Free to Be… You and Me
Free to Be… You and Me, brainchild of actress Marlo Thomas, started as a record album and was later made into a TV special. Its timeless message was of tolerance, acceptance, self-esteem, and self-actualization—told in a quintessentially 70s way. I remember being all of six or seven years old and going to the school library to watch this. We were enthralled. It harkens back to (forgive the cliché) a much simpler time, and while definitely the product of an earthy, warm-fuzzy, touchy-feely era, it still resonates over thirty years later. Sure, it’s classic Ms. magazine and second-wave feminism, but compare the sincere optimism of Free to Be… to the Just say no mantra of the neocon 80s. That’s when we really began instilling paranoia in children. Every stranger became a child molester, “the gays” were out to give everyone AIDS, and if you smoked a joint you’d be doing crack in the gutter before you knew it. And no one must ever see your “bathing suit” parts!
If anything, popular 1970s child-rearing was about saying yes, or at least maybe. And I may be biased, but I think we children of the 70s turned out pretty good.
We need stuff like this again. Plus, the soundtrack seriously rocked out.
Sisters and Brothers
Parents are People
And something we should all remember: It’s Alright To Cry