Thursday, April 28, 2011


The Evolution of a Shared Obsession: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

Jolie Kerr: Katie. There's a British show called My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and I am OMGOBSESSED with it. It’s just been picked up for American adaptation, but four of the five original episodes are available on YouTube.

Katie Walsh: Wow, are they tinkers like the character Brad Pitt played in Snatch? This looks amazing.

JK: There are actually two groups — Irish Travellers (tinkers) and Romany Gypsies. I haven't gotten to the Romany episodes yet, but oh boy are the Irish Travellers really something else again. I can't really wrap my mind around them yet, but hopefully a few more viewings will give me more information.

KW: Literally at 1:38 on the video of part one episode one and I'm OBSESSED. THANK YOU!! Oh my God the Communion dress! OH MY GOD OH MY GOD. All I can think is pink sheepdog.


KW: Swanley's so hot in his wedding suit. It's actually insane how "my type" he is.

JK: LITERALLY BUT NO SWANLEY!!!!!!! But there's so much I really don't understand about the Travellers — like, why do the women dress like whores when they're so chaste???

KW: Maybe the Traveller culture is like the Madonna/whore complex jacked up to 11. I mean, the grabbing? All the fun of sexual assault with none of the ramifications!

JK: Oooh, that's a very interesting take on it! And it would make sense, given the strict Catholicism.

KW: I forgot to mention in Episode two — the First Communion party with the stripper dancing! The outfits! It's crazy how the hyper-sexualized dancing and clothing contrast with the strict control of the girls’ sexual activity.

JK: It's interesting … the other thing is that you never see or hear the men ogling the women, which? Is strange given the way they're dressed, I guess. And the grabbing! There's one girl who talks about how girls try to avoid grabbings, but at the same time is shown buying a new dress and getting all tramped up for a wedding where, by her admission, grabbings will take place. I’m so confused.

KW: It's almost like the small, insular community is clashing with the sexually uninhibited modern world, and it's just like WTF is going on with the gender roles? I heart you, producers of this show. Can we infiltrate the Irish Travellers? I'll start working on my accent.

JK: I can think of nothing I would like better. Have you gotten to episode two with "20-year-old tree surgeon Pat" who is getting married to a non-Gypsy who has a LIGHT-UP dress with MECHANICAL BUTTERFLIES?

KW: Here's what’s killing me about the show right now (aside from EVERY SECOND): The way the girls have to walk in those stupid-ass dresses! They have to kick their little feet through yards of tulle and it looks absolutely ridiculous. I loved the mechanical butterflies (complete with fire extinguisher on standby!), but nothing takes the cake like Josie's mini-in-the-front wedding dress. My God.

JK: SWANLEY. (Sorry. I just love yelling that name!) Yes about the walking!! They're all gussied up and seem not to mind AT ALL that they're lumbering inelegantly about! Does not compute!

Have you watched the episode with Lizzie? She scares me — there's a lot of pent up anger there. I feel like she's going to snap one day and murder her entire family.

KW: OK, I'm watching right now, and Lizzie is talking about how she can barely read or write. Ahh.

JK: She broke my damn heart. “We ain’t gonna be doctors and lawyers. Housewives, that’s what we’re meant to be.”

Also: I am mesmerized by how clean their homes are.

KW: I think we all know how you feel about the merits of bleach. How clean would you keep your house if your husband was as dead sexy as Paddy Doherty?

JK: Paddy Doherty PANT PANT PANT. Katie, I would let Paddy Doherty tinker with me all the livelong day.

KW: Jolie, I don’t know what to think. A Paddy Doherty/Swanley sandwich is pretty much my number one bucket list item right now. But, being married to them would mean being a second-class citizen who's treated as property or a maid. Why must I grapple with these conflicted feelings??

JK: Would the promise of a Versace-style chalet sway you? I, for one, think you would look lovely in a back lit, sticky-out wedding dress!

