This proud housewife baked from scratch and scrubbed the floors like the Swiffer* mop hadn't been invented. It appeared her only companions were the residents of an old people's home All the women featured liked the idea of living in simpler times – though why you'd pick the Second World War as your nostalgia era was never quite explained. Or examined. It just wasn't that kind of documentary. They cited the old days when people didn't get divorced and were generally happy with their lot.
There's been a continued boom going on in vintage for a while now. Sometimes we flirt with the 1920s or '60s. We've decided that the 1980s now qualifies for vintage, I don't even want to talk about what people are saying about 1990's grunge. But it seems we always come back to the 1950s style. Aesthetically it can suit any body type (if you go in for that kind of thing – I'm more of the school 'if you like it, wear it') because it embraced both the buxom and the gamine figure. The Loren and the Hepburn, so it's popular with a wide variety of people.
Apparently though the fascination with the 1950s doesn't begin and end with having a postcard of Marilyn on your wall. There is also the 1950's housewife lifestyle that was, according to the Telegraph, appealing to the designers showing at London Fashion Week and Mad Men watching masses (which is set in the 1960s, masses, but don't let that trouble you).
It seems peculiar that we simultaneously hold the 1950s housewife up as an ideal and something to laugh at
Designer Louise Gray had her models stalk the catwalk with plastic bags and foil baking trays attached to their clothing. Ekaterina Kukhareva focused on the concept of housewife driven mad by boredom. Telegraph writer Felicity Capon notes today's pop stars also draw hugely on the 1950s housewife look, citing Katy Perry and quoting Taylor Swift's Harper's Bazaar interview in which the successful songwriter spoke of her 1950s fantasy: “it’s wonderful to hand over the reins to your boyfriend when you control so much of these big, high-pressure decisions, you know?” Is it me or did Swift rather alarmingly describe a father, rather than a partner?
It seems peculiar that we simultaneously hold the 1950s housewife up as an ideal and something to laugh at. I just did earlier suggesting they were a bunch of bored borderline alcoholics. To us they are a cartoon waiting for Betty Friedan to cut their apron strings.
So it is an odd idea or theme to repeatedly return to, a highly strung joke on tranqs. It doesn't have much history to back it up as a tradition. It's usually been necessary for women to do some form of work outside the home. Could it be because to be somewhat one dimensional is a luxury?
Careful what you wish for. Because we might actually be living it.
*which, don't tell anyone, I feverishly yearn for. It just mops spills right up!