When MTV's Jersey Shore debuted back in 2009, everybody was instantly drawn to the wild antics of Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi. With her hair clipped in her signature "pouf," those animal printed miniskirts, and enough fake tanner to smudge whatever she came in contact with, Snooki was an icon.
And Jersey Shore was a cultural phenomenon like no other. Before then, MTV succeeded in airing reality TV shows such as The Hills or Laguna Beach, which centered on aspirational young adults as they maneuvered their way into adulthood, complete with dreams and ambitions of making it big.
But Jersey Shore? It was as more real than any reality TV show to date, simply following the lives of a group of rambunctious 20-something-year-olds dead-set on having a good time. As the show's casting director told Vulture, “It was like zebras in the Serengeti. We wanted to see this in action. Where does that happen? The Jersey Shore.”
As the seasons went on, the cast grew up, in particular, Snooki. She even met her now-husband, Jionni LaValle on the show. By the time the show went to its sixth season, she was engaged to Jionni and pregnant with their first child.
Throughout the years, Snooki has transformed herself from wild party girl to mother of two (soon-to-be three) and has become an incredible businesswoman who is fully focused on her job, health, and fitness. We've rounded up Nicole's style transformation from her early Jersey Shore days to now.
25 Her Iconic Pouf And Fake Tan, At The Start Of Jersey Shore
In what was the ultimate Halloween costume for about four years running, Snooki's signature pouf, fake tan, and noisy outfits were iconic.
The pouf consisted of her taking a bit of her thick hair at the top of her head and pushing it up with a clip or teasing it, forming a little crown.
As she once explained to Rolling Stone, "While everyone else went emo or goth, I evolved into the guido lifestyle, with the tanning, the pouf high hair and the clothes." She once told Vulture that her pouf only took her about five seconds to do.
24 Snooki Sported This Massive Sombrero In Season 2
Not one to shy away from loud outfits, Snooki donned this jumbo-sized sombrero during season two of Jersey Shore when the gang set off for Miami Beach. In a recent interview with The Spectrum when she was asked if she remembers that girl from the show, Snooki responded, "It does feel like a lifetime ago. But if I were to say, “that’s not me,” I’d be lying. You never really lose your personality. Sometimes I am goofy. I like to have fun and I’m outgoing. I’m just not going out to the club [anymore]."
23 Knowing How To Aggressively Accessorize, Snooki Loved Wearing Elaborate Sunglasses
A fan of gaudy sunnies, Snooki rocked these bedazzled shades throughout the start of her Jersey Shore journey. Although she's definitely toned done her style in recent years since her early Jersey Shore days, she says her signature loud persona still shines through.
"I'm still crazy, I'm still loud, I still like to have a good time," Snooki explained during a phone interview with PAPER.
"Obviously I have more responsibilities, but having kids didn't change who I am as a person." Needless to say, we love that she's still the same meatball we all grew to love on the show.
22 When She Wore This Feathered Number For Her 23rd Birthday Party
Snooki's signature, elaborate wardrobe choices didn't stop at the Jersey Shore, they continued on in her day-to-day life. Back in 2010 for her 23rd birthday, she elected to don this white and gold, feathered and bedazzled number, complete with a large silver tiara resting on top of her head. According to Daily Mail, the party started in New York when she rented out a huge party bus and picked up all her closet friends. One of the guests explained, "Everybody, including Nicole, started partying on the bus. It was crazy." The party ended at a local club with a five-layer cake that ended with a Snooki figurine on top, complete with a pouf.
21 Ditching The Pouf, Snooki Still Kept Things Glam With Animal Print, Her Go-To
As time went on, Snooki gave up her go-to pouf, yet still maintained her animal print, go-to pieces.
She explained to MTV back in 2011 shortly after dropping her signature hairstyle, "I've been wearing the pouf since I was like 16."
"So it's kind of annoying to always be associated with it," Nicole complained. "I've been wearing it for like 20 years now. I'm kind of over it. I'm getting older, I'm getting more mature and I want to have a different look. So if I don't wear the pouf it will be a different hair color or bangs or maybe flat hair. Just something different. I like to always have a change."
