the big trend right now in...well...fucking EVERYTHING is inclusiveness. media representation of under represented groups.
we need more people of color in the oscars and academy awards.
we need more trans people in tv shows.
we need more women in high power jobs.
we need more plus sized women in fashion.
we need more of...
here's my list: KEEP EXPANDING "NORMAL," THE WORK ISN'T DONE YET.
my teenager went on another rant last night- i'm a bad mom, i'm a sinner, i'm a terrible example. i'm single- why can't i find him a dad? but if i want to have sex i need to rent a hotel room, not do it at home where he might hear. but i shouldn't be having sex with anyone i'm not married to, that's a sin.
then there's my tattoos...one minute he wants to show them off and brag to everyone that i have them, the next minute the old testament is telling him that i need to be stoned to death for "marking my flesh."
and why does my hair always have to be so weird? why do i have to pick weird cuts and colors?
WHY CAN'T WE BE NORMAL?
aside from the mind boggling amount of shame in those few statements being hurled at me from a fourteen year old, i get the core issue: he wants to be "normal" in his teenage definition of the word.
"normal" is Tool Time- dad, mom, kids, suburban home, yard, everyone clean cut, all problems solved in a half hour. "normal" is the status quo- nothing "unusual," nothing that would make your friends say "it's not like that at our house," or have any reason to tease. "normal" is the cookie cutter...the hollywood casting call: down to the details.
the dad: khaki's, *MAYBE* jeans, tee shirt, no offensive slogans, ever. actually, probably not even a tee shirt. who wears those? polo shirts all the way. sensible, stable job where no one quite knows what he does, but he's gone 8-5, brings home the paycheck, maybe coaches your little league team if there's time. always drives the car when the family goes anywhere, always in control.
the mom: politely dressed, sensible hair cut in a sensible color NEVER from a box or anything outside the standard blonde, brunette, *maybe* a redhead. she might work or talk about "going back to work", but her main job is "domestic engineer" running kids to school and sports and volunteering in the classrooms, always available to drop everything when one of the kids has a crisis.
the kids: probably a boy and a girl, maybe two boys...if you want to be edgy throw a third kid in there. three kids is actually a good split- then you can have the brain, the athletics, the artist. good to keep them all separated. no one has more than one interest. they all have name brand clothes, the latest devices, a large group of friends, a healthy dose of teen angst and "i'm not like you" thrown at the parents before a tidy resolution and hug at the end.
anyone in the real world knows this casting call "normal" doesn't exist outside hollywood and *maybe* a few small towns in kansas.
even hollywood started catching on a long time ago- married with children was not a "normal" house. roseanne had "plus size" before that was an official label. they had poker night and beer and trouble with work. full house pushed the "normal" line with a single parent (even though i never really thought of it as a single parent home with the extra live in help around). grace under fire really pushed the line- a low income single mom who worked, didn't have live in help and even some addiction issues.
"normal" has been pushed.
there is no TV "normal" outside an archaic mindset.
if my teenager bothered to look around himself at church and talk to the other teenagers he would see that probably very few of them have his ideal "normal" house.
and, SPOILER ALERT, "normal" houses still have problems. they have bills to pay. they have bad days. they have arguments and rules. they have addiction problems or cheating scandals or struggle to make ends meet. they have parents telling their teenagers things they don't want to hear. they have fights and grounding and learning curves.
and, hold on to your hats kids, "normal" houses have moms that dye their hair. they have people that get tattoos. they have people that drink. they have people that *GASP* have sex.
OH THE HUMANITY.
i get that my teenager wants to be "normal." he wants his idea of how things are supposed to be and apparently i'm not that. i do curse. i do smoke pot. i do have sex. i do have tattoos.
but, i guess, until they have a prime time must see tv show with a mom like me, it will never be good enough.
dragging around to what started out to be the point: why ISN'T there a mom like me on tv? why are tattoos still so taboo? why is colored hair still so strange? why is being single still a stigma?
i say tattoo, what do you picture? sons of anarchy? biker gang? drug home? why can't there be moms in sitcom television with visible tattoos? have you looked around a middle school soccer game lately? the number of parents without SOME kind of mark or piercing is shrinking rapidly.
why can't there be a mom with non-standard hair? would tool time have been any different if jill had purple hilights? or maybe even an all over mermaid hair color? would modern family be ruined if gloria had a vibrant screaming red hair color? or maybe even claire? whaaaaat??
and yes, plus size is getting more representation, but i have yet to see just a regular mom role that's plus sized that's not frumpy. freaks and geeks- remember when they read the diary about how the mom had just given up? that's what any plus sized mom is seen as- someone that's given up.
you hear single mom and what do you picture? MTV teen moms? a shady run down apartment on the bad side of town? someone working a gas station job becuase they never finished high school? honey boo boo with a mom so desperate to find a husband that she'll date a man who abused her kids?
what if...WHAT IF you had a mom that was an educated, single, plus sized, working, tattooed, home owner?
what if _I_ was on your tv?
i mean, obviously _I_ can't be on your tv. maybe a netflix original where they don't have to worry about language sensors so much.
but why not? i'll tell you a secret...the same shit happens to me that happens to other people. death? not selective. teenager issue? again, not an exclusive club. annoying co-workers? i *think* i've heard a few other people mention they have those. trouble in the dating world? UNDISCOVERED TERRITORY.
funny thing how, despite my tattoos, despite my double digit ass, despite my "not found in nature" hair i'm still pretty...normal.
hit me up hollywood. i've got some killer story lines.