Monday, October 12, 2009

Bad Babysitter

I heard an interview on NPR the other day with a woman who had written a book about the history of babysitting. It was pretty interesting since I'd never really thought about the origin of the whole teenage girl babysitter thing...apparently it first came about in the 1920s when parents were wanting more leisure time and teenage girls were being stimulated by the first waves of the new consumer craze of "teen culture". Makeup and store bought clothes were in new abundance and girls needed money to pay for them. Its interesting because the book's author Miriam Forman-Brunell noted that throughout history people have assumed that teen girls would be naturally motherly but in all her research the girls were actually driven by the money. Unfortunately, another reason parents tend to hire teen girls is that they are considered cheap since they're young and female (research shows teen boy babysitters are generally paid better). She found that this tends to cause disgruntled babysitters which may have lead to the concept of the "bad babysitter". Its interesting that this has actually lead to younger and younger babysitters. I started babysitting in 7th grade for $2 an hour (i know!) and the kids would spend all day beating the shit out of each other. However, the jobs just get better and better as you get older. The last time I babysat was for a sleeping infant at $15 an hour in the Chelsea Hotel. I spent most of the time watching Kathy Griffin stand-up on HBO,,, not bad.

Adventures in Babysitting is cute. If you think it looks dangerous I really don't recommend googling "babysitter" without the safe search on.
Elizabeth Shue has such great hair.

Remember Alicia Silverstone in The Babysitter? Everyone is obsessed with her!

But really the Bad Babysitter position belongs to Princess Superstar.

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