Lori Loughlin has to be one of the biggest candidates for ‘wife material’ that the 80’s ever produced. She had so many great qualities to her that it seemed that she might be the new standard at one point and in some ways she kind of was. Women in the 80’s were changing from the more traditional role of being the mother that stayed at home and took care of the kids. This transition had been going on for a while but in the 80’s and then into the 90’s it seemed to take a new turn as women were far more likely to follow their own path rather than that which society had wanted for them over the years. It was a positive change that many fought against despite the fact that it was needed and in some cases was more efficient. The 80’s wife/mother was not the woman that stayed at home any longer, yet neither did she distance herself entirely from traditional values that had been practiced for so long. In truth it almost seems like Lori was one of the many that was actively changing the landscape for those women that wanted to be with their family but also wanted to be seen as strong, intelligent, successful, and above all an independent person.
One of her most well known roles showed us that continually.
She created a happy medium between work and home.
Rebecca was a career woman, but when she met Jesse things changed and eventually they changed again when she found out that she was pregnant. Obviously things changed immensely for Jesse, who upon hearing the news promptly fainted. Many men could say that they’ve felt the same way, especially if later on they found out that their wife was having twins. But one thing that truly set Lori apart from a lot of TV and movie wives is that she was one of those that attempted to balance her personal and her professional life. She didn’t back down from working after discovering she was pregnant, but neither did she feel inclined to push her career that far forward when she and Jesse finally did have their family. In many ways she was a traditional mother with an 80’s outlook that managed to find a healthy balance in between the two.
She had the disposition of a housewife but also the potential of a working woman.
This is something that Lori proved quite often in every role she ever took. While she’s often been seen as the kind and very caring individual in any production she’s also got the mind and the determination of someone that knows what she wants and will go out and get it. Full House is a great example since she was hardly ever a pushover and would make her mind known quite often when it was necessary and when she felt she had something to say. This was a very empowering image that was important to women back in that and to be honest still is in modern times. The ability to be compassionate and kind and yet forceful enough to not allow anyone to walk on them is what makes women so valuable in any time. In the decades that came before women have been expected to obey their husbands and do as they were told. That isn’t the case in the modern world and it hasn’t been for some time now. Women in this era are just as capable as men and have been proving as much for some time now.
The reason why Lori is such a perfect example of wife material in the 80’s is that she was part of a transition that swept the nation and brought with it a great amount of change that was unprecedented at the time and was something a lot of people weren’t ready for. Women hadn’t been thought to be anything but housewives and minimum wage-earners at that point and the emergence during the 80’s of strong, free-thinking individuals that were there for their families but were also handling careers that at times made more than men were making was something that a lot of people had to struggle to adjust to.
But obviously that adjustment stuck since women have been so much more prevalent in high-paying jobs since the 80’s that the stereotypes that sprang up overnight have been all but obliterated. The idea that a woman can’t be a family person and a career girl at the same time has been all but obliterated since many women manage to juggle a home life and a high-paying career without much difficulty. Indeed, despite being fictional Rebecca showed us the possibility of this when she married Jesse, then became pregnant, and then had a family to support. Now quite honestly, that’s the kind of wife that any man should want, a woman that is strong, independent, and yet loving and caring all at the same time.