KW: If Kate Middleton really wants to upstage Diana’s train, she needs to embrace the sticky-out wedding dress and walk down that aisle on Friday encased in a tulle bomb that extends five feet in each direction, with lit sparklers sticking out of her crown, mechanical Swarovski pinwheels, and cleavage up to her neck. It’s clear the Brits do not mess around with the wedding game, so I sincerely hope Kate BRINGS IT.


Jolie Kerr and Katie Walsh want the cleanest caravan and the stickiest-outiest dress.

96 Comments / Post A Comment


Sooo... did you guys like this, or? I just couldn't tell. From the write up. It was so neutral!

Katie Walsh

@manshan Do you think my feelings for Swanley are clear enough? I don't know, like when his "Swanley" google alert goes off and he sees this creepy post will he know that I love him?


@Katie Walsh You might want to make a Swanley collage. Or a Swanley fan page! Just to be sure.


@Katie Walsh He is actually pretty hot. I like 'em big and luggish myself. PLUS marrying him means a giiiigantic dress, apparently, so pretty good deal.

Katie Walsh

@manshan OOOHHH girrrlll you do not even know how big and luggish I like 'em! Basically, my ideal man has a very low neck to head ratio.


@Katie Walsh Swanley Kowalski

Jon Custer

I'm pretty sure I read a newspaper article where a bunch of gypsy/traveler women said that they had literally never even heard of the 'grabbing' thing and have no idea where the show got it from... Anyway if you're looking for another wonderful Channel 4 program to dissect try 'Tool Academy' (unless it's just a copy of an American show, which I sort of suspected?)

Katie Walsh

@Jon Custer That's strange because the Travellers are basically describing in detail how it works to the producers and they catch several grabs (with blurred out faces) on camera. Does not seem at all like it was created in editing. Maybe it's a regional thing?

Speaking of other British shows, I lost my mind over the "Geordie Shore" teaser trailer last night.


@Jon Custer I heard that grabbing was just an Irish Traveller thing and Romany Gypsies don't do it-- I think some of them got pissed off because the show kind of assumes that the two groups are pretty much the same.

Jon Custer

@cmcm Yeah I think that was it. I too was confused because they do show it pretty clearly (also, um, my girlfriend made me watch it?).


I watched a documentary about a Roma family (they lived somewhere in America, I think in the northwest?) in an Anthropology class once, and the main thing I remember is that every single teenager in that documentary was gorgeous.

Oh, and also that they were involved in some huge court case because they were accused of stealing some stuff (but it was pretty racist, "Oh, the Gypsies must have stolen it, duh!"), the women were mishandled by Roma standards when the police searched the house, but they found the stolen items so the police felt justified and the Roma family felt that they had been poorly treated because of their culture.

I was the only person in that class who watched the video. I counted.

Jolie Kerr

@Nutmeg If you can recall the title let us know! That sounds fantastically interesting! I've read about the case you mention (because, you know, I'm OBSESSED) and it is staggering the amount of racism and ill-treatment Roma are subjected to. Very sad.

Katie Walsh

@Jolie Kerr Yes, they only touch on it a small bit with Violet Ann, who I think is the only Romany Gypsy they have had on so far. But, how she has to keep her Gypsy heritage a secret at work since they won't even serve Gypsies there is really crazy and just a small peek of the racism.

Jolie Kerr

@Katie Walsh "20-year-old tree surgeon Pat" (slays me, every time!) is also Romany I believe, but yes, Violet Ann is the only Romany bride they show. Suuuuuper misleading and also deliberately inflammatory title those producers chose, it should be noted.

Katie Walsh

@Jolie Kerr The terminology gets really confusing... I feel like I've heard the Travellers refer to themselves as gypsies. In the 2nd image of Swanley up there, he's saying something unintelligible about the limo and then says "true gypsy boy style!" So it's definitely hard to make the distinction between the two groups even though there are cultural differences.

Jolie Kerr

@Katie Walsh Agreed, and it caused me no small amount of stress when editing this thing because I was so worried we were going to get screamers in here telling us that we're monsters for using those terms incorrectly!


