Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Pop Culture Salute to Stepmothers

With Mother's Day on the weekend horizon,I thought it would be nice to acknowledge a few maternal figures who are usually portrayed as bad guys but are not always so. Yes,I'm talking about stepmothers,those women who take on a second marriage and try to make the best of it,especially for the kids.

For example,one of the most beloved mothers in television history is actually a stepmom. Carol Brady,who got three new sons along with new husband Mike,always made an effort to treat both her girls and boys the same way in terms of love and discipline.

An early episode of the Brady Bunch had Mike and Carol trade parenting places with the children to see which one of them could bond the best. Carol wound up having to teach the boys baseball,but they actually taught her a thing or two,in a humorously respectful manner. Turns out Mike wasn't any better at conducting cooking lessons with Marcia and her sisters but that attempt at spending equal time was appreciated by all :

Another spunky stepmother came from the syndicated TV series,Reba in the early 2000s. Barbara Jean was overtly sweet to everyone,which was annoying at times yet her sincere desire to be a member of the rather extended Hart family eventually won over all of them. While her stepkids did see her as a bit of a ditz,they did accept Barbara Jean as part of their lives long before Reba herself did.

Oddly enough,the stepchild that Barbara Jean bonded with the most was Kyra,whose sarcasm and fiery temperament made it hard for her own family to like at times. Something about their two rather opposite natures,however,just clicked together and their kinship created a nearly perfect harmony:

Fictional accounts of stepmothers,fairy tale or otherwise,tend to make them the household aggressor but in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility,she is the one being persecuted. Mrs. Dashwood is not only forced by law to hand over her home to her stepson,Fanny,her stepdaughter-in-law goes out of her way to make her feel unwelcome,not to mention her husband's half-sisters as well.

Despite these troubles,the elder Mrs. Dashwood shows true decorum in enduring these trials,unlike the younger Mrs. Dashwood,who should be more gracious if she truly intends to be considered a lady worthy of holding an estate. Then again,some things can not be taught to those unwilling to learn:

Finally,it's fitting to also showcase a step-grandmother,even if she isn't exactly the best role model in town. While Sally Draper on Mad Men does have a stepmother in Megan,they haven't had too much personal interaction this season unlike Pauline Francis,who has become an on-the-spot babysitter and unlikely confidante for the budding teen.

Don't get me wrong,Pauline is not a warm and cuddly person,plus her habit of handing out pills to the females in her family to fix any need is not a good one. Yet,despite her gruff exterior and strict ways,she does mean well and seems to truly want to give Sally some sensible advice about handling life's little challenges:

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers of every type everywhere. Remember,biology does not a good parent make but even if you have had some strife with your step mother in the past,that doesn't mean you have to be at each other's throats forever. Believe it or not,there will be a time when the two of you can sit down and share a glass of apple juice to laugh your former friction away:

No comments: