TV is a Non-Stop Bash Fest on Italian Americans

It was coming, you know I had to comment on the recent parade of newly launched reality shows out on cable. I was reading the recent press release of the UNICO Italian American organization based out of New Jersey; where Andre’ DiMino, UNICO’s Chief Media Executive and immediate past National President expresses disgust for the recent portrayals of Italian Americans in reality TV.

Here's my question, are these people on the show for real? What do you think? I'm going to have to say that yes, these people are somewhat being themselves and of course prompted to inflate their faux Italian American personalities. I do not condone the behavior of incorrect portrayals of Italian Americans, but once again we have to look at the fact that the tri-state area is really full of people like the cast of these shows. The problem here is --this is a tri-state New Jersey- New York, American cultural thing, this has nothing to do with being Italian American.
I do believe many shows are being packaged with the Italian American innuendo or Italian-isms.

Our society has been brainwashed and seduced by the media and you've been sold an idea about Italian Americans that labels all Italian Americans. Again, you have to always remember that there are different degrees to being Italian American. Some degrees may be that you're portraying yourself like one of these cast members or a degree might be your promoting the positive or quite possibilty just being authentic about the Italian American cultural background.

Either way, its up for interpretation, make no mistake I do not condone negative portrayals of Italian Americans.

For more on the UNICO press release go here:

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Italian Americans and MTV's "Jersey Shore."

OK, so let's talk about it..I've been receiving tons of emails, comments, and Tweets about the infamous MTV show, "Jersey Shore." This is a hard topic to address and not just a run of the mill let's scream stereotype and go home. There have been tons of celebrities, law makers and national Italian American organizations on the brink of taking down MTV and their decision to air "Jersey Shore."

I happen to be Italian American and do live at the Jersey Shore. As you know I grew up in North Jersey and am no stranger to the term "GUIDO." Its a term used to describe a type of person who happens to be of a city suburb, wears scandalous or tight clothing, big hair, tanned skin, long nails..the whole nine. OK, so what's important to realize here is that people really do dress like this and really do act or maybe not act, this is who they are. The Italian American context has been distorted, YES, I agree. But, unfortunately this is real. Those kids are identifying themselves with a distorted idea of being Italian American. The word, "GUIDO" at this point in time does not mean someone who is Italian, Italian American, this word is now used to describe a type of person.

I watched the show, I've heard those kids say more than once, "We're Italian, I'm Italian." Its possible that in the areas or city in which these kids come from, they do associate themselves to being Italian American and maybe in the areas they come from that's how their community culturally identify themselves. I am in no way condoning the behavior, actions of those who claim themselves to be Italian American and then portray themselves in a negative light. I am a Jersey girl, I live at the shore...and am an Italian American...there is nothing Italian about the show, "Jersey Shore."

If you remember back in the 80s everyone would travel down to Seaside Heights and play the part of the "GUIDO" driving in their Cadillacs, all tanned out and some even juiced up...they would culturally identify themselves as Italian Americans. This is real, those people are real. The choice of the network to air and not edit certain parts of the show are distasteful, but again these people "the cast" have no clue or true cultural upbringing to identify with and so they go with the closest thing they know. We have to be more concerned with the realness of where these kids are coming from and why they don't know any better and who failed them...?

Here is my concern with all this new found media and press surrounding the show, again..the band wagoners will get on and ride it all the way to the top. Where the hell are all the celebrities and law makers as we're trying to get an Italian American Network, education and programming in schools and on TV? Why is it when the Sopranos was airing, I didn't see the same amount of energy going into ending that show, like this one? Come on, this is hypocrisy at its best. Sopranos exemplified a glorification of murder, deceit and everything negative you can imagine all wrapped up in a nice gift called, being Italian. That show was on the air for a looooong time, and awarded. We got to look at the big picture here.

Now, that this show is pissing everyone off, it seems to me that everyone is on the press band wagon. That might be a cause for concern too. I would love for the lawmakers to be concerned with getting Italian cultural programs back into the schools, more recently they were cut out. I don't recall seeing much about the lawmakers except for a few national Italian American organizations trying to help. Italian American actors, or heavy hitters of any kind should use their power and influence to get the Italian American positive culture awareness out in the mainstream. We need our own network, our own shows and our own control of producing the correct information, history and traditions of being Italian American. Every other nationality has their own network, why don't we..? Currently, the Italian American Network is in the planning stages and hopeful to be up and running in the near future. There should be no opportunity for any other network to capitalize or distort our image. ITS TIME TO TAKE CONTROL!!!

Again, I don't agree with any negative portrayal of Italian Americans, but we have to look at the ROOT of the problem. Of course money is always a driving factor for mainstream media, so we must act to do the right thing instead of just complaining. I welcome your thoughts.... Let's do something good.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Degrees of Being Italian American.

I had to write tonight based on the whole idea of being Italian American. I ran into a few people this week where we talked about being Italian American and the generational gaps. Every time I talk to a person about being Italian it really becomes an educational lesson for me. Sometimes I suffer from thinking that everyone is or thinks like I do when it comes to being Italian American. Not that I feel any superiority to any one's level of cultural upbringing but I often find myself comparing my life and upbringing to theirs and how we evolve from our close generations to thinking or just recognizing a few traits of your heritage. This is definitely one of the factors that I always speak of and how losing your cultural identity is such an easy thing because really we all socialize into our "American" societal mannerisms and your cultural upbringing becomes secondary or unspoken.

How can in a nation built on immigrants are we so clueless and lost to who we really are..? Yes, we are American, but knowing where, what and how you got here is the key to understanding your cultural identity. So, turn off the TV, forget about the stereotypes and start thinking, researching and educating yourselves on the true history behind your culture. My interactions this week, kind of set me off, after engaging in a water cooler conversation about "The Real Housewives of NJ" and how the fact that there was violence at the finale show was because they all have "Italian tempers." That pissed me off beyond pissed me off. (Oh yeah, that's my Italian temper talking!)

If all that came out of that show were accusations and the fact that Italians have tempers then that is a waste of airtime and a perfect example of how we are manipulated by mass media. I really had to control my conversational responses this week, because I easily could have said a lot that could have sparked some negative vibes, for sure. But I only added what I know to be true, the facts about what being Italian American is all about for me. Again, I don't speak for everyone, this is my opinion but I feel strongly about the whole degree or levels of being Italian American and knowing who you really are and not what a TV show tells you its all about. Anyone care to share your thoughts on this one?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Real Housewives of NJ- Bravo's Top Series Sparks Major Talk About Negative Portrayals of Italian Americans in the Media.

Who watched the Real Housewives of NJ last night? Well apparently a lot of people did, it was one of the highest rated 'Real Housewives' ever! So, what sparked the interest of so many to watch? Hmmmm. I admit, I watched. I watch the series for the other cities too and will admit its a bit of a guilty pleasure. I was concerned about this particular series in NJ, because of course a lot of talk emerged about the individual women and their Italian American backgrounds and immediate stereotype to a Soprano-esque style show. Now, I don't think these ladies live any differently than other affluent women who like to spend, gossip and hangout, as we've seen on the other "Real Housewives" cities. What Italian Americans should be concerned about is the fact that a network is capitalizing on not particularly saying Italian American, but attaching a stigma to New Jersey Italian Americans, of which some of these women happen to be. OK, so what if someone has a shady background and they decide to do a reality show, do you have to promote show as if it were the Sopranos? Of course they do, the stigma sells.

Let's discuss for a second-- the Sopranos was a drama, fictional series. Tony Soprano is not real. OK, now that we have that out of the way, I have to say...putting a negative stereotype or insinuating negative connections sells that network viewers and big bucks in advertising. The cast mates and the viewers are going to be taken for a ride while network execs laugh all the way to the bank on the Italian American's expense. These women from New Jersey are just being themselves, but the work of creative producers/writers, editors and network executives creates the larger negative stereotyping picture that the masses get sucked into. Its a formula.

Again, remember this is my opinion, but its something to think about.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Verizon Wireless Commercial StereoTyping Italian-Americans?

Well, once again after all the complaints, the anti-defamation organizations and just regular Italian Americans voicing their opinions on the negative impact of stereotyping in the media, we still have major brands like, Verizon, using a defamatory stereotyping tactic in a recent commercial. Now, what rocket scientist at Verizon would think this type of commercial would go over well? I won't even post the video here of the commercial but give you a link, because it annoys me.

This stereotyping must end, you can't have one guy in the ad department of a major company telling his boss, "yes, this will work..Italians are like this, look at the success of the Sopranos." NO!!!!! This guy in the advertising department has no clue about the world or what being Italian is, so before all the haters say, "Italian Americans whine about everything in the media, " I will, if this was any other ethnic group and a negative stereotype was portrayed in the media to this magnitude, you would hear about it more than this minor post or a few comments posted to Verizon. You know what, I use Verizon as my provider, now as a consumer it makes me rethink them. What kind of company thinks negative stereotyping is OK? A public apology would be nice.

Please read the full article posted here and see the comments. Very interesting.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

MTV's - 'The Hills' Star, Lauren Conrad Compares Italy to A Construction Site.

Ok, so am I the only person of Italian-American descent who picked up on LC's stupid comment about Italian men when asked how her trip to Italy was? She says to Audrina and Lo, that being in Italy was like being on a construction site. Basically the men do nothing but holler, taunt, and whistle at you like you are on a construction site.

Ok, first of all the fact that Italian men do have a tendency to be vocal when a woman walks by might be true, but to compare it to a construction site or say Italy is like being on a construction site is just stupid. You know how many people you are going to offend by this comment?

I will tell you, I worked in NYC and walked by many non-construction sites and have had men do the same thing and GEE I didn't compare it to a construction site. Actually I've been in Italy and NYC where that has happened, never did I compare it to a construction site. I just thought its guys being guys (doesnt matter if its NYC or ROME).

To be honest with you in NYC, there are tons of construction sites that I walk by and rarely are the guys fitting the stereotype of whistling and hooting. Sounds to me like LC has watched too many episodes of Sex and City where Miranda confronts the construction guy about his daily comments. Again, the typical stereotype.

Actually if I was a construction worker I would be offended. Let's remember its television, not real. Again the separation from fact to fiction is present. But then again, "The Hills" is supposed to be reality but when in actuality its totally scripted. Coming from my opinion and being in the industry..this is my guess. Yes, scripted and super edited. Hmm..which leads me to my next question, "did someone-- perhaps a producer write that line for her....?" Anything is possible.

LC should stay in California and not paint distorted pictures of Italy on the airwaves. Yes, I am a fan of "The Hills," but that just pissed me off. Too much money, a sheltered life, no tolerance for the world..see what happens..your views become narrow.