Hi! My name is Ryan. I've lived in Brick, New Jersey, my whole life. It's the part of the Jersey Shore that's next to Point Pleasant, NJ (home of Jenkinson's) and Seaside Heights, aka where they went out all the time on Jersey Shore:
I thought I'd give you some info on what it's like to really grow up/live there.
When the show came out, I was in high school. Some people loved the show, but a lot of people hated it for perpetuating false stereotypes about NJ. I get that. But most people I knew looked at it like, "Yeah, this definitely isn't us. There are hints of reality in there, but it's more fun to both mock and embrace it." Hence, Jersey Shore-themed parties:
Like, I'm pretty sure in this pic we ironically recreated what our Jersey Shore poses would be:
Do people dress like this? Yes and no.
It honestly depends where you go. If you go to some of the cast's favorite spots, like Djais in Belmar, then yes, you might see some people dressed like a Jersey Shore castmate. Other places not so much.
And do we talk like them? Yes and no. The majority of the cast was from New York, so they had more NY accents. So yeah, we do have a slight accent. When I went to college in the south, they said I said these words weird:
But it's nothing like this:
But we don't say "down the shore" or "going to Jersey Shore, bitch!"
It's just..."the beach." Which, by the way is not really what you saw on the show.
Well obviously it's a beach, but locals never go to boardwalk beaches. They go to more low-key, less tourist-y ones, like in Bay Head and Sea Girt:
Now, on to tanning, of course. Do people tan? In my circle, most of my friends at some point have gone fake tanning, myself included. But because it's bad for you, people kinda judge you for it now. Still though, a lot of people do, in fact, enjoy being tan. EVERYONE LOOKS BETTER TAN, SORRY!
Another similarity between real life and the show is working on the boardwalk.
SOOO many people have worked at the boardwalk growing up. Whether it's a T-shirt shop like the cast or an ice cream place, it's almost like a rite of passage.
Now onto nightlife, which is huge in New Jersey. Remember Karma?
Karma isn't that big for people who are 21+. It was actually more of a thing for teens. They have "Teen Night," which was iconic and the place you learned to, like, grind and stuff.
But, most of the popular bars at the real Jersey Shore are preppy-ish. Like, this is how you'll see people dressed:
Do we fist pump? I would say 60% do it ironically. The other 40% does it seriously (ugh).
Does everyone work out crazy and go to the gym? NO??? It's literally just like every other place, where some people are super fit and some aren't.
One thing the show didn't touch on really was the amazing food. New Jersey food is DIVINE.
The pizza, the bagels, and the seafood is unmatched!
But in some way, the show did slightly get right how strong and how united Jersey Shore people are.
I mean, just look how people united and stuck together after Sandy!
To close, Jersey Shore definitely had hints of reality in it — the nightlife is fun, tanning is important to some people, and the boardwalk is definitely a staple. But, like any other place, it's a mixture of unique, really amazing, really strong people who just happen to live where a TV show was filmed.