The Happy Suburban Housewife (c. 1945-1963)
June CleaveróBeaverís Mom!
She's the quintessential TV momóreally, really swell. Being there for her family and keeping her home neat and orderly are June's main concerns. As Eddie Haskell comments, "Your kitchen always looks so clean. It looks as though you never do any work in here."
Born June Evelyn Bronson, Wally and Beaver's mom met Ward Cleaver when she moved to Mayfield as a teenager. She attended State College, and after completing her education, married Ward and began living the ideal '50s domestic lifestyle.
Like any good mother, June often worries about Wally and the Beaver, but she never fails to greet life's daily challenges with the sweet and gentle demeanor that most of us wish our mothers had. A sensible wife, mother and homemaker, her cookie drawer is always full, the coffee is always fresh, and she never has a hair out of place.
How to be a Good Wife
(From a High Scholl Home Economics book, 1954)
Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal, on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking of him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.
Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so that youíll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.
Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the home just before your husband arrives, gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too.
Some doníts: Donít greet him with problems or complaints. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest that he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.
Listen to him. You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.
Make the evening his. Never complain if he doesnít take you out to dinner or other places of entertainment. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and relax.
ďIn general, the postwar [WWII] media worked to glorify womenís place in the home, as wives and mothers, and to exaggerate femaleness, especially female bodies. . . . Even clothes exaggerated womenís specifically female features. Lacking any functionalism whatsoever, they were restrictive and impractical: hourglass shapes with large breasts, small waists compressed by cinch belts, skirts made huge by enormous crinolines, and high-heeled and pointed toe shoes.Ē
Fifties fashion show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1PJLeMRF-U