20 When She Capitalized On Her Slipper Obsession And Started Her Own Line
Another go-to look that rose right along with Snooki on the Jersey Shore was her slipper obsession. Not limited to time spent in the Shore house, Snooki wore her oversized and over-the-top slippers wherever she went, including the beach. Fans loved her for it so much, she launched her own line of slippers: Snooki Slippers. With an endless variety of slippers to choose from, from her signature leopard print pair to massive animal slippers, Snooki knows exactly what her fans want. What started as a simple line of slippers eventually evolved into an entire online store, with many fashion items to choose from.
19 Starting To Explore Dying Her Hair With Bold Highlights
Going in a new direction yet again with her hair, Snooki went through a phase where she added chunky blonde highlights to her bed of black hair.
If you want to go for a look similar to this, keep in mind that it can be a bit dated, turning more towards a mid-nineties grunge vibe than anything else.
A modern update would be a cool-toned balayage on dark brown or black hair, as the technique involves subtly lightening very strategically-placed strands for a look that gives off natural highlights. Once hair is highlighted, it's toned one more time to produce an even subtler effect.
18 After Years Of Feeling Unconfident, Finally Went To IG To Show Off Her Full Pout
One of the most appealing things about Snooki that won the hearts of her fans is her genuine no-holds-barred approach to telling it like it is. This even rings true when she talks about her flaws. In fact, after years of feeling insecure about her lips, she finally turned to IG to show off her glossy, full pout. "I've always [disliked] my thin lips! I love my 'natural beauty' but being able to enhance my lips to make me feel better about myself is life." Snooki understands that slathering some gloss on her lips makes them look absolutely lush!
17 A More Low-Key Snooki Jets Off To London To Meet The Geordie Shore Cast
Jersey Shore was such a cultural phenomenon across the globe when it first aired that it actually spawned a UK version called Geordie Shore, which is still going strong in its 18th season.
According to The Sun, the stars of both reality TV programs met up in London this past April for a group night out.
While Pauly D was up to his old antics, leaving the club with some Geordie Shore cast members, Snooki and JWoww, having adopted a more mellow lifestyle, knew when to call it quits. Just how Snooki now knows how to find a balance between having fun and going overboard, the same can be said when it comes to her clothes, hair, and makeup.
16 Before Going Full Redhead, Snooki Played Around With A Hint Of Color
Before committing to her fiery red hair color that soon became a total signature for Snooki, she first played around with adding some red highlights to her naturally black mane. It turns out, red highlights are one of the most commonly requested highlight shades in salons, according to L'Oreal. When it comes to incorporating bits of red to black hair, look for a colorist who specializes in the balayage technique to subtly brush on vibrant hints of red. "This technique not only looks less chunky than traditional highlights but it’s also super-low maintenance. Medium skin tones tend to look best with warm-toned copper and golden reds, and dark skin tones pair beautifully with blue-red shades."
15 When She Showed Off A New Look
During season six of Jersey Shore, Snooki was pregnant with her first child, Lorenzo, which explains why she took it more easy and relaxed than the rest of her cast members.
After giving birth, she surprised fans with her new look and looked even healthier than she did before her pregnancy!
She told Daily Mail that she initially started slimming from breastfeeding for two months, then after noticing some changes began regulating what she ate and started a four-days-a-week workout regime with her personal trainer. "'I don't like doing legs - that's the worst. But I like when he works my arms. Now, when I hold Lorenzo, you can see my arm muscles. I've been trying to go every day, but it's usually four days a week," she explains.
14 The Time She Channeled Her Inner Joan Collins While Out And About In New York
When the pint-sized beauty stepped out in New York this past April, fans everywhere were quick to point out that she drew an uncanny comparison to fellow TV icon Joan Collins as she marched to do a television appearance in an oversized leopard-print coat with sky-high heels and oversized sunglasses.
According to Daily Mail, that same day she announced that unless the new Jersey Shore Family Vacation format doesn't change, she's out. "It's going to be like a Housewives format, where we film three days a week and then we go about our lives and we're not sequestered in a house for a month without seeing my family."
