April 18, 2012

More About Blossom and Who's A Racist

Those of you who know me (IRL or otherwise) will not be surprised by this, but two of my very few interests are BLOSSOM and WHO IS A RACIST.

I am still kinda shocked at how much thought I give to Blossom.  I only ever remember watching a few episodes, and most of those details escape me.

I had a memory of Blossom's dad and mom (or dad's sweetheart?) singing AIN'T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH at maybe Blossom's older brother's wedding?  White people singing this song to a couple (white and African American) and the woman's (African American) family.

I couldn't find the clip, and while this link is eye-opening (5 seasons!  what plotlines!  who knew?), it did not help me.

Where am I going here?  Come on, People of the Internet.  Say it with me:


Oh my goodness.  There are so many answers.  As always I retreat to or take refuge in the Four Corner Logic , and say:


I so badly want to use this GIF:

But, you know, whether it is racist is probably not the issue at hand.  Satisfying as it is to call someone out for being a racist or a Nazi or whatev, the real issue here is THE PERMANENCE OF BLOSSOM IN MY INNER LIFE.

I mean, really.  WTF?


  1. Was she the one with the funky suspenders? Or am I thinking of Punky Brewster? Maybe that's the issue we should be talking here: Punky vs. Blossom.

  2. THIS IS IMPORTANT, Dithers. VERY IMPORTANT. Yes, Punky Brewster had the suspenders, different color socks, bandana around leg...in other words, "that's a lot of look." Soleil Moon Frye is also a fascinating character.

    This is a post to collaborate on, yes? Partly about how there can only ever be one [woman, girl, POC, other "other" in mainstream media] and if there are more we have to pit them against one another. Partly about steez. Partly about visual dynamics of 80s and 90s.

    Mostly about steez, though. And who's a racist.

  3. OK, if you're going to bring up Punky Brewster in a post about '80s sitcoms and racism, but then NOT mention that one episode when Punky had to go back to foster care and she met an African-American girl named Weezie, "like from the Jeffersons"? Well, that's just disappointing.

    Also, Punky had a token black friend, a token rich friend, and a token male friend. And in one episode she had a crush on a pre-SBTB Mark-Paul Goselaar. But that's neither here nor there.

    1. I don't know ANYTHING about Punky outside of her steez. I was very young and not much of a TV-watcher at the time, and have not yet plumbed the back catalogue. So this is useful knowledge here.

      But yeah. Punky's next on the list, I guess. Along with Welcome Back Kotter, which is a story for another day.

    2. Ah... this is one of those weird times that a 3-year (2-year? 4-year?) age difference actually matters. Interesting.

  4. I don't think this is inherently racist. But depending on how it all went down, I'm sure an argument could be made in that direction.


    1. EXACTLY. Not inherently racist, but in my memory, at least, it was troubling, these two earnest white people doing their best Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell impressions. Keep in mind, too, I was raised in a bubble of white privilege, so the fact that this made me uncomfortable at the time is itself noteworthy.

      I want to find the clip so I can see what really went on. This is the one thing from Blossom that stuck with me (along with the theme song and Joey's WHOA).

  5. Blossom is best known (fashion-wise) for her hats. I know because I saved up my pennies to buy a denim bucket hat with the flap pinned up in the front by a denim flower in my quest to be just like her. Also notable: both punky and blossom are currently vocal gentle/attachment parenting advocates. The parallels may run deeper than we can imagine.

    1. I did not have the denim bucket hat*, but otherwise, AGREED (on Punky/Blossom parallels). Some of it may be generational, just like the "yuppies" of our time are likely to justify conspicuous consumption as ethical or need-based (see David Brooks, the conservative liberals like, and his "Bourgeois Bohemians"). But some may be special, and I'd like to hear speculation.

      SMF was sort of branded as "Punky," just as Jaleel White "became" Urkel against his will, right? Blossom seemed more based on MB, at least according to all the Sassy magazine articles. Punky began when she was a kid, Blossom an early teen. Wondering if that has something to do with why Blossom haunts my soul.

      Have you seen the "What Not to Wear" with MB? It's pretty horrifying, in that they are pretty much saying DON'T DRESS MODERN ORTHODOX (Jew) without saying it.

      Just riffin here. More parallels please? "Parenting the Punky (and Blossom) Way"

      *I did have MANY other hilarious fashion moments, of course, and still do.