Roseanne Becomes A Role Model
It?s eight o?clock in the evening, I have settled down on the couch to watch some primetime television. As I flip through the channels I realize how superficial and unrealistic the actresses truly are. I also began to notice one common thread between all of the women portrayed on television; most look like they just got done with a photo shoot for Cosmopolitan or Playboy. The men portrayed seem to be a little more realistic and down to earth. This brought out a startling realization that men can be just the guys next door; while women need to be drop dead gorgeous. The ?Roseanne? sitcom is the only show that I can think of that didn?t fit these generalizations.
When looking back at what I gained from watching ?Roseanne,? the television sitcom from the late eighties, I see a woman who wasn?t afraid to tell the world, ?World, this is who I am. Deal with it!? I really feel Roseanne lived by this motto. She was over-weight boisterous, sometimes downright obnoxious person, but she always seemed to have her heart in the right place. She was a positive role model to many, encouraging many women to show off to society who they really are, giving us a sense of inner-beauty for a change.
American women did not have to compete with her, only themselves. Nobody started over-eating to look like Roseanne (nor really wanted to), but she inspired many to believe that it is all right to be over-weight. In fact, Roseanne and people with weight management problems make up approximately sixty percent of the U.S. population; try finding that percentage of lead roles on television that are women. Only thin women land roles as television leads on sitcoms, and seeing an over-weight woman the star of a sitcom up until the eighties was just unheard of. Roseanne broke into the nineties with ratings higher than ever. She not only broke the social norm but also gained tremendous momentum for others to follow in her footsteps, the only problem no one has followed yet.
As the series came to a grinding halt in 1995 (after a year of terrible script writing), it would have appeared to be a perfect time for series creators to follow Roseanne?s traits and do a spin-off. Nobody followed and society is still waiting. An over-weight teen may be a simple answer for the role model we are expecting in sitcoms. Roseanne has proven it?s all right to be an over-weight middle-aged woman, but girls in their teenage years need role models more than anyone else at any other age. Teens are the ones prone to eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia usually inspired by the way sitcoms portray their images at their age.
American women of all ages need to take a stance on the images that are being portrayed on television. America needs more Roseanne?s out there to come forward and tell the television writers and creators that American women represent the majority of the population, and they want to see more shows that they can relate to. Granted, television has made some headway with shows such as the ?Drew Carey Show.? This show depicts an over-weight star, Drew Carey, a balding, middle-aged man whom most would consider a loser. Although Drew is a man whom many males can relate to, male role models are less in need.
The Drew Carey Show unfortunately depicts the usual role for an over-weight female character named ?Mimi.? She?s downright mean and unlikable to many, stirring countless hours of laughter by insensitive males stemmed at her looks. The writers dress Mimi up in clothes that would be suitable for only a clown at a carnival, thus demising any attempt women have of seeing her as a true three-dimensional character. This has once diminished any small chance of over-weight women seeing the true Hollywood stardom Roseanne was able to attain simply by showing who she really was.
Teenaged girls watch countless hours of sitcoms, MTV, and read plenty of magazines directed at ?how to present oneself as the norm in society.? If we in society can take a stance and try to make some headway in sitcoms by starting a role for a normal teenaged girl, MTV and the teenaged girl magazines will follow. All it will take is another Roseanne, another three-dimensional character most all girls can relate to in some way.
Roseanne broke all traditions of reserving women who are beautiful based on their looks alone for leads on sitcoms. Her show became an instant hit by showing and telling America who she really was, simply by telling the truth. Why not mimic the success of her show and grow with it as society has in recent years. We as a society are a whole lot more understanding to adverse looks since Roseanne began and even more so since it ended. Why not try giving another Roseanne, better yet, a teenaged Roseanne a chance?