Sunday, March 22, 2009

Wilma and Betty, Revisited

I'm recycling a post from last November in honor of my daughter, Lindsey, who is planning a trip to see her best friend. Separated by distance, they remain close. This picture is of Lindsey and Maria in costumes Lindsey made. Who knew she'd still like to play dress-up in her 20s?!

I had to laugh recently when I heard someone say that the cartoon “The Flintstones” was really promoting Marxism, and that there were ideological messages about the individual’s place in society hidden within the cartoon. That sure wasn’t the message I got from watching “The Flintstones,” a staple in my Saturday morning lineup of cartoons while growing up.

I watched as Fred and Wilma and their neighbors, Barney and Betty, dealt with stone-age suburban problems, work issues, difficult bosses, friendships, crises, out-of-control pets and children, and their primitive versions of modern conveniences. They got caught up in the same things we do today: fads and crazes, celebrity idolization, dreaming of the ‘good life’. They struggled through mistakes and misunderstandings, bad decisions and anger. They laughed and cried, fought and made up with one another, always learning important lessons about life and relationships along the way.

But it was Wilma and Betty I admired most. They were the level-headed ones. They were strong female voices of reason. They served to check and balance the harebrained schemes Barney and Fred dreamt up. Most of all, they were best friends for more than 30 years. My very favorite Flintstone episode was when Wilma and Betty took Judo lessons to protect themselves from a neighborhood prowler. I loved their practical responses to things (most of the time!) and their mutual support. I still think they’re great role models for girls, teaching us the importance and endurance of friendship. It takes a long time to grow an old friend, and every minute is worth it. Yabba-Dabba Do, Lindsey and Maria!


Poetikat said...

Oh, Peggy! The Flintstones were on my t.v. set everyday at lunch time before I went back to school. Both Kevin and I are big fans.

I can hear Wilma's and Betty's giggles right now! I have always seen them as the animated "Honeymooners" (well - at least since I've been old enough to realize that). There are so many snippets of shows that I recall: The Water Buffalo Logde (Wilma and Betty infiltrate the inner sanctum), Mr. Slate, Dino's bark, Fred's dream about Pebble's and Bam Bam's elopement - remember that one? The Way-outs and oh, I've got to get those dvds!

Great, memorable photo. I also have a picture of myself in full-Wilma gear, complete with spray-painted hair and leopard-skin dress. I was a teacher aide and went all out for Hallowe'en.

I do agree, the girls were great role models of strength, ingenuity and wisdom (and forgiveness, as I recall).


Derrick said...

Now Peggy,

Wilma and Betty just kept poor Fred and Barney under their thumbs, putting a damper on their enthusiasm and keeping them firmly in the dog house!

Great fun wasn't it?!

dancing doc design said...

You are so right about the nature of growing a long, close friendship- both in its importance to women and girls and in the role models put forth in the media. Selma and Louise, Golden Girls,Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda, to recall a few, and of course, Wilma and Betty! These two reminded me of the Jackie Gleason skit where the women were the only reasonable voice against the macho characters played by the males. Funny ,I gather I stopped watching TV when?
Fun to think back about these images from childhood.

ps are you having any issues with my feeds? I hope not, some folks are so let me know if you have a minute!!!

Delwyn said...

Good morning Peggy,
I must apologise for calling you Bee...I must have come from Bee's place to your's...

Yabba dabba doo!

neetzy said...

The Flinstones promoted Marxism? Now I've heard everything! But then again...I did want a pet dinosaur! I thought it was a great show. BTW I love the girls' costumes!

Sydney said...

loved this pic then, love it now!

willow said...

Lindsey and her friend are too cute!! The Flintstones were part of my childhood, too. Sometimes, for no apparent reason, the theme song pops into my head!

Peggy said...

Kat, let's get the dvd set and make a pot of tea and sit around all afternoon watching "The Flintstones!" Watching them as adults with friends, we could begin a whole new set of memories!

Derrick, thank you so much for offering the balanced (but wrong!) viewpoint of the male!! :-) It was all great fun, yes!

Dancing Doc, it's very true. And in today's crazy-busy world, I have to make a concerted effort to spend the time and energy necessary to maintain good, close relationships with my friends. It's so easy to get out of touch.

Peggy said...

Delwyn, no worries! I knew what you meant!

Neetzy, who didn't want a pet dinosaur! LOL

Sydney, thanks for your patience a second time around!

Willow, I often hear Dino's bark and the quarry whistle in my head at odd times, as well. I wonder what prompts those old memories surfacing?

Barry said...

As for the Marxist subtext in the Flintstones, I was reading recently that The Wizard of Oz was also a disguised political polemic as was the old black and white British half hour Robin Hood series (I mean, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor, how obviously Marxist that?).

Some people just have too much time on their hands!

Great post by the way!

julie king said...

such a cute photo and kudos to her for making the costumes! the flintstones never failed to make me smile!

Poetikat said...

I missed commenting on your response here. I would so love to do that! Whiling away the hours in nostalgia for our little-girl selves and tea too! What fun it would be!