Why ‘The Golden Girls’ Blanche Devereaux Remains a Role Model Today
The Golden Girls is one of the most influential TV shows of all time and the characters are some of the most iconic, in particular Blanche Devereux. We have 5 reasons why she remains a role model even today!
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The Golden Girls was one of the most influential TV shows of the 80s. It was funny, heartfelt, empowering and addressed several important issues all in one breath. The wildly popular show about middle-aged women living together challenged notions of sexism and ageism while keeping its entertainment quotient high. The layered characters of the quick-witted Dorothy Zbornak, wide-eyed Rose Nylund, the bombshell Blanche Devereux and the zappy Sophia Petrillo are all wonderful in their own sense and are still loved all over the world. But Blanche Devereux’s character is particularly special. The southern belle was the show’s resident sex-positive, confident diva whose spirit and rejection of societal norms turned her into a permanent feminist icon. We list five reasons why she continues to inspire women 36 years after the show first debuted.
She is confident in who she is
Blanche knows who she is and absolutely loves herself. She has a habit of taking insults and turning them into compliments. As such, she is never fazed by negative comments and always accepts them with a smile and high head. Blanche is often seen adoring herself in mirrors and responding to jabs with a “so what?” attitude. She never shies away from attention and is assured of her worth. She is not afraid of anyone and speaks her mind, straight to the point. Her self-assurance also comes out when she slips up and gets in embarrassing situations. It is here that she chins up and laughs at her predicament.
She is a true girl’s girl
The show is about women supporting women and the value of female friendships. The friendships show the significance of the support and presence of other women in your life. Blanche may be portrayed as man-crazy but she prioritizes her friends. Blanche stands up for Dorothy when the latter’s date makes a move on her and refuses to judge her when she maintains an affair. She treats Rose as a sister and appreciates her kind nature. Blanche also believes Sophia is like her mother and is often seen seeking her advice and following through on it.
She rejects traditional perceptions of women and aging
The Golden Girls came to screens in a time when ageism was not so actively challenged and women’s sexuality was still taboo. Blanche slashed all these norms by not only seeking out an active sex life but also being open about it during her twilight years. Being active in romances, she faces sexism and ageism alike but refuses to change the way she presents herself. Even as she is told about her age time and again, she refuses to lower her standards and even flirts with men younger than her without hesitation. Blanche also pursues a degree during the first season in order to progress in her career at the art museum and is later seen co-owning a hotel in The Golden Palace. Blanche is unapologetic, unashamed of how she lives her life and unafraid to ask for what she truly wants. She is adventurous, driven, sexy and she knows it.
She is relatable
While Blanche presents herself with poise and confidence, her character is multi-dimensional. We get glimpses of her insecurities when she talks of her sisters and growing up together. We also see some competitiveness and jealousy in her whenever she is around the other women on the show, particularly Dorothy. Throughout the seven seasons of the show, we have seen Blanche act selfishly and out of envy at times and while these are not the best attributes of her character, they make her more relatable to the audiences. While she challenges ageism, she also shies away from revealing her real age to anyone. No one is self-assured and kind 24/7 and Blanche depicts it in a realistic and humorous manner.
She is her number one priority
Blanche pampers herself. She is a loving friend and mother but she knows that she comes first and is called selfish for doing just that on several occasions. Even so, she continues to pursue personal growth over anything else and prioritizes her own happiness (and pleasure). We see several of Blanche’s romances go awry when she does not get the kind of partnership she desires and we also see her holding her own when her friends make accusatory comments towards her. Blanche loves her kids and grandkids beyond anything but asserts that her later years are for herself.
Riddhima Dave is a senior journalism student at Emerson College. Originally hailing from Mumbai India, she has previously worked at Harper’s Bazaar India and wants to build a career in multimedia journalism. Along with entertainment, she is interested in social issues, fashion and culture.
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