Tag Archives: Clair Huxtable

The Prototype: Clair Huxtable (Revisited)

– Warning: Long Post Ahead –
But it’s the weekend and if you’re reading this, you probably have nothing else to do right now

I’ve made mention on this blog before about my affinity for the character of Clair Huxtable (and Michelle Obama). I even joined a Facebook group with other women who want to be a Clair. It all looks so good, right? Portrayed by the fabulous Phylicia Rashad, Clair Huxtable was beautiful and strong. She was a great mother and commanded in her career (when we got those rare shots of her actually at work). She had the adoration and respect of her children. Her husband was infatuated with her. She knew literature, jazz, dance, history. She was graceful and always appropriate, yet she took NO mess from anyone. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well duh, it was TV. Still, that hasn’t stopped yound people from wanting her to be their mom, women from wanting to be her, or men from wanting to be with her. So what IS it with this chick?
A scholarly take on the “EveryWoman” that was Clair Hanks Huxtable:

Clair may not have been the star of the show, but she definitely prevailed over the family. If the children were often able to pull one over Cliff, it was very rare that they could fool their mother. Her children recognized her authority yet trusted her as they knew she understood them and was open to dialogue. She was a no-nonsense person, but had a sense of humor and was very playful. Clair’s relationship with Cliff also was a double-faceted one. She enjoyed a certain complicity with her husband in their important united front vis-a-vis the children. Yet, in addition, she was constantly waiting for him round the bend as he gullibly got taken in by one of the children’s maneuvers or tried to sneak in some high cholesterol treat into the daily diet she watched over so carefully. Continue reading


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When I grow up…

Claire Huxtable. I’ve always loved Claire Huxtable. Who wouldn’t? By the way, although Phyllicia Rashad is independently fabulous, I’m talking about the character she made famous here.

Claire was beautiful, graceful, intelligent, witty, sharp, wise, caring, talented and commanding.

She was an attorney who commanded the courtroom. She had extensive knowledge of jazz and art. She danced. She had beautiful children who minded her. Her husband adored her. Her sex life never fizzled (you saw how they’d play under the covers when the kids were asleep). And she laughed the way a person should laugh: contagious laughter that fills a room.

I want to be a Claire Huxtable. Notice I put the letter “a” in there. Because I don’t want to be Claire Huxtable. She’s a fictional character and, well, I am ME. I want to be a kind of Claire. I will be an attorney soon and I want to have a family someday. I want to be beautiful and talented and knowledgeable. All with that rare combination of confidence and humility.

Since Claire is the fictional prototype, I’m happy to have found a real-life woman who fits into the Claire Huxtable mold: Michelle Obama. I love Michelle Obama like I love Claire.

Michelle is like fresh air. By now, you’ve heard all about her Southside Chicago upbringing, how her family expected their children to do well and sent them off to the Ivy Leagues. How she went to law school. How she gave up working for corporate America to do public interest work. How she met Barack while he was a youngin’ at the firm, and she mentored him. How he has trouble picking up his socks and, of course, how she’s keeping him grounded while he tries to shake the soul of our nation.

Yeah, she’s that cool. I love seeing women like her and Claire. Maybe that’s why I could never get with Condoleeza. She’s intelligent, alright. She’s powerful. Amazing accomplishments. But she doesn’t feel like anyone I KNOW. She looks fake and uncomfortable. She looks like she can’t have fun. Michelle and Claire, however, look like SISTAS. They’re the kind of women I always wished I had in my life to look up to. They are who I imagine my mom/aunts could be if they had different paths. I could probably find a Michelle or Claire in my beauty salon, or buying pantyhose, or wiping their kids’ nose on a cold day.

“Regular” women who have worked hard to have it all: career, family, personal fulfillment and hot, to boot!

So, take a moment to check Michelle Obama on the Colbert Report (aired 4/15) and love her with me…



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