Roles have changed over the years. Parents in the 1950s were seen as the “old guard” and while some of them may have secretly enjoyed the music their kids were crazy about, the line drawn in the sand claimed otherwise.
Parents of the double-oughts are more apt to try to hang with their kids’ homies. They want to be seen as their kids’ friends moreso than as their kids’ parents.
From my perspective, both styles of parenting have their merits and both styles of parenting have their drawbacks. Both styles give insight into how adults viewed marriage, parenting and social trends in the 50s compared to the present.
But in the long run, have the stereotypes tied to moms and dads changed that much in the past 50 or so years?
In watching two very different commercials about family cars, what caught my eye was how stereotypes play a big role in selling the product. I watched the commercial advertising the ’59 Plymouth. The 2 minute 42 second long ‘Plymouth ’59 Song’ starts at the 1 minute 43 second mark and extols the virtues of the vehicle.
Interestingly enough, the only family members that mattered throughout the entire commercial was the man of the household and, to a lesser degree, the little woman. The commercial starts with the stereotype that most of the luggage in the trunk for the impending trip was hers with two small pieces of luggage belonging to the man and while children are vaguely implied, no one ever sees any tangible evidence of children.
It’s a catchy tune that promotes that “today there’s a big difference and Plymouth’s got it. Talk about new, there’s push buttons, too, for driving heater and radio, too.” Yes, it’s easy to see why the buying public of 1959 believed that: “Plymouth is ahead this year!”
Now fast forward 52 years past the commercial promoting the ’59 Plymouth to the 2010 promotion for the 2011 Toyota Sienna Wagon. The 2 minute 39 second long quasi-hip hop gangsta rap ‘Sienna 2011 Song’ extols the virtues of the vehicle with some interesting stereotypes of its own firmly in place.
Yes, once again, the only family members that matter throughout the entire commercial are the man of the household and, to a somewhat lesser degree, the little woman. We see the kids but they’re only peripherally important to the commercial.
In fact, as they parents rap, at one point the father stops long enough to ask his wife, “No, seriously honey, where are the kids?”
She turns to her left, points and says, “They’re right there. See?”
He responds dispassionately, “Oh. Cool bein’s.”
It’s a catchy tune that promotes that “it’s true, if I were you, I’d be jealous of me. I got the pride in my ride in my swagger wagon.” Yes, it’s easy to see why the buying public of 2010 might believe that: “The Sienna SE — you get it for space but fill it with your family’s swagger.”
Roles have changed over the years. Or have they? The stereotypes of yesteryear are still very evident in today’s world. Even the old adage that states “children should be seen and not heard” appears to still be a very big part of what society believes to be true.
And when all is said and done, I’d still pick a ’51 Hudson Hornet or a ’35 Olds Convertible over any of the 2011 models. Stereotypes being the equal, it’s the car that matters when all is said and done.