@Jolie Kerr Did you catch when Swanley was laughing at the "Paki" wedding, and had to ask the film crew what the right word was?

Jolie Kerr

@curryspice I did! That killed me! Having been to many Indian weddings I was also kind of like, "Yeah, you'd probably fit right in. We're loud and disorganized and brightly colored too!"


@Jolie Kerr I found it! It's called American Gypsy: A Stranger in Everybody's Land, and if you can find it (Netflix somehow doesn't have it) it is definitely worth a watch. The family shared their home movies with the woman doing the documentary and allowed her to use the footage in the film.

Jolie Kerr

@Nutmeg AAAAAHHHHH YES! I've read about that movie but couldn't find it on Netflix, but with your recommendation I might just go ahead and buy it. It's available for purchase on PBS.org.

Anna Marquardt


Seriously, you guys, thank you for bringing this show to my attention. I haven't watched it yet, but I am positive I will be on board with everything you said.


As an American currently in Scotland for a semester, I have to say that the not being able to watch television thing goes both ways. Have you ever tried to legally watch SNL from outside the country? It's impossible! Same for every other network show, and Hulu (extreme sadface). So while I can watch My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, I can't watch Castle or CSI. Why can't we all just get along?


I love this show. I have watched everything available on it and am really confused by why exactly I find it so watchable. The one that breaks my heart is Noreen, the girl with the job who works in a cake shop, and decorates the cakes for the gypsy weddings, which is an interesting niche. Also, I am so glad you wrote this article, I thought I was the only one in the world who would bang Paddy like a screen door in a hurricane. But the thing about how they spend all of their time cleaning confuses me. I mean, it's a *trailer* for god's sake. Would a normal adult spend more time cleaning it than not? And they don't even have bathrooms, according to the same ep with the fairy light flammable death-trap dress.

Jolie Kerr

@reclusivewanker As "non-gypsy Sam" (LOVE YOU SAM!) says when the interviewer keeps pressing her to say that it's weird to live in a trailer, "There's no difference really, it's where we live."

I love Noreen too! Actually I kind of love them all, even that slaggy little Cheyenne.

Donna Beth Huntington@facebook

@reclusivewanker ~Paddy (Patrick Doherty) is smokin hot!!!
Swanley, I just love that name, too, but Paddy.....OMG!!


I think Snatch had "Pikeys." "Tinkers" are Irish Pikeys. But I could be wrong.

Jolie Kerr

@saythatscool They're slang for the same group of people. And also kind of offensive words, so be careful bandying them about!!


@Jolie Kerr So Pikeys and Tinkers are the same?
I don't spend a great deal of time in camper parks around Great Britain but if I do, I'll be sure to watch my tongue and wallet.


@saythatscool: Est-ce que vous appelez ma mere une pikey?!


@saythatscool there's a rhyme girls used to say when they skipped "tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, THEIF!" and then whatever you land on, that's who you'll marry.

Tammy Pajamas

A friend in England turned me on to this show a few weeks ago. I had many of the same reactions, but I think freaked out the most about their outfits for the hen party. The outfits they described as "Spanish" and I would describe as "whorey."
I also took an Anthro class on gypsies. They are basically obsessed with cleanliness/purity (despite everyone thinking they're dirty), hence the virginity and the daily scrubbing of their trailers. For this reason, they hate cats (they step in their poop!). I could go on forever, but am wondering, if they prefer trailers without bathrooms, where are the bathrooms and who is responsible for cleaning them? And do they use baking soda and vinegar?

Katie Walsh

@Tammy Pajamas Interesting! Any particular psycho-ethno-historical reasons for the cleanliness obsession?

