The Stepford Wives (1975) - Exploring the Meaning
Stepford wives is a tale about powerful men that wanted perfect wives and the women that fought against becoming assimilated to the men's ideas of perfection.
Hi and welcome to chroma film tv, in today's video - I'll be discussing 1975s Stepford wives - taking a look at the deeper message and seeing how the idea of beauty in western cultures opens the door to a whole new kind of body in the future.
and without further ado, let's get into it
As the film opens, we meet the Eberhart family as they're leaving their apartment in the city and headed to their new home in the small community of Stepford.
Joanna is the wife of Walter, a mother of 2 and an amateur photographer. The position of an amateur photographer is artsy and all - but it doesn't give Joanna a strong sense of power, unlike the latter version of the film, the idea seems to be less about an actual fight for power and more about a man who's already in control of everything, now wanting to control every aspect of his wife as well.
Her friend Bobby is also a part of the Stepford community and a columnist - brought to the community by her husband as a result of a land deal he obtained (well - at least, as far as she knows). She's the kind of person that asks questions, seeks the truth and speaks her mind.
As Joanna and Bobby become better acquainted with each other and their town, they start noticing that the women are a little strange - not only eager to do housework and serve their husbands, but happily excited about it and have dedicated their lives to it.
To keep from ending up like these strange women, Joanna and Bobby start a make-shift investigation in an attempt to find out why the women are acting this way, but before they can get the answer, Bobby is "infected" and Joanna goes into a tizzy of fear and confusion.
After seeing Bobby in her clean home and frilly garbs , Joanna heads home to her husband to plead with him about leaving. But her argument doesn't hold much weight as she's not any type of bread winner for the household and it's simply not what Walter wants.
Determined to get away before she ends up like everyone else, Joanna takes matters into her own hands and heads to Dr. Fancher's to inform her that she wants to leave the community and expresses her reasoning for wanting to do so.
Dr. Fancher uses her powers of persuasion and flattery to appeal to her and informs her that she should find family or friends to spend time with for a couple of days to clear her mind before making a final decision.
Joanna attempts to take Fancher's advice, but when she gets home to take her children with her, she's confronted by her husband with a drink in his hand, and he tells her that the children are away and she can't go get them.
Confused on what to do - her initial reaction was to lock herself in a room to give herself time to think, but quickly decides to head over to Bobby's thinking the kids might be with her - they weren't, but during the visit she find's out that Bobby's "reaction" to injury wasn't normal. Terribly disturbed, but determined to get her children, she heads home and gives Walter a piece of her mind before ending up at the lodge where the husbands meet and the wives are not allowed.
Once inside and still looking for her children, she hears noises which leads her to the upper levels of the lodge. Once there, she's hears a child calling mommy but this is a rouse and the child calling for mommy turned out to be a recording.
In the recording room - she comes into contact with Dale whom she met earlier in the film, nick-named Diz because he used to work at Disneyland - the interaction between the two was still strange but much less pleasant.
By the end, Joanna became a member of the plastic brigade. Becoming the very thing she was afraid of being turned into.
Seeing the 2004 version first - the ending of this one was familiar, but still a surprise for me. Where the 1975 version ended, the 2004 version continued, took a left and by the end, not only were the women going through this transformation - plans were being made for the men to be changed as well, they just didn't know it yet.
Which all leads to main message of the video.
HORROR INTO HOMAGE
At the time of the movie's release, the year was 1975 and beauty was measured based on natural aesthetics. (use images for black and white people).
The first known implant is said to have been created around 1887 - used to replace tissue in the opposite breast. Over the years implants went from being a way to help mastectomy patients cope, to being a cosmetic staple, more often used to enhance, than to restore.
As the paradigm switched, women were no longer encouraged to work with the genetics passed from their parents - but to instead, to recreate themselves in their own image with the goal of seeking attention or financial gain by getting enhancement surgeries.
By 1970, society was starting to work on the backside and now here in 2021 - it's extremely common for women and men alike to sculpt their own idea of beauty - with various procedures or injections.
But how did this happen? When did we enter the upside down?
To be blunt, a lot of us drank the Kool-Aid (oh yeah - from the family guy) and started measuring worth based on the exterior rather than the character or the spirit of the person inside. Encouraging some to take drastic measures - even if it meant putting their lives at risk.
The issue, as it is right now, is a matter of perception - some agree with enhancements - others like me don't see the benefit in terms of long-term consequences. Whichever way you look at it, it's no longer taboo - not only is it widely accepted, it's advertised heavily via so-called celebrities and influencers - but who or what are they advertising for?
The concept of the film still taps on issues of our society today - seen especially with the explosion of the female vs male discussions. But unfortunately, like everything else that ends up being an issue felt by the majority, it's not the end game.
While we're fighting against one another - based on our differences - there are things going on in the background that most are not paying attention to and by the time they find out - it may be too late. Hopefully, instead of using our energies to feed dissention - we can use these discussions to encourage, build and prepare for the new world that's being created for us, in front of our eyes.
If you want to watch this film - it's currently available right here on YouTube. On that note, have an awesome day - be good to yourself, be good to others. Peace.
First Known Implant History - Breast Revision San Francisco
First Known Gluteoplasty - Beauty Smoothie
Body by design - An iteration for life: Natasha Vita-More at TEDxMünchenSalon
Pannoni14 YouTube Channel
Palomar Pictures International
New Castle After Dark YouTube Channel