Sunday, April 19, 2015

Betty Francis, formerly Draper: "I am thankful that I have everything that I want and that no one else has anything better."

You'd think Mad Men is all about men.  It's the title of the show.  Don's the central character, and the ad business circa 1960s is most definitely a man's world.  But it doesn't take long to realize that what this show is really all about is the women, and it's the women who are most intriguing and well-drawn characters.

Betty is a prime example.  She's been raised and trained to be a perfect wife and mother ("As far as I'm concerned, as long as men look at me that way, I'm earning my keep.")  But "perfect" for Betty is always going to be unattainable.  Sally gets hit in the face?  "It was a perfect nose.  And I gave it to you!"  Bobby gives away Betty's sandwich?  "It was a perfect day and he ruined it."  Forget being a perfect mother.  Once her babies are out of infancy, she is over it.  ("I'm here alone with them all day.  Out-numbered!")

Is Betty sad?  "No.  It's just my people are Nordic."  Okay, Betty.  Betty is sad, clearly sad, and it's this that gives the viewer some compassion for her.  But that compassion can only go so far.  As though she's learned nothing at all, Betty is determined to raise Sally with the same backwards, repressive rules that she had to grow up under:  "You don't kiss boys.  Boys kiss you."  But Sally has clearly shown that she's not going to be a mere reproduction of her mother.  

Is there hope for Betty?   In this last season, it does seem as though she may at last be breaking out of the mold set for her.  "You're sorry you forgot to inform me what I'm supposed to think!  Guess what, I think all by myself."  Yes, the woman who formerly scorned therapy, is going back to school to get a masters in psychology.  Yay!  And also--yikes!  Frankly, I'd love to watch a Dr. Betty Francis spinoff.

* "I know it's beyond your experience, but people love to talk to me.  They seek me out to share their confidences." | Gossip, an original collage, by Catwalk
* 1950s turquoise heels | pastoria
* That time when Betty was eating her emotions. | 1950s ice cream soda fountain glasses from ThirdShift
* 1970s yellow chiffon formal dress | AnatomyVintage
* Birdy poster | FishermansPorch
* "I'm not stupid.  I speak Italian." | vintage Italian language guide from ShopHereVintage
* 1960s floral dress | dethrosevintage
* vintage riding boots | SaffronColoredPony
* "I hate this place.  I hate our friends.  I hate this town." | 1960s 9 karat gold charm bracelet | TreasureIncUK


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