Guido (, Italian: ['?wi:do]) is a North American slang term, often derogatory, for a working-class urban Italian American. The guido stereotype is multi-faceted. Originally, it was used as a demeaning term for Italian Americans in general. More recently, it has come to refer to Italian Americans who conduct themselves in an overtly macho manner. The time period in which it obtained the later meaning is not clear, but some sources date it to the 1970s or 1980s. The term is not currently used in Italy.
The term is used in states and metropolitan areas associated with large Italian-American populations, such as New York City, Buffalo, Detroit, Ohio, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston, Providence, and New Jersey. In other areas, terms such as "Cugine" (Brooklyn), "Mario" (Chicago) and "Gino" (Toronto) have a meaning similar to guido. Although some Italians self-identify as "guidos", the term is often considered derogatory or an ethnic slur.
MTV caused controversy in 2009 when they used the term in promotions for the reality television show Jersey Shore. This spurred objections from Italian-American organizations such as Unico National, NIAF, the Order Sons of Italy in America, and the Internet watchdog organization ItalianAware. Although MTV removed the term from some promotions, it remains closely associated with the show, and some of the cast members use it regularly to describe themselves while the females sometimes refer to themselves as a "guidette."
According to author and professor Pellegrino D'Acierno, "guido" is a derogatory term for stereotypical working class or lower class Italian American males, "a pejorative term applied to lower-class, macho, gold-amulet-wearing, self-displaying neighborhood boys [...] [with a] penchant for cruising in hot cars [...] Guidette is their gum-chewing, big-haired, air-headed female counterpart." In regards to the "guido" stereotype and the depiction of working class Italian American communities in American film, Peter Bondanella contends that: "Although some films view the working class as a potentially noble and dignified group, others see the working-class Italian American as a Guido or Guidette - part of a tasteless, uneducated, prejudiced group of characters with vulgar gold chains, big hair, and abrasive manners."
Clothing often associated with the "Guido" stereotype includes gold chains (often herringbones chains, Figaro chains, cornicellos, or saint medallions), pinky rings, oversized gold or silver crucifixes, rosaries worn as necklaces, working class clothing such as plain T-shirts, muscle shirts or "guinea Ts", leather jackets, sweat or tracksuits, scally caps, unbuttoned dress shirts, tank tops featuring martial arts logos, designer brand T-shirts such as Armani, Affliction, or Ed Hardy (especially from 2010-15), and often typical Italian "tamarro" or "truzzo" club dress. Slicked-back hair and pompadours, blowouts, tapers, poofs, quiffs, fades and heavily pomaded or gelled hair are also common stereotypes.
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