Once upon a time, June Cleaver was the most visible example on TV of how to be a mother. It's not hard to see how that depiction left the vast majority of moms—i.e. non-white moms, working moms, single moms, and moms who hated cooking dinner—feeling unseen.
Today, there are as many representations of motherhood on screen as there are, well, TV moms. In honor of Mother’s Day, we salute every one of them for showing the world that it’s possible to parent in poignant, imperfect, and hilarious ways.
Image by Archive Photos / Stringer / Getty Images
Whereas immigrant parents can sometimes be reduced to stereotypes on screen, Nalini—as well as Devi’s late father, Mohan, who appears in flashbacks—are depicted with unrelenting honesty.
In six seasons and nearly three decades of syndication, the fierce mother of three has transcended the small screen and shot into icon status.
The news of Walter’s death has made me realize how much it meant to me to see a mother figure on TV who wasn’t perpetually warm or nurturing.
Each character synthesizes the societal expectations placed upon them and subverts them by acting as a formidable matriarchal unit.
Happy homemakers could be found on every network, from the patient mom Margaret Anderson of Father Knows Best to the profoundly agreeable June Cleaver of Leave It to Beaver. Instead, on I Love Lucy, Lucy was a hot mess.
Re-examining a character who once personified Ideal Black Motherhood.
In our real lives, our moms also existed mostly as supporting characters, secondary to our school or relationship dramas, appearing only when we needed a ride, someone to sign a permission slip, or occasionally, a hug. Thinking of them as fully formed humans with their own dreams and passions would never have crossed our minds.
The anthropomorphic dog and her family have put Australia on the centre of the world stage—and captured hearts along the way.