In a recent episode of The Bold Type, they make an inappropriate joke about Plath’s suicide when someone was sad. It got me thinking about the ways in which Plath has become a cultural stand in for suicide and women’s emotions (which are always perceived as extra). Here is a list of totally inappropriate references to Plath. Can we not just focus on her brilliant work?
- The Bold Type, Season 2, Episode 3.”Writing alone is real lonely.” “Why do you think Sylvia Plath put her head in an oven?”
- Roseanne, Season 2, Episode 10. “How you doing there Sylvia Plath? “Who’s Sylvia Plath?” “Oh, she was a brilliant poet. Full of passion, angst, whatever”
- The Mindy Project, Season 3, Episode 9. “I feel Bell Jar as Hell Right Now”
- Scrubs, Season 6, Episode 7 “Plath stuck her head in the oven but that wasn’t an option for me becuase every time my head gets hot I need to pee”
- Sabrina, Season 1, Episode 14. “The Bell Jar, Three Puddings, this can’t be good.”
- Gilmore Girls, Episode 3, 3.
LORELAI: You can evaluate a significant experience that’s had an impact on you…or you can write about a person who has had a significant influence on you.RORY: You?LORELAI: Or one of your authors, Faulkner or…RORY: Or Sylvia Plath.LORELAI: Hm, might send the wrong message.RORY: The sticking her head in the oven thing?LORELAI: Yeah. Although she did make her kids a snack first, shows a certain maternal instinct. (Episode 3.3)
- Family Guy, Season 7 episode 13. “Ok look Meg, we’ve been at this for 45 minutes I don’t know what else I can say. Here’s a Sylvia Plath book and a bottle of Ambien. I’m gonna look the other way and whatever happens happens.”