Anti-Role Models:

The Jersey Shore Crew

Few parents would want their kids to emulate the antics of the cast of the reality show “Jersey Shore.”  The excessive drinking, possibly unprotected sexual activity and potentially criminal acting out by the nicknamed celebrities like “Snooki,” “The Situation” and “Jwoww” would get most teens grounded for rest of the TV season.  Yet, many families turn a blind eye to a potentially life threatening behavior that is a central activity in the “Jersey Shore” lifestyle.  In the first season, “The Situation” announces his motto for a staying fresh is “GTL”: Gym, Tanning, and Laundry.  Tanning beds, though seemingly benign, may put this gang and their impressionable viewers, at great risk.

The coolest cast members have nicknames to go along with their bronzed skin:
Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi
Jenni "Jwoww" Farley
Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino
John "The Congressman" Boehner

Developed in the 1970’s, tanning beds were thought to be safe.  The UVA rays supposedly caused a “healthy glow”  without the wrinkles, sun spots, and cancer risks of the burning UVB rays.  Years of study now show that tanning rays also contribute to aging, spot-covered skin and melanoma skin cancer.  Healthcare legislation enacted in 2010 recognized the risks of tanning beds and levied a tax on their use.  “Snooki” went public with her dismay, but we feel any disincentive to tanning beds is good policy.


Another reality show stalwart, Kim Kardashian, saw the downside to sun exposure.  While vacationing in Mexico, the sun overwhelmed her natural pigmentation and caused a particularly glamour-free sun burn.  The attention she received by posting this image on her Twitter page may (in her mind) make up for the sun damage and wrinkling this lapse can cause her later. If not operated correctly, tanning beds can also cause a burn.

So viewers of all ages:  Be entertained by the “Jersey Shore” gang.  But when it comes to tanning, these are “professionals.”  They get paid to put themselves at risk for our amusement.  Don’t try this at home!


Runner-up, Anti-Role Models:
The delinquents of "Jackass 3D"

In one of the closest races in recent Skinnies Award history, "Jersey Shore" barely edged past Johnny Knoxville's pack of masochistic stunt boys.

We also wouldn't recommend copying the Jackass high jinks. Intentionally subjecting oneself to scorpion bites, bull horns and skin-to-skin application of Krazy Glue (left) is not a healthy skin regimen. We feel moisturizers, sunscreen, and anti-oxidant creams are better choices. But at least these shenanigans don't result in skin cancer...

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