If you know me personally then you know that I am absolutely in love with The Golden Girls. It is true, we have a shrine in our house that is dedicated to them. Today marks the thirtieth anniversary of The Golden Girls, and in honor of the momentous occasion let us revisit a few of the lessons this wonderful show has taught us.
HIV Is Not A Bad Person’s Disease
In the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic there were people who openly declared that the virus was God’s punishment of sinful people. From pulpits to politicians, dying people where demonized. In a matter of months, a vibrant and healthy people would deteriorate due to a mysterious disease. Fear of the epidemic lead to sexual shamming, even within the gay community. Remnants of this rhetoric continue to echo throughout conversations today, just ask anyone who openly talks about being on PrEP. The Golden Girls remind us that HIV is simply a virus, not a measure of morality.
H.A.L.T. Before Contempt Arises
With four roommates The Golden Girls had plenty of conflict. In an attempt to avoid saying something nasty, Dorothy touches on an important lesson. Before bringing up a potentially challenging conversation with a loved one, checkin with yourself. If you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired then address your own needs first. Doing so will help keep contempt from damaging your relationship. Watch Dorothy’s half-hearted attempt to halt her cutting wit.
Take Charge Of Your Sexual Health
The ladies of Miami serve as a reminder that our sexuality does not end once we hit a certain age. Recently, the grand total of the girls’ sexual conquests was calculated and in seven seasons they got a great deal of booty. 263 booties to be exact. With so much rump-shaking happening, The Golden Girls helped to minimize sexual shame while teaching us that we are in charge of our own sexual health.
The ultimate lesson from The Golden Girls is that aging does not mean ending. We have a finite amount of time on this rock and the characters show us how to squeeze every drop of joy from later life. The women thrive because they cherish their chosen family, take healthy risks and do not allow others’ limited perceptions of aging to define them. After thirty years the series still makes people laugh while teaching us to celebrate aging rather than fearing it.