W.W.J.D.: What would June do?
Searching for June Cleaver promotes the skills and style of the 1950s housewife – the woman who could do it all. Living on my own for the first time, I attempt to channel my great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, and all those women who came before me and seem to know exactly how to run a household. I’ve found that this wisdom is hard to come by in the 21st century so I’ll take every tip I can get my hands on! I’m not an expert by any means – let’s learn together!
Sadly, pop culture has changed extensively since the real June graced our television screens in the series “Leave it to Beaver.” Borrowing from her Wikipedia page, here’s the dirt on June:
June Evelyn Bronson Cleaver is a principal character in the American television sitcom Leave It to Beaver. June and her husband, Ward, are often invoked as the archetypal suburban parents of the 1950s. The couple is the parents of two sons, Wally and “Beaver”. Wally is twelve years old and in the eighth grade when the series opens; Beaver is seven years old (“almost eight”) and in the second grade. Episodes followed the escapades of Wally and Beaver and usually ended with a moral lesson delivered to the boys, but also often included reminders of childhood and minor lessons for the parents through the adventures of their boys. She was included in Yahoo!’s Top 10 TV Moms from Six Decades of Television for the time period 1957-1963.
If you’d like the full story of her life, check it out here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_Cleaver.
I haven’t found June because June no longer exists in our fast-paced world. Maybe June didn’t even truly exist in the 1950s (although I’m sure my grandparents would beg to differ). So, if June is a figment of our American imagination, why I am trying so desperately to find her? My childhood was full of family meals around the dining table, afternoons playing baseball with Dad in the backyard, baking cookies with my Grammie, fishing with Grampie, and of course learning everything there is to know about anything from the coolest woman in the world, my Mom. I want my children, and frankly, everyone’s children, to experience a childhood very similar to mine – safe, happy, free, and basking in the love of a family. Searching for June Cleaver assures women that it’s okay to be a stay-at-home mom (perhaps one of the hardest careers in the world!), it’s perfectly peachy to be All-American, and it’s absolutely wonderful to explore the simpler days of previous generations.