"Downtown Girls" Style Isn't So Downtown

Michele Zipp
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downtown girls
Photo from MTV

I live in NYC and was born in Brooklyn. I've hung around the downtown New York scene since I was 17 years old. We're talking the beginning of the '90s here, so I've seen many styles come and go. Downtown to me means Lower East Side and that's where so many trends are born.

And while the cast of MTV's Downtown Girls are super-cute and stylish, in no way do they truly represent what downtown is really all about. I was once a "downtown" girl -- and it wasn't that long ago that I'm so out of touch. These girls are the girls who took taxis from uptown to meet gritty boys who play rock and roll. They aren't real downtown girls.

I feel that way about The Real Housewives of NYC too. I mean, Bethenny wasn't even a wife when the show started. And I'm a housewife (by their definition) and see nothing of myself or my other housewifey friends in any of those women. Not everyone in NYC is rich. I live just blocks away from Alex McCord and I don't live like she does. Though we've been to the same local bar -- I sat next to her and Simon once.

I know reality shows barely touch on reality. But I can't help but be annoyed with Downtown Girls representing the real downtown. The only thing that separates these chicks from the biddies on The Hills is that there are more brunettes and a lot of the clothes are black.

A real show on downtown girls needs to be gritty and cutting-edge and show style that no one's ever seen before by designers who have yet to emerge. By the looks of these ladies, they're wearing off-the-rack Barney's items, not something stitched up by their designer friend trying to make it big, mixed with a vintage find from Housing Works. Nikki, the girl on the far right with the lace tank, comes the closest, but if she had some tattoos and smudgier eye makeup with not so perfect hair, she'd be more believable.

Still, I'm going to watch the show. We'll see if my thoughts change once I do.

Downtown Girls premieres June 1 at 11p.m./10c on MTV.

Will you be watching?

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