The Golden Girls Offered Us Real Women Between the Laughs: Opinion

Whenever the iconic tune of The Golden Girls sounded off on the TV screen audiences anticipated not only laughs but also the life lessons it doled out along the way. Access to the show can be found easily through methods such as YouTube or even Hulu today. Life lessons and teachable moments were in every episode of the series, from racism to ageism. They weren't afraid to tackle difficult subjects, doing so in a way ahead of its' time. The independent nature of Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia are noteworthy because they weren't afraid to turn to one another when they needed or wanted to. Showcasing the importance of addressing socially relevant topics, these characters were truly golden in how much they taught viewers like me about the niche issues in society.

Opinion: The Golden Girls Gave Us More Than Laughs And Cheesecake
Promo image of the Golden Girls group. Source: NBC

With over seven seasons, 177 episodes in total, the ladies of Miami experienced life together on the small screen in wonderfully writing stories. The Golden Girls wasn't only a fun show, it won many awards, with 4 Golden Globe wins and another 36 wins elsewhere with a total of 88 nominations. With one remaining living star of the series, Betty White who played Rose, the legacies of White alongside the other actresses are felt decades after the last episode. The personalities of these women help represent various identities, beliefs, and even personal biases found in everyday life, even now in the 21st century.

Opinion: The Golden Girls Gave Us More Than Laughs And Cheesecake
The girls serving food at a soup kitchen in one episode. Source: NBC

No topic is left untouched: from the stigma of AIDS; concerns over women's health issues; dismissal of older women; sexual orientation; abusive relationships; and even fatphobia held within generations. Dorothy addressed how a doctor continually dismissed her fatigue and how older women are rarely believed, not to mention women of color and/or with disability. Blanche confronts her unfound fears of her brother coming out as gay to her when he visits the girls with his partner. Blanche also grows closer to her family and protective of them. She realizes her daughter is in an abusive relationship and how her inner fatphobia may have a part in the worsened self-image she has. Blanche and Dorothy aren't the only ones overcoming biases from them or even against them, Rose deals with an aids scare as she is tested in one episode from a complicated blood transfusion.

Opinion: The Golden Girls Gave Us More Than Laughs And Cheesecake
The girls gathered on the living room couch. Source: NBC

They may poke fun at each other, but there is true friendship and love present in each episode of The Golden Girls. They present a supportive female system that has often been worked against by the society they thrive in despite the sexist and ageist thoughts that come towards them. In a way, this series was a feminist landmark in TV history with excellent writing, fearless creative processes, and a knack for comedic timing. It wasn't the most diverse or incredibly transformative piece of television, but it seemed to pave the way for many shows today and how there's no excuse when it comes to the tough subjects. And while the ridiculous nature of an episode removed recently for "blackface" when in reality it was spa mud masks on two of the women, my opinion still stands. The Golden Girls knew what they stood for so that we might stand for more today on TV.

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Brittney BenderAbout Brittney Bender

Lover of movies, TV, art, and the abstract in life! Horror is a main passion of mine, but I could say that for most media in my life. You'll find me writing recaps, reviews, TV news, "Top 5" content, and more.
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