Tammy Pajamas

@Katie Walsh I don't honestly remember, but I'll wing it: all cultures have to have rules, whether they be in the guise of religion or whatever. But, to keep things orderly, you know? Taking a bit of a biological point of view, if you're traveling around in small groups, setting up camps, for issues of disease prevention, you want things to be clean and you don't want your bathrooms anywhere near your living spaces. That's actually legit, science-based reasoning. Some stuff that I'll make up: if you're not obsessed with cleaning, what are the women gonna do all day? Sleep around, obviously! So it seems like a bit of a social control mechanism too. There are MANY cultures where a woman's sexual antics can bring shame upon the entire family (for generations), so it behooves the men to keep an eye on them at all times.
Finally, no one really knows, but it is theorized that the Roma came from northern India WAAAY back in the day, so maybe some of their cultural traits reflect those of that area? I also want to say that Romany (their language) is not related to any other language. They're a pretty mysterious bunch.

One more question about the show: how do they afford all of that??? The HELICOPTER!

Jolie Kerr

@Tammy Pajamas I had read about the possibility of the cleanliness stemming from Hindu practices.

Related: The paternal side of my family originates from Northern India and for the rest of my life that's what I'll say when people ask me why I'm so into being a clean person. "It's my heritage. I come from a long line of Clean People."

Katie Walsh

@Tammy Pajamas Yes! I knew it was a holdover from the "cleanliness = disease prevention" days. And also, yes, the entire time I watch this show I'm like, how do they afford that helicopter? And that cake? And that dress? And those bridesmaids ensembles? It can't just be from collecting scrap metal!


@Tammy Pajamas That's not quite true about the language--part of why scholars believe the Romani came from northern India is because the language is actually quite closely related to other Indo-Aryan languages. I'm not a linguist, so I won't try to get into the technical details, but the grammar shares many characters with Hindi etc.

Tammy Pajamas

@wallsdonotfall Ahhh... Ok! Thanks for the correction. I wasn't totally sure on that point (college was in 1997!). That rings a bell, now that you say it though.


@Jolie Kerr My family is part Roma and I'm pretty sure my mother once told me that the reason there was a cart wheel on the Indian flag was because Gypsies originally came from India, but now that I'm an adult that seems pretty farfetched.


OMG this post is basically my exact same reactions to this show, except I've mostly watched it by myself because my English boyfriend things I'm a freak.

But further comments from me: THE DRESSES WEIGH LIKE 400 POUNDS AND SCAR THEIR HIPS FOR LIFE. What?!?! Also: I so desperately want to know how much the dresses cost. Ya know, not that I want one... but like... they're so pretty...

OH and! Wanna know a fun game? Any time any of my friends is getting married and is trying to figure out what kind of wedding or bridesmaid dress they want, I send them like dozens of pictures of gypsy weddings as inspiration. It doesn't get old. Ever.


I just watched all 4 segments of the first episode instead of going out to load up on Earl Grey tea and super thin sandwich bread in preparation for my early morning plans for tomorrow. Fascinating (the show, not my grocery list). Can anyone recommend any other specific documentaries or books on the Romani or the Irish travelers?

HRH Your Cuntness

Basically, Take Me Out UK and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding are the best shows I've ever seen in my life? Well, except for the late, lamented, ASBO Teen to Beauty Queen, which was also incredible.

That one Traveller lived in a flat! Which I still don't really understand?


@HRH Your Cuntness A flat is like an apartment building or sometimes a house that is leased, rather than owned.

HRH Your Cuntness

@Vivien Smith-Smythe-Smith Oh, ha, no; I know what a flat is. The part I didn't understand was why a *traveller* was living IN a flat, as opposed to a caravan.


@HRH Your Cuntness Why? They're not just confined to living in caravans forever, you know.


