May 4, 2014
The "Funny Girl" on Suburban America: The Impact of Lucille Ball
Today, the coined term "nuclear family", refers to the ideal white husband and wife, along with their well-behaved children, that life in the lovely suburban neighborhood with a loving home and a white picket fence. There was a lot of hype that this was the "American dream" that every man in America strove for. However, during this era, there was a strong gender divide in what it was to be a man, and what it was to be a woman. Men were the dominant beings, making the money for their families and laying down the rules within their home. Women consisted of the "typical" housewife, one that was a nurturing mother, while expected to keep the house clean and to have dinner on the table by the time her husband returned from work.
It was not the woman's place to speak out against her husband, but instead follow along with his opinions and guidelines. With such a routine lifestyle, it was hard for the average woman to break out of her shell and redefine societal norms on what it took to be a "woman". Lucille Ball, known for her main role in the television sitcom I Love Lucy, was the voice of this woman-in-distress role that was stereotypical of that era. She was the funny girl turned successful and showed the world that though she played a role who often needed a man, that was not necessarily the case in order to be her own woman, an idea that would spark a generation.
The introduction of live television and television sitcoms dissolved the gap of differences between "what was real" and "what was fake". In order to...