Birthday: November 23, 1987
Born: Santiago, Chile
Net Worth: $4 million
As a loyal Jersey Shore fan since the show first aired in 2009, I‘ve been obsessed with the one and only Snooki for over a decade. This 4‘8" firecracker immediately grabbed my attention with her over-the-top personality and crazy antics. Though some wrote her off as just a drunken party girl, I knew Snooki was destined for greatness.
The Early Days
Long before fist-pumping her way into reality TV stardom, little Nicole Polizzi grew up in Marlboro, New York after being adopted from Chile as a baby. Her adoptive parents chose the nickname "Snooki" after seeing her jet-black hair that reminded them of a character from Laverne & Shirley.
Even as a high school cheerleader, Snooki had a reputation for being the loudest girl in any room. I like to imagine teen Snooki dancing on tables at parties and driving her teachers crazy – you know she was a rebel even then!
Becoming Reality Royalty
Jersey Shore premiered on MTV in December 2009, following eight 20-somethings spending a wild summer in Seaside Heights. As soon as Snooki made her wobbly entrance (asking famously "Where‘s the beach?!") I knew she would be the breakout star.
Week after week, I laughed at Snooki‘s ridiculous antics – from drunkenly dancing the "Snooki Fancy" to prank calling her boss Danny. Her on-again/off-again relationship with resident juichead Mike "The Situation" also gave me life. While some viewers judged her party girl ways, I found Snooki‘s complete lack of filter so refreshing and entertaining.
By Season 2, Snooki ascended into a pop culture icon. I‘ll never forget seeing scores of little Snookis walking around on Halloween in gravity-defying poof wigs, orange spray tans, and leopard print. Snooki gave zero f*cks about looking classy or ladylike – and I loved her for it!
After Jersey Shore ended in 2012, I wondered if Snooki would fade into reality TV obscurity like so many other viral stars. But she proved there was more to her than drunken hot tub makeouts. Snooki competed on Dancing with the Stars, made cameos in movies, and published bestselling fiction novels like A Shore Thing.
My favorite Snooki era was when she launched her many side hustles, like sunglasses, tanning lotions, jewelry, slippers and even "Snooki‘s Brand Pickles." Gotta respect a boss business queen who turned her 15 minutes of fame into an empire!
Motherhood and Maturity
No moment made me more proud as a Snooki stan than seeing her blossom into motherhood. When Snooki gave birth to her son Lorenzo in 2012, followed by Giovanna and Angelo in later years, she underwent a real evolution.
Gone were the days of blackout partying at Karma and smushing randos. Snooki dropped her hard-partying guidette lifestyle and became a doting mom almost overnight. Seeing her tender moments breastfeeding and snuggling her little "meatballs" showed new dimensions to Snooki‘s character.
While I missed the wild Snooki antics sometimes, it warmed my heart to see her so devoted to her husband Jionni and their kids. When she briefly "retired" from Jersey Shore in 2019, I understood it was to put family first.
Luckily, Snooki couldn‘t stay away from Jersey Shore – or her fans! – for too long. She returned with the OG cast in 2018 for the revival series Family Vacation, slipping back effortlessly into her kooky Snooki role. I loved seeing her balance mom life with occasional wine-tossing and furniture sledding.
No matter what Snooki does in the future, whether it‘s more reality shows, books, podcasts or products, I know I‘ll be first in line to support. She‘s come a long way from the drunk dancing queen of 2009 but will always be the Snooki I love – equal parts hilarious, unfiltered and heartwarming.
To any fellow Snooki fans reading this – grab a Kokobomb and toast to our eternal Jersey Shore queen! A true pop culture icon and the ultimate ride-or-die meatball. GTL forever!