Sunday, August 30, 2015

Modern Family: Promoting or Defying Stereotypes?

Modern Family was groundbreaking when it first aired in 2009, depicting two of the main characters as gay and in a committed relationship. Since then, it has become one of the most popular shows on television. The show has won numerous awards for its unique and humorous take on the family of today. Modern Family has become more relevant in today’s culture with the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage. Mitchell and Cam, the gay couple featured on the show, recently got married on-screen. Although Modern Family promotes some gay stereotypes, the show presents Mitchell and Cam as just another American couple with the same interests and aspirations for a happy family life.

Modern Family, however, does feed off of the stereotype that gay men are feminine and style-conscious. Many of Mitchell and Cam’s friends are other gay couples, many of whom have unusual names, such as Pepper, Longines, and Crispin. Pepper throws theme parties for their gay couple friends, which Mitch and Cam frequently attend. Many of their friends are fashionable, and have great taste, like Mitch and Cam. As a sub context of many story lines, they seem to be always obsessing over the newest art piece or fashion trend.
Following another stereotype, Cam is a flamboyant and extroverted character. His appearance, along with his personality, highlight a common misconception about gay men. Cam wears daring fashion pieces and has an interest in the arts while also taking on the role as a “stay-at-home dad." While Cam is portrayed as the typical gay man, there are layers to his character that defy his stereotype.

Cam grew up on a farm in a conservative family in Missouri. He frequently talks about his life before moving to California, and how he would have to “rough it out” living on his farm. Cam also has a strong interest in sports and is a high school gym teacher and football coach. He also was a football player at the University of Illinois.

Modern Family displays Mitch and Cam as any other American couple, struggling with financial issues while raising a daughter and balancing work and family life. While Modern Family does depict the couple in a light of stereotypes, it also shows them as the new ‘normal’ family of today.


  1. I like the points you made. There are stereotypes involved with this show but it also brings attention to some topics that need to be addressed. Great job with your examples!

  2. I agree with Jackie that these are stereotypes that need to be talked about and it really relates to the modern world. I like how you connected it with the recent Supreme Court decision.

  3. I liked how you said "The new 'normal' family of today." It expresses how society is changing and becoming more accepting as time goes on. I also agree with Sam and Jackie's posts as well.