EVERYONE here is talking about MBFGW! It's making gypies/travellers/pikeys/tinkers/whatev's look cute and amusing but they're actually a massive issue in the UK. The show makes it look really mean when they get their weddings cancelled by hotels etc., but it doesn't show the fact that they skip out on stuff ALL THE TIME by not paying, or paying for 100 people and 250 turn up and trash the place.
I used to work for a factory which made cookers for the kind of static caravans they live in (are they trailers in American? Are they even the same thing?). We used to get gypsies ringing up all the time asking us to basically give them a new cooker for free because they'd run out of gas or something equally ridiculous. You could always tell they were gypsies not people with holiday homes or whatever from the weird irish accents they had (what my well-spoken Dubliner Granny would call Bog-Irish). The company stopped dealing with people direct because of the aggro gypsies caused- they basically changed their policy to only deal with caravan dealers or specialist camping suppliers because the gypsies were getting so aggressive with people.
My friend lives about 5 miles away from Appleby in the Lake District where they have their horse fair, and it's basically like the circus has come to town when they show up. Most of the locals go on holiday that time of year because they're a nightmare. Appleby's like a proper English pretty village, and you end up with people racing traps through the streets, LOADS of bare knuckle fights and fields just churned up by them.
Yeah they wear funny wedding dresses, but the amount of people who get gypsies basically building a shanty town on any bit of spare land and spend years trying to evict them is ridiculous! It might be a way of life, but in a country as small as the UK or Ireland it takes the mick when they start claiming they're being persecuted, when most of them are basically squatters.

@Jolie Kerr - 4OD not letting you watch basically feels like my payback for all the times I couldn't watch Grey's Anatomy! :P


@twitchingcurtains Yes, it is certainly the way travellers/roma treat other people that is the massive issue. The way these people are abused by the rest of society, and have been for centuries (don't make me Godwin this) is not at all a problem nor a contributing factor.


@twitchingcurtains What does "racing traps"mean?

Das Awesome

@curryspice Traps are horse-drawn racing carts. One of the big aspects of Appleby are trotting horse races.


@twitchingcurtains "Appleby's like a proper English pretty village"



@twitchingcurtains i hear what you are saying, even though i think you sound like my miserable old aunt, but travelers have been going to appleby since at least the 17th century. so, in my humble opinion, saying that they are spoiling the village is basically a stupid thing to say. they are part of our history and culture! they might have been in the UK before your family! you might even have a naughty great granny who bought a horse from swanley's great grandfather, and be part gypsy!


OMG! Why didn't I know about this?? Where I live in Texas, there is a large population of Irish Travelers. They are THE WORST/ the best. They are rude, awful swindlers. But they're so secretive and wear so much gold and have crazy big weddings. The kids travel in packs around town and have been banned from a lot of the businesses. They disappear for certain seasons. Every Spring or something they're back in town and "Uggggh, the gypsies are back." is uttered by everyone. I could go on and on and on about them because it's interesting as hell.



Katie Walsh

@McEllen Um, Jolie, road trip, NOW! Thanks McEllen! Can we crash on your couch?


@Katie Walsh definitely. Maybe White Settlement, TX will have some strange tourism draw now. But be warned, the travelers get real mad when you refer to them as Gypsies, which we do all the time, obvs

Jolie Kerr

@McEllen YES. You know who's from that Texas enclave? (And OMG it's literally called "White Settlement" ALKSHFL) The woman who was caught on camera beating the tar out of her daughter in a department store parking lot about ten years back.

One thing about that Rick Ross site is that some of the articles have an incredibly negative bias, so please take the things you might read there with a grain or seven of salt.


@Jolie Kerr Yeah I just did a quick google search for White Settlement travelers. "Fortunately" for me, I live near them so I have first hand experience with them. Here's some FB note I posted a few years ago: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?saved&¬e_id=39933187471
It's a really negative issue in general around here, but I find it all thoroughly fascinating.

Das Awesome

Ok, so I have a theory on why the girls dress like they're getting ready for their shift at Little Darlin's, while at the same time being devout Catholics who carefully nurture their pristine reputations, only travel in packs, and are afraid to even be seen in the company of a non-related male.

