If you are an avid #antique store junkie like me, one of the fun things you discover are toys from your childhood. Once you move past the “Boy I must be old!” feeling you get when your favorite #toy as a child is in an antique store, you can move on to reliving the fond memories it evokes.
Discovering Suzy Homemaker, the “oh so wonderful” competitor to the #EasyBakeOven, had me gushing in the middle of an antique mall. Thankfully my husband was there to share my glee and convince me I didn’t need to take her home with me.
If you weren’t lucky enough (or old enough) to have a Suzy Homemaker oven, let me share with you what you missed.
The Suzy Homemaker was a pint-sized version of your Mom’s stove. It was produced by #TopperToys and launched in 1966. In a pretty aqua green with knobs that turned and an oven that really baked and top burners that warmed as well, it was made for hours of domestic bliss. It would never pass muster with toy manufacturers today because it had a light bulb inside that created the heat to bake your cakes but often would burn your skin if you weren’t careful. Mom wouldn’t let me near the big oven so I could practice my homemaking skills on this little cutie dreaming of the day when I would be cooking for my own family. To me being a “Suzy Homemaker” meant being like my mom.
Wikipedia has a different view of a Suzy Homemaker
“The term “Suzy Homemaker” has since become a common phrase in American English. The toy appliances and doll became much-desired toys among girls from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s. As this generation grew up, “Suzy Homemaker” eventually became an insult directed at women judged as excessively domestic. It was used in this context by feminists initially, to imply that a woman was reactionary and overly conservative in her habits. In this sense, the “Suzy Homemaker” term meant any woman who embodied conventional social expectations without questioning them….In 1981, Newsweek magazine ran an article on the Future Homemakers of America titled “So long, Suzy Homemaker”. Social conservatives have been critical of what they see as a derogatory stereotype.”
What? Was I the product of a generation hell bent on creating more Stepford Wives? Should I feel victimized somehow? After reading Wikipedia I somehow feel duped and my glee has diminished. I became a marketing executive juggling a full time career and a family of 5 – certainly not the overly conservative, excessively domestic woman that they seem to think the Suzy Homemaker was churning out! Actually, if someone called me excessively domestic I would take it as a compliment because as hard as I try I’m no Martha Stewart!
I should let Wikipedia know that my older brother used the Suzy Homemaker just as much as I did. He became a plumber that also knows how to cook for himself. Suzy Homemaker was simply teaching life skills that everyone could benefit from. Nowadays they would call it “Little Homemaker” and market it to both girls and boys because after all, aren’t we all #homemakers?
Photo courtesy of #ClickAmericana.com