Sunday, March 8, 2015

Suzy Homemaker....Fact or Fiction?

Everyone, at one time in their life, has heard or used the term "Suzy Homemaker".  Dictionary.com defines Suzy Homemaker as  
a housewife who manages a household, esp. with enthusiasm; also, the sterotype of any woman who chooses a traditional female role
What they left out was that she looks like June Cleaver.  Unfortunately, nowadays, it is most often used in a derogatory manner and preceded by the words "Little Miss".  For example, "who does she think she is bringing that 12-layer mocha latte strawberry cake to Bunco?  Little Miss Suzy Homemaker?"  See, derogatory, not complimentary.   Since I recently heard this term, I decided to do some research as to who Suzy Homemaker actually was.

Ironically, Suzy Homemaker was not a person at all, but a line of toys produced by Topper Toys and introduced to Joan Q. Public in 1966.  Marketing was targeted to little girls between the ages of 4 and 12.  What is even more bizarre is that these were not toys at all.  These items were functioning household appliances designed to introduce little girls to the world of domesticity.  Look at this ad, if you can read between the blurry lines...


I really don't know whether to be repulsed or tickled at the wording "a busy little mother's work".  But,  the bigger question is, do I really want a 5 year-old ironing my silk blouse?   Or using the blender to make margaritas at my girlfriend party?

And the Suzy Homemaker Doll was second only to Barbie in doll sales.


I figure her knees were jointed so she could get on the floor with those little girls who had to be on their hands and knees all day scrubbing the wax off floors.

In addition to the toys you see in the ads above, there were also these....


As I stated above, I've always heard the term but never knew it referred to toys.  As a child, I never had the opportunity to own any of these toys.  Maybe we were too poor for my parents to buy any of these for me (one of the ads encourages you to "charge it") or maybe my parents decided that if I was too lazy to do my chores, I was definitely too lazy to play with a toy that resembled work.  Or maybe my parents exercised really good judgment by not putting an oven in the hands of a 7 year-old.


They waited until I was 12 (way more responsible) and bought me a new Easy Bake Oven, Suzy Homemaker's largest competitor!


*all images above were borrowed from the internet

SHARE:

26 comments

  1. I remember the Easy Bake Oven-they still make them I am pretty sure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They do still make them. My little granddaughter got one for Christmas last year! :-) I loved mine when I was growing up! Maybe if my parents had gotten me a loom, weaving kit or paint by numbers, my craft projects wouldn't be so bad! :-)

      Delete
  2. I guess I would be the first to comment. In 1966 I was already a radical feminist at the tender age of 13. I was determined not to be held down by crass commercialism creating "roles" for young girls. I was not destined to be Suzy Homemaker. I packed away all my Barbie's and Ken's. Even going as far as giving my Easy Bake Oven to my youngest brother to break the stereotypes. All this before I read Betty and Gloria. My best friend and I had already decided we were going to be Nancy Drew anyway :>)))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LMAO….a radical feminist at 13???!! OMGosh, I can’t stop laughing. Did your brother like the Easy Bake Oven? Nancy Drew was pretty awesome! How did you girls fare with your mysteries?

      Delete
  3. I had an EZ Bake oven. How I loved that lightbulb. As far as the true Sally Homemaker history goes, I was unaware, but people call me Suzy Homemaker all the time and I take it as a compliment. Before marriage and motherhood I gave my all to my schooling and career. It stands to reason that I would give my all to keeping house and raising my children. It's a name I'm proud to have....and I say that with enthusiasm. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved my Easy Bake Oven also….it was the bluish/green color, which was the only one they had back then. I cooked everything and thoroughly enjoyed it. I take it as a compliment also and I work very hard to be one! :-) We all know the one area in which I fail, but I don’t think it’s a requirement to be Suzy Homemaker…thank goodness! :-)

      Delete
  4. Susie Homemaker was a little before my time but I alway's have thought of it as a compliment to women. Not in term's of that demon doll. Lol I did have the EZ Bake Oven , the loom, the weaving kit, and paint by number's.My mom knew I was riding horse's if I was awake so I think she wanted me a little more girly. Funny ad !! Tt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were a little before me as well and I never knew they existed. I’ve always heard the term though and never thought of it being said in a bad way until about 10 years ago. I think of Suzy Homemaker as a good thing…you know, like Martha Stewart! ;-) LOL That doll is the worst!!! LOL Hugs!!!