Basically, these girls have a very, VERY limited window of opportunity to be considered successful in their culture. Your opportunities to talk and be around boys are limited, plus cultural standards dictate that girls are passive and boys make all the moves. So, you're 15, you know that you have until about 19 before you're considered to be Awfully Old to Be Unmarried, and your exposure to boys is basically limited to weddings and special events, and a fair here and there, and on top of all this, you can't go up to a guy and talk to them first. What do you do? You go out there and you do everything in your power to get yourself noticed, because getting noticed leads to getting talked to leads to courting leads to wedding leads to success.

Dressing in a micro mini and shaking your ass to Shakira is the only agency these girls really have in their lives. A girl who doesn't compete this way is going to be overlooked, never meet any men, and be a spinster at 20.

Hopefully that made sense. It makes sense when I'm watching the show? Or something?


@Das Awesome That makes perfect sense, I think.

Jolie Kerr

@Das Awesome Yes! I think Thelma Madine (OMG HOW DID WE LITERALLY GET THROUGH AN ENTIRE POST AND 40+ COMMENTS WITHOUT UTTERTYPING THE WORDS 'THELMA' AND 'MADINE'???) had a similar theory about why they dance so provocatively. Something about having to set themselves apart from the other girls to catch the attention of the menfolk.

Katie Walsh

@Das Awesome Yes, this definitely makes the most sense. Maybe I am going to be guillotined by the commenting public for saying this, but I think what I love so much about this show is recognizing elements of their culture/mating rituals that I might find "crazy" or "bizarre" that are definitely present, though much less amplified in ours. Traditional notions of femininity, a woman's place, sexual propriety, men's role as provider are all buried under years of women's lib and gender equality but are still very much there. It's just on steroids in their culture and it's really interesting to watch.


@Das Awesome You've come a long way, Eliza Bennett.


@Das Awesome: Yes agree 100%, would read post again A+++
@Katie: Definitely the evolution of courtship showing here, how when it is marginalized in certain ways it changes to suit the needs of the community. Very similar shades of certain christian sects in the southwest, parts of Indian culture, etc.

Das Awesome

@Katie Walsh I think their culture is just more overt about it. These rules are explicit, everyone knows them, and everyone knows what happens if you break them.

I appreciate the honesty in this, actually. The rules suck, the patriarchy sucks, but the patriarchy isn't trying to pretend it doesn't exist, or doesn't matter.

Das Awesome

@Jolie Kerr Oh, blessed Thelma. I love her. I would also love to see what she could come up with for a non-Traveller wedding. Bitch is talented.


OMG this show. Basically the entire post is word for word my experience watching this show. I love finding it here on the hairpin.



A trap is like a little cart for a horse.


There are plenty of other minority groups who have been mistreated for centuries but don't use it as an excuse. I'm just saying people start by saying "OK, give them a fair go" like my old company did, then have to put the shutters up when they get their fingers burnt.
You can see why people get pissed off when they get the council coming round saying "your garden shed's too high, you have to take it down", but travellers can set 50 caravans up on a field they don't own and nobody can touch them.


@twitchingcurtains Oh yeah, you're absolutely right; because we're all of the same nature we shouldn't have the agency to complain about the way we're treated or perceived because you "know what [our] kind is like."

Internet Girl

@twitchingcurtains "There are plenty of other minority groups who have been mistreated for centuries but don't use it as an excuse"

um, wut, lol?????
duz not compute?


@Internet Girl Totally does not compute. Glad I'm not the only one whose brain exploded upon reading that particular piece of bullshit.


In Ireland, the word 'tinker' is considered pretty racist, as is 'pikey' and 'knacker'. Doesn't stop most settled Irish from using them - settled Irish traditionally hate Travellers. But Travellers are one of the nine protected classes in the Irish Equality Act, it's like they're considered a separate race. I've also heard of Travellers saying that they've never heard of 'grabbing' so I'm guessing that they're not a homogenous group, which just makes conflating them with Roma (Gypsies) even weirder.

@twitchingcurtains - I don't think its fair to say that Travellers can set up 50 caravans and can't be touched; there are plenty of cases in Ireland and the UK where their long-standing settlements have been destroyed or they've been forcibly moved on. I totally get that they can be a pain in the arse but, y'know, I'm a pain in the arse plenty of times a day and it doesn't make everyone from my ethnic background culpable.

