This 'Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding' Star Wants To Be The First Gypsy Supermodel & That's Huge
American gypsy culture is all about big hair, big wedding dresses, and big drama. Well, at least that's what TLC shows us every week on its incredibly addictive reality series My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding .
Last Thursday night's episode slightly broke out of the mold of the usual outrageous wedding or post-nuptials brawl by introducing us to Trouble (yup, that's really what they call her), a 19-year-old Romanichal woman hoping to become the first gypsy supermodel. Trouble, whose real name is thankfully Kristen Stamper, spends the episode hoping to make it to New York City to meet with casting directors and become America's Next Top Gypsy Model. But Trouble's mom, Jeanette, is simply not having it. Uh oh, here comes Trouble. (Sorry, we couldn't resist.)
Though their neon wedding dresses and skimpy party outfits suggest otherwise, gypsy culture is still fairly traditional compared to current western practices. For Trouble to pursue a career, especially one where she'll be showing off her body, defies the conservative gypsy customs. In an age where it seems like every teen puts themselves on display with daily selfies, why is this such a big deal?
Much of what we perceive as conservatism in gypsy culture is actually rooted in a fear of outsiders. Gypsies have been persecuted for centuries, and while many of them live happy and comfortable lives in the United States, the threat of being discriminated against is still real.
Jeanette admitted she has tried to protect Trouble from "gorgers," a term gypsies use to refer to non-gypsy people, her whole life, which is why she didn't want her daughter to go to New York and pursue her modeling dreams. "I was brought up to believe gorger men was bad, that they'd murder us, beat us, and lure us off and we'd never see our family again," Jeanette says in the episode.
Just the fact that Trouble wants to be a working gypsy woman is shocking. Gypsy culture is still highly patriarchal, and to us, many of their customs may seem like they're still living in the 1950s. Women are expected to remain virgins until marriage, even though it seems like the guys on Gypsy Wedding can basically do whatever they want. Gypsies usually get married at a very young age, and female gypsies even more so. The average age for a gypsy bride is 17, according to TLC's website for My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding , the original British version of its more recent American counterpart. Many gypsy brides on both series say the reason they make their weddings so extravagant, with dresses that don't fit through doorways and hot pink limos, is because it's the last chance for them to live out their princess dreams before being relegated to the home to cook, clean, and take care of their many children during married life.
Despite what other gypsies think of her, it looks like Trouble is on her way to achieving her modeling goal. By the end of the episode, she wins over her mom, who ends up helping Trouble pay for her plane ticket and accompanies her to New York City. Trouble even books a job. In a recent interview with the New York Post, Trouble had this to say to her haters:
Get ready, world. It sure sounds like Trouble is coming to a catwalk near you.