13 When She Revealed Stories Behind Her Tattoos, Including One Really Precious One
Not shy to acquire more body ink, Snooki is known to have at least nine tattoos, with two very precious ones on her left wrist.
The two runes she has inked are called "laguz" and "gebo," representing the letters L and G for her two children, Lorenzo and Giovanna.
According to Steal Her Style, Snooki has explained her rationale for getting the runes tattooed on her, “I always see moms with initials of their kids on their wrist, or something meaningful. So I wanted to do that.” As she hopes to have two more children in the future, she's planned accordingly and has left open space on each side for more runes.
12 Snooki Definitely Has More Of A Mature Look Since Becoming A Mom Of Two Adorable Kids
In the six years since the original Jersey Shore was on air before the recent reboot, Snooki has definitely grown up. Most importantly, she wants to be viewed as Nicole as a mom, not Snooki. As she explained to The Spectrum, " It’s more of a brand name now, and that brand is evolving. On the show as Snooki and JWoww, that’s our time away from the kids and becoming us again and having alone time. We’ll always have our nicknames, but we’re not Snooki and JWoww all the time now. When it comes to being moms, we’re Nicole and Jenni."
11 This Old Hollywood Glam Look, With Her Fiery Red Hair
Along with her more sophisticated persona, Snooki also fully dyed her hair red and went for an old Hollywood glam look, completing her transition into a mature adult.
Fans also noticed her hair looked extremely shiny and glossy, so her hairstylist, Bradley Moreland, took to How To Be A Redhead to explain her trick: coconut oil.
"Coconut oil can be a perfect addition to the beauty regime of the redhead that always fight the fade factor,” says Moreland. “Coconut oil is best suited for anyone with thick, coarse and or curly hair- those with fine hair may find that their hair feels flat and oily."
10 This Cute Outfit, Which She Said Was Inspired By Beetlejuice
Swapping out her Ed Hardy tops and Von Dutch trucker hats, Snooki wore this adorable number, explaining on IG that it was inspired by Beetlejuice. A completely different look than the Snooki we were used to on the Jersey Shore, she even launched her own lifestyle line which put her on the map as an online retailer. Her Snooki store includes pieces everything from bikinis to cocktail dresses, and more recently, according to ABC News, she opened up an actual storefront in Madison, New Jersey, called The Snooki Shop."I always wanted to do my own store, I just never had the time. I love clothes so I thought just opening my own store would be a dream come true.”
9 Snooki Has Been Rocking More Athletic Gear, Keeping Up Her Fitness Goals
These days, Snooki's IG is littered with fitness photos and #fitgoals, something she takes very seriously in her day to day life.
According to The Spectrum, Snooki explained that having kids has urged her to pursue a strong and healthy lifestyle so that she can keep up with the tiny tots and carry them.
"Ever since I had Lorenzo, that’s been my way. These days I eat a lot of veggies and chicken, good fats, and I do a lot of spin classes, boxing and I have a trainer that I train with four times a week."
8 Looking Calm And Refined, Nicole Wears A Kimono From Her Own Line
Channeling her love for laid-back clothing, Snooki made sure to include such easygoing pieces such as the kimono she's wearing above in her Snooki Shop. She told ABC News that she plans to make the collections affordable, understanding her demographic wisely. “I made sure the prices were affordable because a lot of boutiques have crazy out there prices. My demographic is really [ages] 18-30," she said. "I know kids are in school, they have bills to pay -- I get it.” All the pieces she hand-selects herself and includes outfits she's worn on Jersey Shore as well as red carpet numbers, too.
7 Finally Grown Up, Snooki Classes Her Look Up By Throwing Her Hair In A Tight Bun
Snooki's transformation from Jersey Shore animal to refined businesswoman and mother is remarkable to see. Glamming up her wardrobe, Nicole swaps out her skin-tight leopard print dresses for chic pencil skirts and adorable blouses.
She's explained time and time again that motherhood has changed her, allowing her to grow up and be the person she is today.