Jolie Kerr

@evaokay The show goes into the issues around the settlements being destroyed (ep 3 I think). There's also a wikipedia article on one of the largest settlements in the UK, Dale Farm, if people are interested in learning more about it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dale_Farm

Jolie Kerr

You know what else we didn't discuss (there was so much we didn't discuss!): THE UNSUPERVISED CHILDREN WITH THE FAKE CHAMPAGNE HANGING THEIR HEADS OUT OF THE LIMO WINDOWS ON THE WAY TO THE FIRST COMMUNION!!!!!!!!!!

Das Awesome

@Jolie Kerr That was amazing. I had forgotten about that. "It's our culture, they get to go by themselves."

7 year old me was seething in jealousy.


@Jolie Kerr I was fascinated by the way the first communion girl's brother was drinking from his bottled water. He looked like he would be REAL comfortable with a Fosters. He had his bar demeanor down pat.

Also, my take on the the way the girls are chaperoned and the chastity dilly probably has something to do with the fact these are small communities and if there was a lot of screwing around and scandals it would basically be a shit storm of fist fights.
Even the fights had to be strictly regulated so they wouldn't get out of hand.

Emma Tuck

@Jolie Kerr Oh my gosh yes! The champagne! And the techno music! I actually felt really sad that the little girl at the communion, it seemed like the other little girls were just staring at her and kind of like, what the hell is that?! she must have been exhasuted at the end of the day!

Katie Walsh

@zidaane Yeah, you can really see the kids mimicking the older kids (not adults), the girls in the dancing and preening, and the boys are like little men walking around puffing their chests out. I loved watching the macho posturing during the bareknuckles fist fight. Also, I guess regulation uniform for everyone participating in that is athletic shorts and no shirt?

Tom McGeveran@facebook

I think this entire thread needs to be examined for compliance with the Awl ethos. I'm a little sick. Are these gorillas?

Jolie Kerr

@Tom McGeveran@facebook You do realize that you're on The Hairpin, yes? And no, they're not "gorillas" they're people. Thanks for stopping by!


you mean the awl and its subsidiaries don't approve of the anthropological gaze that pins minority groups to an examining board to evaluate all their cultural, sexual and political activities for the amusement of the middle-class white intellectual?


@ to whomever gives a care:
the term g**sy is considered a racial slur by many Roma people. just, fyi.

Kevin Knox

@lasenorarobinson Not enough of a slur to preclude some of them taking part in this program, apparently.

But, yes.


OK, example: Jews have been persecuted for centuries. Verified fact. Most Jews living outside of Israel where, ok they set up their own society (fair enough but a different can of worms)don't take the opportunity of historical prejudice to treat other people like crap and say it's their culture. Personally I don't have a problem with gypsies- they're not in my OODA loop,I don't care. Most people I know are the same, or if they aren't, they were until gypsies turned up in their back yard and made merry hell. Or cost their business thousands, or tried to do business in a hugely aggressive manner (friends of my parents had some gypsies try to tarmac their drive, and had basically started digging up the flagstones before they even rang the doorbell, then 4 of them tried to physically intimidate them). If every Jew you'd ever met had made your life a misery, wouldn't you be against them? But Jews, as a cultural group generally get on quite well with people, treat people as they'd like to be treated and pay their taxes. Unfortunately, society is a cooperative arrangement, and when people decide that they don't want to play by the same rules everyone else does, then the majority gets upset.
My point about Appleby is that basically people there work really hard to keep their village looking lovely, then umpteen thousand gypsies rock up and some people get very upset when they see the village looking a mess.
OK to say they can't be touched is maybe overstating it, but it's legally very difficult to move travellers away from places once they're established. Dale Farm alone has cost £18 million! The entire point of the law is that it applies to everyone equally. Not understanding a culture is not the same as saying, "well it's not exactly compatible with what the rest of us are doing, and the rest of us call that illegal".


