There was a time–roughly around years 8 and 9–when I would have told you that Jennifer Grey was my celebrity crush. After I saw both Dirty Dancing and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, I was convinced she was everything I could have wanted in a woman: a nice Jewish girl who just wanted to dance, and she looked a lot like a counselor at my summer camp. She had a nice-sized nose, curly hair, and fit the profile of the sort of woman I’d continue harboring crushes on well into my adulthood (read: Freudian). 1988 came and went, and by 1989, Jennifer Grey was nowhere to be seen. She disappeared off the cultural radar, proving that nobody puts Baby in the corner, but the masses might forget about her pretty quickly.
A few years later she resurfaced on a network television show that I fail to recall now, but I decided for old times sake, I’d tune in. I watched and watched but couldn’t figure out where she was. There was some WASPy looking woman with a tiny nose…and…oh…my…god. Jennifer Grey got her nose done! I became disillusioned fast. That feelings I had for her were quickly squashed, because clearly, Jennifer had sold her soul to her plastic surgeon. Maybe she didn’t want to be pigeonholed as an “ethnic” actress, or maybe she had the same hangups that a dozen girls I’d grown up around had about their noses.
Fast forward to yesterday: it was announced that Jennifer Grey will be a contestant–along with Bristol Palin, “The Situation,” and David Hasselhoff– on Dancing With the Stars. It all came full circle. Jennifer Grey, 20 or so years past her glory, and sans Jewish nose, on a show with a bunch of has beens, hacks, and a douchebag from The Jersey Shore. How far she’d fallen from being Baby, the girl at a Catskills resort who got all excited that she carried a watermelon and had the chutzpah to stick up to her father.