The Role Model "Roseanne"




             It's eight o'clock in the evening, I have settled down on the couch to watch some primetime television. As I flip through the channels I realize how superficial and unrealistic the actresses truly are. I also began to notice one common thread between all of the women portrayed on television; most look like they just got done with a photo shoot for Cosmopolitan or Playboy. The men portrayed seem to be a little more realistic and down to earth. This brought out a startling realization that men can be just the guys next door; while women need to be drop dead gorgeous. The "Roseanne” sitcom is the only show that I can think of that didn't fit these generalizations.

             When looking back at what I gained from watching "Roseanne,” the television sitcom from the late eighties, I see a woman who wasn't afraid to tell the world, "World, this is who I am. Deal with it!” I really feel Roseanne lived by this motto. She was over-weight boisterous, sometimes downright obnoxious person, but she always seemed to have her heart in the right place. She was a positive role model to many, encouraging many women to show off to society who they really are, giving us a sense of inner-beauty for a change.

             American women did not have to compete with her, only themselves. Nobody started over-eating to look like Roseanne (nor really wanted to), but she inspired many to believe that it is all right to be over-weight. In fact, Roseanne and people with weight management problems make up approximately sixty percent of the U.S. population; try finding that percentage of lead roles on television that are women. Only thin women land roles as television leads on sitcoms, and seeing an over-weight woman the star of a sitcom up until the eighties was just unheard of. Roseanne broke into the nineties with ratings higher than ever. She not only broke the social norm but also gained tremendous momentum for others to follow in her footsteps, the only problem no one has followed yet.

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