Lessons We Can Learn From the Geordie Shore Cast
Well, we’re fourteen seasons deep in the absolute debauchery of our favorite guilty-pleasure show, Geordie Shore. A lot has changed in the house over the years—just look at the influx of new faces this season—but one thing remains constant: No one is really sure what to take away from the program, or why they watch it.
After all, there’s a lot the cast gets wrong. Their antics are often harmful to themselves, the other housemates, and the innocent eyes of the viewers. The men and women alike display a confusing mixture of progressive and problematic behaviors. But we know they’re a mess already; hopefully this list will give a clearer picture of why we love them, and what we can learn from them:
1. They show off the whole spectrum of possible relationship dynamics.
As a society, we are far too determined to place our relationships in rigidly separate boxes. We’re taught if they’re a friend, you may not be physically affectionate; if you’re physically affectionate, you must be romantically and sexually attracted to one another. The list of strenuous rules stretches on.
The Geordie Shore family, on the other hand, is an incredibly tight knit one, with only very loose limits placed on the interactions between the group members. Sometimes two of the lads will share a cheeky neck on in the club, and it only means they wanted to express to each other and the world that they’re good mates. Sometimes two housemates have casual sex and return to friendship soon after, like Holly and Scotty T in the early days. There was even a case in season 12 where Chloe and Charlotte engaged in oral sex just for the fun of it and it never created any problems for their friendship.
2. They’re emotionally open.
Having lived together for a number of years, the Geordie Shore cast is very emotionally close, and unapologetically so. Both male and female cast members will express their emotions with complete honesty. If they’ve been made angry, they will trash a room, or punch a hole in that undeserving phone booth. If they’ve been made sad, they will have a cry right in the VIP section of the nightclub. If they’re feeling overwhelmed by love, they’ll tell each other so. Volatility aside, we could all take a page out of the Geordie book of emotional communication. Relationships go so much smoother when everyone knows what the other is feeling.
Chloe and Marty’s relationship is quite one-sided in this regard, and shows us how things can break down when communication does. Chloe is sincere, and tells Marty how much she cares about him and how she wants to get along but is jealous of him with other girls. Marty, on the other hand, repeatedly mugs her off, lies, and breaks his promises, which results in an unstable and explosive relationship.
3. They’ve got their own brand of masculinity.
The Geordie strain of masculinity is a difficult one to unpack. It was touched on above in that the male cast members are very physically and emotionally comfortable and close with one another. These men will preen and wear makeup more openly than most. The lads were also utterly unthreatened by Nathan’s arrival, despite his being non-heterosexual, and his tendency to prefer spending time with the girls. He is treated no differently. And maybe that’s what’s happening here: the men and women behave and treat each other incredibly alike. Of course, this kind of masculinity is underscored by their bursts of violent rage, rigid expectations in terms of appearance, and often despicable objectification of women.
4. Everyone owns their sexuality.
Leading on from that previous point, male and female cast members are seen to behave in similar ways sexually. The women are very vocal about their sexual desires and urges. These women are not “ladylike” and they don’t give a damn. They own their beauty, and stand as objects both of desire and friendship, despite their drunkenness, kick-offs and bed-peeing habits. In fact, the show succeeds largely in demystifying femininity. The women are not treated as puzzles to solve, or a secret to keep, they will whip out a vibrator and insert it before your very eyes and don’t care if it makes you uncomfortable.
Unfortunately, this is counteracted by an odd air of slut shaming. Some of the cast members just openly love sex, and engage in it shamelessly (remember Sophie’s “year of the slut” or Charlotte and Holly’s “Cock Capturers” phase?) while others take a pride in making boys wait, like Vicky and Electra. Of course, these are both valid sexual decisions, but what is strongly implied by the latter group is that they aren’t “easy like other girls” and are more deserving of respect. Even those who appear to be sexually liberated will often turn around in an argument and cry “slut” as the most cutting insult they can manage.
5. Life without balance is messy.
The Geordie Shore cast is heavily co-dependent. They don’t get a lot of time away from each other. Their emotional closeness and openness is hampered by the fact that they are always together–always involved in each others’ lives. This wouldn’t be so problematic if the rest of their lives were in balance. But the Geordies really are all play and no work. The drinking, sex, and partying creates a whirlwind atmosphere that leads to many eruptions, with no easy way to make an exit. It is difficult to form and keep relationships outside of the house, so the house mates’ involvement in the show is a bit of a vicious cycle. Their life on the show becomes their whole life. Perhaps that’s why they’re such a messy group.
There are plenty of pros and cons to life in the Geordie Shore house. It’s chaotic, but it’s also raw and honest (except for everything that’s probably staged). Hopefully we’ve got plenty more seasons to learn more from our favorite clan of party animals–even if it’s a lesson of what not to do.
Chloé Osmond is a 19-year old asexual South African womxn, and aspiring online media producer, currently using just sheer determination to make it through a journalism degree. On a related note, she is an expert at functioning on minimal sleep, powered only by memes and cookies. Find her on Twitter (@ChloeJeanOsmond) or YouTube (youtube.com/c/ChloeTheJean).
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