The New and Improved Step Mother

Recently, there was an article in the newspaper, showing celebrities having fun with their step children. The image of a step mother has always been portrayed as someone who is extremely cruel and carries loads of hatred in her heart towards her step children. The step mother has always been shown in a very negative light in films or in stories that we have grown up watching and reading.  The word ‘step mother’ itself reminds us of Shashi Kala, Manorama, Lalita Pawar and Aruna Irani inflicting cruelties and showing nasty deeds towards their innocent step children. We can also never forget the age-old portrayal of the wicked step mother in stories like Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Hansel and Gretel, where the step mother leaves no stone unturned to make the life hell for her stepchildren.

This recent article shows the changing attitude of a step mother towards her step children: Maanyata Dutt sharing a picture of hers with Sanjay Dutt’s daughter, Trishala; Kareena Kapoor who said in an interview, “Sara’s my bar hopping partner”; the happy family picture of Kiran Rao and Amir Khan’s daughter, Ira. It shows a wind of change. The step mother whom we have always believed to be an evil one is changing.

The media has always played a very important role in forming images in our minds. Bollywood movies and celebs have never failed to inspire us and becoming our role models. This little step will help in changing our perception towards the stereotypical step mother and the new family set up.

Being a mother myself, I fail to believe how can any mother be cruel towards her children or anybody else’s children. A child is a child, be it ours or any other’s. Bollywood movies always depicted that whenever a step mother scolded her step child, she was immediately blamed wicked and having no love for her step child. Just because a mother scolds her child does not mean that she does not love him or she is doing so because the child is not hers. She might be doing so with good intentions and for the betterment of the child.

The minute a child complains to his father that his second wife scolded him, she was immediately regarded as a bad step mother taking out her frustrations on the innocent child. This attitude disrupts the harmony of a family. The new mother might be genuine in her ways and clean at heart. To label her as a bad step mother is entirely wrong and unjust towards her.

Indeed, it is easy for the Bollywood celebs and very often important also to present themselves in a positive light. They do not have to take care of their kids and do daily household chores like the others. The children from their husband’s previous wife are also grownups and smart.  By presenting themselves in this way they are giving a new definition to the step mother tag, that of a ‘friend’. It will help in creating a healthier and happier picture in the minds of people change the stereotypical image of the stepmother.

A grownup child does not accept the second wife of his father so easily but if he is able to bond with her in a friendly way, it will help in creating a balance in the family. To establish such cordial relations, it is important to have a broad and open mind set on the part of both the husband and the wife. Once established it will benefit everybody.

One can only wish that such examples inspire people in a positive way and we can see more and more families living happily and harmoniously.

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