Recently, I chilled out and happened to catch The Cosby Show's pilot episode. As someone who came up in the '90s, the only opportunities I've had to watch the Cosby Show were reruns. I had never seen the pilot before, but more importantly, it wasn't the comedy that caught me eye. I was actually blown away by an exchange between young Lisa Bonet's Denise and Cliff Huxtable that starts at the 3:18 mark in the video embedded below.
Basically, Cliff drew the line on Denise heading out on a Friday night, with some loose-fit pants that would otherwise be described as conservative school day attire in this day and age. Then, Cliff seems flabbergasted by her date rocking an earring.
Not only are they the first family with young kids in the White House since the Kennedy's, but the Obama's are the most celebrated black family in America since the Cosby's were making history on NBC's primetime schedule. The Cosby anecdote is what makes President Obama's recent quotes on NBC News, that much more interesting. Times have changed drastically since the Cosby Show's heyday, and Obama is threatening to resort to some peculiar parenting meaures to keep Sasha and Malia in line. It all exemplifies how 21st century parenting methods have changed from the "pulling switches off trees" technique of years past.
Via Washington Post:
On the “Today” show Wednesday morning, President Obama explained how he and first lady Michelle Obama plan to keep their daughters from getting tattoos.
“What we’ve said to the girls is, ‘If you guys ever decided you’re going to get a tattoo, then mommy and me will get the exact same tattoo in the same place. And we’ll go on YouTube and show it off as a family tattoo,” Obama said. “And our thinking is that might dissuade them from thinking that somehow that’s a good way to rebel.”
Just as kids in the '80s scoffed at the "no dating until you're married" parents mantra, tattoos are inevitable for the vasty majority of teenagers today. Hell, 45 percent of parents say they would allow or are open to the idea of letting their teenagers get tattoos. At this rate, kids in twenty years are going to get their birthdates tatted on their backs by their parents, so why even fight it? However, the Obamas are not one of those couples.
It's a strategy that may just work for the Obamas though. They are in a unique position to humiliate their kids if they stray off the straight and narrow, even slightly. The President talks about it wistfully on occasion, but he's just lucky he doesn't have a boy. Who knows? In 20 years, someone may watch this interview with the same look of incredulity I had watching the Cosbys.