      Delete
  5. I've never heard of these! How bizarre! I had an EZ bake, which made more sense not only to my parents, but me too, for my girls. Reminds me of something out of the Twilight Zone! To be honest, my girls liked using my oven better. That way I can keep an eye on them, make sure they don't burn the house down! ;)
    Thanks for the laugh, Benita! hugs, Christine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never knew there had been a line of products until I wrote this post, but I’ve always heard the term Suzy Homemaker. I was the Easy Bake oven kid also. My youngest son wanted one when he was growing up, but I knew he would burn the house down, so we opted for a cardboard box for him…LOL He liked playing with the boxes more than the toys…LOL. Thank you so much for commenting! Have a great day! Hugs!!!

      Delete
  6. You had me smiling all the way through...love learning the real facts behind "Suzy Homemaker"!
    Mary Alice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Mary Alice! It was all new to me and interesting how sales drove trends even back then! Have a great evening!

      Delete
  7. This one about the origin of Suzy Homemaker, etc. was really interesting. Who knew? I always thought it was just a phrase, a label attached to particularly domestic females. And all that was not of great interest to me. The cooking part was certainly not of interest; eating yes, cooking no. Baking held my attention more as long as it was simple and there were quick results....again....eating.... Having cupcakes, cookies and pound cake, gingerbread, etc. with my Dad. That was fun. It took a good many years before I would broaden my culinary horizons. Thanks for making this fun and interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joan, it was definitely interesting. Cupcakes, cookies, pound cake, etc...all still my favorites. Hey, I wonder if can blame that on the Easy Bake Oven? They only had sweets to bake, nothing nutritious was offered...LOL Have a great day!

      Delete
  8. I had an EZ bake. :-)) I remember making treats for my dad. :-))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those were wonderful little ovens! I only burned myself a few times...no more than I do now...LOL At least I wasn't able to burn boiled eggs....like I did this morning. I love brown eggs, but I like them to come out the chicken brown....not because I made them that way. :-) It's been a fun day so far...LOL

      Delete
  9. Before my time, but now a days I'm glad there is a push to still teach kids, both girls and boys, how to cook and make things at home. Healthy habits start early (even if you make brownies)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree! Thanks so much and have a great evening!

      Delete
  10. I've seen those ads before, but I never put the two together... huh. That doll freaks me the hell out! LOL

    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me and you both! It is totally frightening and I bet every little girl who owned one had nightmares!! LOL Hugs!!

      Delete
  11. I vaguely remember Easy Bake Ovens...though I never got one, but not these. Interesting ! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Until I did this post, I never knew that a Suzy Homemaker brand existed. I always thought it was a “catch phrase”. I loved my Easy Bake Oven. It was one of the best Christmas presents I ever received! :-)

      Delete
  12. It's so funny because I've taken Suzy Homemaker in different ways at different times in my life. Right out of college I would have died at the thought of being that person. As the years have gone by I've realized that home is my absolute happy place and I'm good with being Suzy. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I take it as a good thing. I’m domestic and don’t mind being called a name that is totally domestic. It’s a very good thing! ;-)

      Delete
  13. I always wanted a Suzy bake oven when I was a child, but my mom was too worried (paranoid?) about a fire, yet she taught me and my sister how to cook when we were very young. Such a life irony.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suppose they thought the larger items were safer and weren’t totally trusting of the smaller “toy” items that really worked. As an adult looking back at these items, I don’t know that I would have let me kids near them either..LOL

      Delete

Please leave a comment! I do love hearing from you and enjoy visiting your blogs. I will respond via email or by replying to your comment here on my blog! Have a wonderful day!

© Chasing Quaintness | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Created by pipdig