I didn’t have dreams of working in fashion when I was little, but I always loved Rhoda, who I first saw on Mary Tyler Moore.
She seemed to have a really cool life. She was a chick who made her own money, dated hot guys, was friends with her sister, and had her own apartment in New York. She wore a head wrap and big hoop earrings. She wore her heart on her sleeve. If she was having troubles with Joe, she told everyone about it—Rhoda always told it like it was. She was also a feminist who worked in fashion.
That was the first time I saw women working in media and fashion, and it was also one of the first times I saw women living on their own. There were huge statements being made on television back then. On All in the Family, you have these hippies and these working-class families. Then you have The Jeffersons, African-Americans with affluence and help, owning businesses and having great success. Bonnie Franklin on One Day at a Time was a single mom raising kids after a divorce.
These were things that were really shocking at the time. Shows back then were a lot more powerful than they are now, in the sense that they reflected what was happening in the world. People were so upset about Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda. Rhoda and Joe got divorced on television, and that wasn’t happening then. Forget about watercooler discussions, this was the talk of America.
—As told to Chavie Lieber