‘New Normal’ in families
Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.
By Jasmine Simmons
From June Cleaver to Snookie, there has been an obvious change in family dynamics over the past half century. As society becomes more tolerant to alternative lifestyles and social practices, family life develops new facets as well.
In today’s post-modern society, families are breaking June Cleaver’s utopian picture of happiness in the home all over the country.
It is an understatement to say that the standards of the average family have changed from the days of Leave It to Beaver to present day.
If a family from the 1950s were to gaze into an American household today, they would be shocked to see single parent homes, households with teen mothers and same-sex parents to list a few deviations from the 1950s American household.
Divorce, a concept that was basically taboo in the 1950s, has impacted a large majority of households.
Teen pregnancy is on the rise in the States. High schools are now making child care centers in school buildings, so teen mothers can continue their education.
Six states have legalized same-sex marriages, and activists in other states are fighting for its legalization.
Unconventionality is running rampant in families across the United States. While the reasons behind such families may vary, it is still alarming how far contemporary households have veered from the model of the conventional family in earlier generations.
Oddities in families are cinematic gold for media outlets like television and movies.
The MTV television program Teen Mom showcases the lives of high school teenagers who have become mothers.
The New Normal,
an ABC sitcom, tells of a single mother who works on becoming a surrogate for a gay couple.
Movies like Baby Momma and The Back-up Plan depict single women who desire to have a baby without a partner whatsoever. These television shows and movies acknowledge the changes in family dynamics and profit greatly from them.
Standards are being refined as it pertains to the home and the family dynamic. Still, acceptance is not always the best policy.
Within this era, where there is a development of different ways of life, a line must be drawn when deciding between what is permissible and impermissible.
Things are not as they once were. People are not as they once were, and as a result a new normal has been set for the U.S. and the families that exist within it.