Through these ideas, the inference can be made that the media’s augmented portrayal
of the suburbs separates them into an overly simplified cognitive mold for their
audience to comprehend. Suburgatory makes several satirical stabs at the submissive
plastic surgery sculpted idyllic moms, largely absent role of working fathers, socially
cliquey girls, and athletic jock style boys.
I. The Show
II. The Moms
a. Shelia welcomes new neighbors with pot roasts, is president of the
PTA, manicures her rose garden, micromanages her husband and two
kids as a stay-at-home mom, and smothers anyone and everyone that
she can with what she seems to think is motherly care, all while
keeping up a perfect appearance.
b. Dallas is depicted as a naïve and wealthy Barbieesque housewife with a
heavy reliance on ‘The Help.’ Her depiction feeds the stayathome mom
and working husband stereotype common to suburban living.
c. Merrill Goozner writes that “Local officials say they agree with the
portrait of Naperville that Helgesen draws in her book. ‘People do feel
Naperville is an edge city. We still have a segment of our population
with stay-at-home moms, but a growing segment of our population is
two-income families where the working woman is looking at increased
flexibility to cope with a very hectic schedule so she can keep an active
role in the children's lives,’said Peggy Frank, executive director of
Naper Settlement, the village at the heart of the sprawling town”
referring to "Everyday Revolutionaries, Working Women and the
Transformation of American Life" a book by Sally Helgeson
d. The portrait of the submissive and subservient housewife cooking pot
roasts can only exist in the fictitious works such as The Stepford Wives
and Suburgatory. All of these women are portrayed as being reliant on
men, taking away from women’s fight to be treated equally.
e. According to the 2010 United States census, 58.6 percent of women in
the US are either working or looking for work. More than half of the
women in the United States are working. As of 2000, the number of
Americans living in the suburbs had grown to about fifty percent, and
today the majority of Americans live in suburban areas. Even modern
day stay-at-home moms have started running their own businesses from
III. The girls
a. In one of the most recent episodes, the three girls that make up the
KKK girls (Kenzie, Kaitlyn, and Kimantha) are depicted as dogs when
they do not have anyone to tell them what to do. Showing girls and not
being capable to even stay alive without someone telling them how.
The girls are made to look like dumb, living barbie dolls.
b. Dalia, Dallas' daughter, exhibits the mentality of an angry five-year-old.
She has to get her way, or else she acts out. In one episode, her father got remarried without her being there, so she decided to become the
assistant of the school's "magician" so that he can make her disappear.
c. Tessa's character contrasts all the girls of Chatswin. She isn't blonde,
dumb, or vain. Instead, she tries to better the people of Chatswin by
pointing out their flaws. However, since she isn't from the suburbs, and
states often that she hates it, she does not alter the stereotype placed on
IV. The People
a. Suburgatory also depicts suburbanites as well off people with a
disconnection from the rest of the world. For example, one episode is
about Tessa trying to encourage the student body to stop being so
wasteful and give to a charity. However, this does not go as Tessa
hopes when the students choose to donate face brushes to people in
Orlando, because Dalia, Dallas’s daughter witnessed the “endless
suffering” of sunburnt and oily faces. The people of