@twitchingcurtains dude, lots of peoples hate the Jews! People accuse them of hoarding money and being insular and snobby (read: educated)! Haven't you heard of the whole "Elders of Zion" business or the conspiracy theories about the 4 Jew bankers that run Hollywood/the world? Why is every white villain in a movie short and hook nosed.


I thought Margherita's brother was so cute! The way he got excited about his sister's dress made me super jealous. If only my brother was that cool at 7!

Katie Walsh

@Christina John Boy in his African Prince outfit! I love John Boy, I want to kidnap him!

Emma Tuck

OH MY GOSH! YES! I love this show so much too! I couldn't stop talking about it at work. People were getting annoyed. I was amazed at what I thought was really kind of old fashioned morals (like no drinking, no sex, being chaperoned everywhere) with the combination of the tackiest clothing and makeup! Haha! It was just so fascinating. I also loved the fact that Swanley bought a trailer but had to wait for his wife to come home to clean it up. what a great way to spend your wedding night!


That poor little first communion girl looked like a Shih Tsu. She must have been tired carrying around that huge dress!


I saw this series in October for the first time. (Or, like, an hour-long documentary?) AND I WATCHED EVERYTHING I COULD! ZOMG! LOVE THIS!

And then, I watched the Riches when that ran out.


Did they seriously introduce Paddy Doherty as a 'pensioned bare-knuckle wrestler'? Seriously? I can't understand everything (not trying to mock the accent, just saying that I'm not a native English speaker).

I'm watching this by myself and seriously need to keep a notebook around to write down all the things I want to say and do while watching this. It's amazing, don't get me wrong. I got two other people hooked on this show within the hour.

Donna Beth Huntington@facebook

@Hilde I do not understand about half of what Paddy says, but that's okay so long as I get to look at him!


Tinie Timpah dancing in a wedding dress! Holy shit, this show is amazing.

Harriet Welch

I am in love with this show. Thanks!!!


This show is so amazing, I didn't give it a chance the first time, thanks for the convincing. This is exactly what my wedding would have been like if my friends and I all had to get married at 16 and my parents bankrolled it for my crop-top and pleather pants wearing teenaged self.

But also seriously, their houses are nicer than my parents house and these weddings look ridic, how the eff can they afford this?? Is it because in UK their currency still has value??

Paul Tierry@facebook




to be honest, and i hate to say it, but i love this show. it makes me so disgusted watching it because its so different and wrong. first off gypsies rip people off. i saw an episode of a guy who didn't want to discuss what he does for work. they cant read or write so for people to say they make an honest living (let alone pay any taxes), your lying to yourself. they drive around in trailers, like the trashy people they are, and move from town to town scamming people. the girls outlook on thing also drives me wacko. who in their right mind would drop out of school and get married/engaged at like 14 to take care of a man all day? i mean i'm no feminist but they pretty much do everything for them except wipe their asses. yes, they do have good morals of not having sex before marriage, but going to a party where your vagina's about to pop out and your pretty much humping the floor/air with the skanky dance moves you use shows they are far from class. me and all my friends weren't virgins before marriage, some of them had sex with multiple people but we would never in our right minds dress like that... and the last thing, the very beginning of the episode showed a camp ground they were on and it was a wreck! are they hoarders or just scums? to leave the area they invaded a mess? it sickens me how these people are england's ni**ers (and thats literally exactly what they are) but i cant seem to stop watching it. maybe it makes me feel better that theres cultures/places more shitty and corrupt then america is.


The way these people are abused by the rest of society, and have been for centuries (don't make me Godwin this) is not at all a problem nor a contributing factor. You can view this website.


*ers (and thats literally exactly what they are) but i cant seem to stop watching it. maybe it makes me feel better that theres cultures/places more shitty and corrupt then america is.is memory foam safe


I really would think that getting all those poetry work is really a classic art. Reading through those words would really uplift your souls in the meaning of each lines. best memory fom mattress 2013

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