As you may have noticed if you have already read my ‘About Me’ bit, I am a huge fan of Kirstie Allsopp. I am more than a bit mad about Cath Kidston and her range of ‘contemporary products which evoke a sense of nostalgia..’. I love baking, Mary Berry and The Great British Bake Off. I love, the idea at least, of making my own clothes on my 1960’s sewing machine and giving people pots of handmade jam as a gift. I love 1950s fashions and lust after pretty pinnies, teapots and I even did an embarrassing, audible ‘Ahhh’ when I came across a vintage radio shaped tea cosy at Christmas.
I know I’m not the only one with this problem; there are legions of women up and down the country who are the same and seemingly, not since…well, before women didn’t *have* to be be a housewife/mother/homemaker have so many women yearned to be a housewife/mother/homemaker.
Women, as a social group, have undergone such change but when I look around, it’s like, superficially, at least, we seemed to have come full circle.
We’ve gone from *having* to sew and alter our own clothes, *having* to make our own jam and bake our own bread and *having* to reuse/adapt thing we already own because we more than likely couldn’t afford to keep buying them from new, to doing it for pleasure. We *had* to darn socks and bake birthday cakes. Unless we were particularly well off, there was no alternative.
After years of campaigning, which still goes on in many places, women are now able to get good jobs and earn a good wage. We don’t have to marry a man and have children. We don’t have to make our own jam, soap and candles. We can buy them from the shop, 5 minutes drive away in the car, for what, a pound?
Thanks to the likes of Kirstie Allsopp and Martha Stewart, we’re back to the womanly ideals of the 1950s but this time, we’re doing it as a hobbie.
Is it that we are now able to do these things without them being a real necessity
What makes them enjoyable? It’s almost like watching a scary movie or going on a ghost train at the fair; we can take pleasure from the experience of being scared without the real threat of being murdered.
Personally speaking, I quite like all this harking back to the good old days of self sufficiency, but the more I think about, the more I wonder if it’s setting women up for yet another fall.
Are Kirstie et al good role models for women or are they creating an image of the perfect woman who has perpetually well behaved children, cooks meals from fresh everyday, embroiders table cloths, makes lemon curd to spread on their freshly baked bread which they then eat from their vintage plate *and* holds down a good, well paid job (because all liberated women do that apparently) that just can’t be lived up to in the real world?
You can read all about Gail on our About page!