Trends ebb and flow, interests wax and wane, but some things never go out of style — and by that, I mean New Jersey. The Garden State has transfixed the American gaze for years due to its chief export: outrageous people. Everyone wants to tell New Jersey's stories. HBO brought us the mob, MTV gave us guidos and now TikTok has blessed us with our newest Turnpike ambassador: Roz Del Mauro, a 55-year-old woman out of North Arlington.
So many things make Roz the perfect person to assume the mantle: Her pink-swooped hair, her fashion-but-make-it-camp glasses that may or may not be real, her larger-than-life hoops. Like so many Jersey delicacies before her (Bruce Springstreen, Wendy Williams, pork roll), Roz has amassed a deeply devoted cult following, mainly from her eccentric fashion and trivial hot takes filmed at suburban department stores and restaurants. With more than 25k followers on TikTok, Roz has yet to break into the big leagues, but the internet loves an unlikely darling.
PAPER caught up with the exasperated creator to chat all things — you guessed it! — New Jersey, and learn why life is so much better with a little cocktail and a lot of Pitbull.
Roz, who are you?
Well, I'm a single mom. I've been in the legal field as a secretary for over 30-something years. I just like to have fun. I like to go out and have a good time. I support LGBTQ. I like to have a cocktail. I love the beach. I love going to concerts. Pitbull is my lifestyle. My love of my life. I've got a whole list, but he's number one.
Beach, Pitbull, cocktails. Seems like a fun girl to me!
I don't know. I just like to go out to eat. I'm not, like, a party freak. People think that, but I'm not.
People also think you're hilarious because you're blowing up on TikTok!
I feel like this is the best time of my life. All the years, everything I've been through — like, I'm living my best life. People come up to me, "Oh my god! You're JerZ Queen! You're from TikTok!" I had to sign a girl's back at Just Jake's in Montclair. Because she, like, couldn't even breathe!
With the TikToks, I went viral when I was in Miami, which I think was last January. But I'm trying not to get obsessed with TikTok because I was six months ago while I was trying to be verified. So it's all about your niche and how it can push you out into social media and make money.
How would you define the JerZ Queen niche?
So I did a video when I was in Hoboken, and I go to this place — I went to this place on multiple occasions — and the service is not good. But I still go, and people thought it was the funniest thing. And people are like, "But there's not five limes in your drink!"
So if I'm translating correctly, that's Jersey for "hot takes."
Yeah, just things I think are hysterical. And I don't mean it in a bitchy nasty way. I'm doing it more to put a smile on somebody's face. Like in this other video, it was my girlfriend's birthday, and I asked for pickles and I got ranch dressing. I literally laughed for a half hour and must have did six to eight takes before I could get the video. I couldn't fathom how you get ranch from pickles. It's not even in the same category!
Give me a hot take right now.
Facebook's worthless. I actually just logged out of it. I can't be bothered. It's like, "Oh, look at my table I set for Mother's Day. Oh, my dog's gotta go to the vet." Or, "Why did somebody take my parking spot?" That's not what I'm about. It should be about fun and exciting things. As soon as I switched to Instagram, I laid in bed for two hours and took down every single post that was just about the beach, a sunrise, a sunset. And I was like Instagram's about me. It's not about the sunrise and the sunset. It's about me.
You're putting Jersey on the TikTok map just like Jersey Shore and The Sopranos put it into our nightmares. What are some New Jersey misconceptions?
They think it's all about the big hair and the fake eyelashes and get a boob job and get your lips done. It's really not that. That's social media. That's housewives. They think Jersey girls are gonna beat you up. That's a total misconception. There are people like that, but there's people like that everywhere around the world. Jersey's just, like, we're cool. We're about the beach. Let's have a cocktail.
What's your signature cocktail?
Everybody asks. It's definitely vodka. So it's Ketel One Botanical Peach & Orange. Or it's Tito's. Or it's Voli. And if they don't have any of those I'll go with Stoli. And then of course I got my Ocean Spray Light — not Diet. Light Cran. So I fill it quarter of the way with cran, and then all the way to the top with water. And then half a lemon and I put it in the bottom of the glass and just keep smashing it with my plastic straw, so all the seeds and pulp and everything comes out. So good.
If you were to take me out on the town, what would our night look like?
We'd go to 626 in Jersey City. Even though it's an LGBTQ club, it's a mixture and there's no judgment. It's judgment free. I talk to everybody. We dance, have a cocktail, have an appetizer. It would be a fabulous, fabulous night.
That does sound fabulous. Especially being your plus one! You'll have to help me put together a Jersey look.
I've been wearing the same size hoops since I was in my middle 20s. I gave birth to my daughter in hoops this big. Couldn't go to sleep unless I had my earrings in.
But they're so big.
Yeah, I had to sleep with my earrings. I don't know, it was like a security thing.
How big would you say they are?
Everybody puts their hand through it when I go out. And guys, if they're gay, say something else.
They're fisting them.
Yeah, they say it in a porn kind of way. I get a kick out of it. If I were to walk out of the house and not have earrings on, it would be like I was naked. I'm all about style. A lot of people don't want to come out of their shell because they're afraid people are gonna look at them and judge. I'm like, "Judge me all you want! I'm me! You don't like it? That's fine."
That's a really great message. And I think it's one that will resonate with a lot of people. Especially gay men.
I have so many gay friends. That's who I was out last night with. I love them. I love them. They're like my kids.
Where did the Pitbull love start?
Pitbull started the first time I saw him in concert. Then I met him, but I wasn't supposed to meet him.
What does that mean?
I don't remember the year. Maybe 2015. I had a VIP at the PNC Art Center down in Holmdel. And it was just cocktails and appetizers. And I had the sixth row. And it was 105 degrees. And I looked like crap. But I met a couple who was meeting him and I was like, "Oh my God, I want to meet him." And the girls that were promoting his Stoli vodka at the cocktail hour loved me and said, "Listen, no one's going to check your tag. Just stay over there in the corner when they tell everybody to leave." So then I was first in line. Now I start crying. I talked to him. I held the line up for 15 minutes. He is the most amazing man. The sweetest, kindest. I could be so depressed, and just put Pitbull on and everything goes away. He's the light of my life, besides my daughter.
So for you it goes a little deeper.
He's my lifestyle. He's my love. He can't make a bad song. He's a great person. He's a great father, great son, great everything. And everybody needs that kind of guy in their life. I mean, I have two different [Pitbull] song verses tattooed on my ankles.
I don't remember that name of the song, but one says, "I am what I thought I would never become, and I believed and I became it." The other one says, "Rider, survivor, motherfucking fighter!"
The other ankle also says, "Dalé." Because at the end of everything he always says, "Dalé." And then on my back I have cross and the ribbon in the cross says, "Pitbull."
You know, Roz, I'm not sure if you can tell, but I've got a little Jersey in me. My mom grew up in Bellville.
That's where I'm from!
No! I swear to God! What's her last name?
(Turns out, my mom and Roz attended the same high school, albeit a few years apart. They bonded over a mutual dislike for the principal at the time. "People think Jersey girls talk funny," my mom said. "We don't have an accent," Roz replied. "Everyone else does!")