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Giulia Rozzi Headshot

Poison-ed by Pop Culture

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Once upon a time, I was a glam rock girl.

Even though all the other chicks at my suburban upper-white middle class junior high wore Benetton rugby's with khakis and stark white Keds, I insisted on sporting a denim jacket with white pleather tassels and an army of pins representing my soon-to-be boyfriends from Warrant, Cinderella, Aerosmith, Motley Crue and most importantly, Poison. Yes, while my classmates swooned over Joey, Jordon, Donnie, Jonathon, and sometimes Danny, I was practicing my French kissing techniques with pin-ups of drag queens, rocking drag queens. My favorite lipstick-covered mouth of them all was that of Poison front man, Bret Michaels.

God, Bret was so pretty. At age 11 I wasn't sure if I wanted to date him or look like him. He had such gorgeous long golden locks, perfect piercing blue eyes and a divine ability to wear a glittery scarf is so many fabu ways! For a while my immigrant mother thought I was a lesbian since all the posters in my room featured musicians wearing eyeliner and skin-tight purple pants. Little did she know that beneath those purple pants were boners, boners I hoped from me! Whether he liked it or not, Bret would be attracted to me just as soon as I got a little older, perhaps grew some breasts and started my menstrual cycle.

Once I got the confidence I actually sent Bret a love letter including snap shots of me and all my Poison memorabilia (to see that photo click here). I figured if he saw that I did indeed spend all my babysitting income on not one, but five, Poison snap bracelets, he'd truly understand how much I loved him.

Unfortunately Bret did not respond to my courtship. Instead I received a letter inviting me to join the Poison fan club and postcard promoting Bret's then-girlfriend's new album! As if the rejection of my true love wasn't enough I had to have the image of his beautiful, blond bitch shoved in my sad little un-waxed adolescent face. I was distraught.

Eventually I began obsessing over real boys that I knew from school and Bret and his band became a distant memory. It wasn't until 2001 when my sister invited me to join her and her friends to see the Glam Slam Metal Jam in Worchester, Mass., that Bret and the boys even entered my thoughts. I ended up getting myself backstage (it seems to be a lot easier now than it was in 1987) and finally meeting my first love. We only hung out for a short time but Bret was very sweet and in his deep, sexy Philly accent he actually told me I was beautiful. I was very drunk and told him I used to be in love with him and then I made about 50 stupid nervous jokes about running away together. Eventually a scantly clad chick entered from the back of his trailer and I took that as my cue to exit. I would have loved to have spooned the night away with my man but his "beautiful" comment was enough to make my inner teenager feel like prom queen. Even though the gal who made her way to his lap as I made my way out of the bus was a tall, blond, thin, buxom fox I had to believe that Bret did truly find my short, brunette, curvy, ethnic self to be beautiful. Yes, I needed, or rather my adolescent ego needed "Something to Believe In."

So considering me and Bret's history it was no surprise that I got a dozen or so emails and phone calls from friends when the VH1 show Rock of Love announced it was casting. My pals dared me to try-out for the show and for a second I actually considered sending in an audition tape.

Yes, for a quick nostalgi- induced second I wondered about how I would convince my then-boyfriend to let me pretend to be single so that I could go on this show and bimbo-ishly bounce my way past the gaggle of other tramps to snag the hot tub seat closest to Bret while my mother and father watched their daughter whore herself on national television. I also wondered where my denim jacket with the pleather tassels and pins went because I'd be needing that to wear to the first elimination ceremony.

Luckily that second quickly passed and all thoughts of rocking Bret's love faded. There was no way in hell I would never ever go on a reality dating show (minus that time I was on Change of Heart when I first moved to L.A. in 2000, that's a whole other story). I wasn't even going to waste my time watching a stupid staged dating reality show. I was over Bret, Rock of Love and everything else so very wrong with the entertainment industry today.

That was until Rock of Love premiered this past weekend and I was once again infatuated with the man, the mystery, the mascara (does he still wear mascara? I just can't tell. He sure does have pretty eyelashes).

However my infatuation rapidly shifted from a burning lustful obsession for Bret Michaels to a puzzling horrified fascination of why the hell is Bret Michaels on this show? I mean I understand the concept of publicity, but this?

For those of you who have not yet seen Rock of Love (which is nearly impossible since it has aired at least 12 times since its debut) it just like Flavor of Love except the girls have on rocker wear instead of Rocawear. They are still trashy, still sleazy and still out of their minds and for some reason Bret Michaels wants America to watch him date, do, and then dispose of these broads, one by one. In just the first episode there was already a fight, a dozen or so make-out sessions, and an awkward display of dry-humping.

Damn, this show is awesome. And gross. This show is so awesome and so very gross.

My God, was I wrong in thinking that Bret Michaels career was doing okay? I mean, after 21 years of rock stardom he still tours, sells albums, and probably gets laid whenever he wants. So why would somebody who seems to have the dream life of a rockstar subject themselves to the nightmare of inevitably becoming just another reality star joke?

And was I also wrong in thinking that I was doing okay? I mean I'm smart, well-educated, and too-good to waste my precious time watching trashy TV. So why would somebody like me, who seems to have a good head on her shoulders subject themselves to watching this crap and inevitably becoming obsessed with this reality TV joke?

Now instead of glam-rock girl I am just a dumb girl, spending her Sunday nights ( and Monday afternoons, and Tuesday mornings) glued to her TV, shoving her morals, feminist theories, and taste aside to cheer on Brandi M and Heather and boo Raven and Tiffany as they kiss, lick and grab at my former flame.

I suppose we all have our weaknesses. If one of my biggest flaws is enjoying the train wreck that is Rock of Love and not actually being on Rock of Love, I guess my life isn't so bad. I've quit reading US Weekly at the gym. I've stopped checking entertainment gossip blogs to laugh at pics of celebutants and their "accidentally" exposed crotches. For the most part, I've done well in my quest to be pop poop free. But I'm not strong enough to resist the over-the-top, poorly-scripted, scantly-clad circuses that are reality dating shows, especially when they star my ex-pretend-boyfriend.

Besides I must admit, after seeing the contestants vying for Bret's crotch, I mean heart, I can safely say that Bret did indeed mean it when he called me beautiful cause between you, me and America some of these "babes" ain't so hot.

Then again, Bret did call all of them "beautiful" as they entered the Rock of Love mansion. I mean, every single one. Even the chick with the deer-in-headlights stare and perma-frown on her slightly distorted face, which leads to me to believe that Bret finds anything with ovaries attractive so perhaps his compliment to me wasn't as sincere as I had hoped.

I guess Every Rose does indeed Have its Thorn, whatever that means.