As we become more and more of a global society MTV keeps finding bombastic regional communities (see: Jersey Shore, Party Down South) that allow us to see how the other half hangs. Sure, the antics on these shows are outlandish, and some situations—but not reactions—are staged, but at the core, the programs are social documentaries. We’ve been to the boardwalk in Seaside, NJ and in the mud of Murrell’s Inlet, SC and had a blast, so where next? Well, much like how Disney blew our six-year-old minds by putting their beloved characters “On Ice,” MTV turned their cameras to a glacial gang of friends in Wasilla, Alaska. Watching Slednecks gives you the same invigorating feeling that you get from jumping out of a ski lodge hot tub and diving into the snow. There are badass dudes, girls with equal amounts nail polish to the dirt under their fingernails, and a moose or three. The tattooed temptress of the group, Tosca Yeager, was cool enough to tell us about her crew, ink and nude snowboarding. Enjoy the insight and watch Slednecks, 10 PM, Thursdays, on MTV.
What do Alaskans look for in a partner that may differ from we in the lower 48?
There are about eight guys to every girl. In Alaska, guys say, “You don’t lose your girl you only lose your turn.” Life in Alaska is tough and you need someone who can rough it with. I look for a man who is tough, rough and handsome. But really it’s all about if you can make me laugh.
How do Alaskans consume pop culture?
We catch things late; we’re about six months behind the lower 48. But I don’t conform to what everyone is doing. I like the ‘50s style and the ‘80s music. Axl Rose is my future husband.
What did your friends think of Jersey Shore and Party Down South?
Oh man, well a lot of us actually don’t own televisions or have internet. We’re way too busy playing around in this beautiful state. Although, the phrase GTL became pretty common.
What do you think separates Alaskans from the rest of the world?
Alaska is one big playground—we party on glaciers, snowboard naked, go airboating on ice and have bears and reindeer as our neighbors! Where else can you do all that? Alaskans are tough and you gotta be thick-skinned to survive. It can get as cold as -40 and yet people still live here. If that doesn’t set us apart, I don’t know what does.
How do Alaskans view the Palins?
I’m sure everyone has mixed feelings. I graduated from the same high school as Sarah Palin and I have friends who party with the Palin kids. I heard about the brawl. I think it’s awesome; she kind of reminds me of a Grizzly just looking out for her cubs.
How did your family come to live in Alaska?
When my dad was active duty he got stationed here and met my mama bear. We lived in Anchorage for a bit, which is the closest to a big city, then moved to Wasilla and got a piece of the free land. If you venture far enough you discover a place of no rules. I love it.
Where did the name Tosca come from?
When my mom was a kid she met a Russian girl named Tosca. I have a twin sister and my mom said, “The first one is Kyra, the second one Tosca.” It took me 15 minutes after Kyra to join the world. I’m glad I waited; it’s rare. Have you ever met another Tosca?
What is tattoo culture like in Alaska?
It’s rapidly growing. It’s wild! I don’t see many people who have dedicated their body as much as I have, but with time I see that changing. I’m glad I didn’t go with typical girl tattoos...
Aren’t you guys covered-up most of the year so that nobody can see your ink?
Heck no! It’s a tactic to finding a handsome man by asking to borrow their jacket (wink). I’ve been to Fairbanks when its -20 so being in +20 I take as a blessing. I also pray that every place I walk into has their heat on.
Of your ink, which piece is your favorite?
My side. I love all my work, but that particular one is for my Grandpa. He taught me how to bear hunt. We hunted with hound dogs that would chase bears up trees. Those memories I hold so dear to my heart.
It looks like you are working on a back piece, what is it of?
Kevin Harden at Spenard Tattoo is a tremendous artist. We recreated one of his original prints. I see the octopus as the ocean’s strongest animal, and the bear is Alaska’s strongest land animal. The piece is an octopus ripping apart a bear skull. It’s only a matter of time before I start my leg sleeve!
You’ve got some inspirational ink; did events in your life drive you to get tattooed?
Hardships, yes. The sleeve is a representation of never losing hope. Natural disasters are a flower’s biggest obstacle to stand through; I strongly believe that with hope anything is possible. If we as people never lose hope we, too, can stand through our own obstacles.
Does your military father have tattoos?
Yes! He is also sleeved out! A portion of my love for tattoos came from him. I always liked that people look at him and would be like, “Tosca your dad is so scary,” and wouldn't approach him. I wanted that, I thought the only people worth talking to were the ones gutsy enough to approach you.
What does he think of your tattoos?
I’m his Tosca Jo, he’s my best friend, and he lets me be my own person. He does think that maybe the mouth tattoo might have been a little much. Oh, and the tattoo of my ex’s name….yeah he didn’t like that.
What has fueled your desire to become a mortician?
I started college with goals to be a teacher for children with disabilities because I knew I wanted to spend my life helping people. After my grandpa died of brain cancer, and seeing all his pain and suffering end, I could never get that image of how peaceful he looked out of my head. I knew that was my calling, right then I decided I was going to spend my life helping people say their final goodbyes.
Where does your obsession with death come from? Is it a healthy fear from living in the wild or are you just impassioned by the seriousness of it all?
It’s crazy because my biggest fear is death. The thought of it scares me so much, but I just cannot get away from the fascination I have, and becoming a mortician will allow me to base my entire life around it. I’ve been to morgues and watched autopsies—just the idea of not knowing what you’re going to see when the sheet is pulled up consumes me.
What skill do you look most for in a mate? What is more attractive: a man who can hunt or a man who can fish?
Survival. I love a man who isn’t afraid to hunt and use all the resources the wilderness has to offer. It’s a great plus when he can cook what he has caught. The best meat I ever ate was black bear meat cooked over the fire. YUM! If a man is afraid the dirt stains won’t come out of his pants, he isn’t for me.
What is the sexiest area for a man to have tattoos?
I’d say the hands. I like a man with strong work hands, and if those hands have tattoos, well I might just faint into his hopefully tattooed arms.