In an interview with The Spectrum, she said, "Before the kids, I never really had real responsibility. I was always traveling and waking up late, and just living the life that I wanted to live. Once you have kids, it’s all about them. It made me grow up, because I wanted to. And it made me a better person."
6 Even Though Jersey Shore Was Over, She Was Still A Reality TV Queen
Back in 2016, as Snooki was itching to be back on reality TV, she took up a new venture with her husband, Jionni: Nicole & Jionni’s Shore Flip. In a chat with Forbes, Snooki admitted that the show was her husband's idea! "I dragged him into doing Snooki & J Woww and scenes from Jersey Shore, so this was his time to enjoy reality. It’s always been his dream to flip houses, especially on the Jersey Shore. With Sandy and everything that happened, we just wanted to help out as much as possible. There are homes that are still like it happened yesterday. So, it's a meaningful project to us."
5 She Debuted Bangs & Spoke To Cosmo About Her Questionable Jersey Shore Moments
What makes Snooki so loveable is her ability to laugh at her own past antics, embracing what's happened and being able to simply shrug it away.
This past April, she had an interview with Cosmopolitan, where she looked back at her wildest Jersey Shore antics throughout the years.
Some of her memorable moments include showing off her gymnastics abilities in clubs while she and her castmates went out. "I would show off my cheerleading skills. We're going to do a cartwheel, we're going to do a backhand spring, heck yeah! We're living for it! I'm living because I'm a cheerleader."
4 Ditching Her Red Hair, Snooki Debuted This Gorgeous New Look Last Year
Finally giving up her fiery red mane after rocking it for so many years, Snooki sported this absolutely stunning blonde balayage that looks gorgeous on her. According to Grazia, many celebrities, Snooki included, have taken to the balayage trend since it's just so beautiful. "As well as looking much more sophisticated and natural, the big appeal of balayage is that it’s bespoke – a colorist skilled in balayage will look at your face and place the lights to perfectly flatter and light your features. That's why if you look at most A-listers, you rarely see a classic foil highlight - you see balayage," explains hairstylist Jack Howard.
3 More Recently, She Dyed Her Hair & Looks More Like A Kardashian Than A Guidette
This past year saw Snooki reverting back to her natural hair color, black, and keeping things simple. Taking a page out of the Kardashians' book, she kept her hair tousled and wavy, while accentuating her eyes and throwing on a beautiful plum-colored matte lip.
The look is a put-together change than the Snooki we're used to, and we love it!
It turns out, Snooki actually has ties with the Kardashians, and according to Buzzfeed, Kim actually invited her over one day to just hang out! Since then, she's even made appearances on some of the sisters' own shows, such as Khloe Kardashian's Kocktails With Khloe.
2 When She Took To IG To Announce Her Third Pregnancy
Only a few weeks ago, Snooki announced that she's pregnant with her third child! Interestingly enough, a recent episode of Jersey Shore Family Vacation saw Snooki take a pregnancy test before heading for a night out, only to confirm she wasn't pregnant at the time. Now, she finally has happy news to share, of course receiving mounds of support from her husband and her Jersey Shore co-stars. The pint-sized star broke the news on an IG post, sharing a photo of Lorenzo and Giovanna holding up a framed photo of a sonogram. Along with the photo, Snooki wrote, “What I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving.”
1 She Looked Adorable With Her Daughter Here, Clapping Back At IG Critics
Of course, any celebrity that's been in the spotlight as much as Snooki has, and a controversial one at times too, is bound to receive backlash even into her adult life. Not one to shy away from the online trolls, Snooki has had to deal with social media critics complaining about her parenting techniques. Recently, she posted a photo of herself putting on mascara on her 2-year-old daughter, Giovanna. "Getting sissy ready for her dance recital. This is the best Mother's Day gift to me! ?? #mommysgirl #minime" she wrote on her IG. Of course, this caused an outrage online, but Snooki simply laughed it off, brushing off the comments and proceeding to post another photo after her daughter's recital, exclaiming how she proud she was of her little girl.
Sources: Rolling Stone, Vulture, Daily Mail, Forbes, Cosmopolitan