What is a Stepford Wife, what did Louise Redknapp mean when she used the term to describe her marriage and what’s the film about?

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THE term “Stepford Wife” is often used to describe women who have no control or freedom in their relationships.

Louise Redknapp claimed this is how she felt during her marriage to Jamie – we take a look at the origin of the word…

 Stepford Wife is a term that remains common in the British language - here's its originAlamy Stepford Wife is a term that remains common in the British language – here’s its origin

What is a Stepford Wife?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a Stepford Wife as: “a woman who does not behave or think in an independent way, always following the accepted rules of society and obeying her husband without thinking.”

People often use it to describe submissiveness in relationships.

This term was inspired by the book and film The Stepford Wives.

In the plot of this work, the women are frighteningly submissive and almost robot-like.

 The term has submissive and robot-like connotationsAlamy The term has submissive and robot-like connotations

What did Louise Redknapp mean when she used the term Stepford Wife?

When Louise Redknapp confirmed she was living apart from husband Jamie in a candid interview in October, confessing that she “still loves him” but needs to follow her dreams.

During the intimate chat, the star said she began feeling like a “Stepford Wife” because she was constantly putting others before herself.

Louise added: “I have spent most of my life pleasing everyone else, worrying about being judged and thinking I should always do the right thing by staying at home, looking after my kids and my husband. I lost myself.”

 Louise Redknapp used the premise of the book as a metaphor for her marriageGetty – Contributor Louise Redknapp used the premise of the book as a metaphor for her marriage

She added: “‘I’d think of my past life as a pop star as being “not reality”. Looking after the house and my family was my reality.

“I became a sort of Stepford Wife, wanting to be perfect at it…

“I didn’t want to continue running around after everyone else, and occasionally promoting a yogurt or doing a little TV presenting job.

“I wanted to sing, I wanted to perform… And that is when the s*** hit the fan.”

Louise and Jamie eventually divorced on December 29,  having been granted a decree nisi in just 20 seconds.

What is The Stepford Wives film all about?

 The 1974 adaptation of the best-selling book is critically acclaimedAlamy The 1974 adaptation of the best-selling book is critically acclaimed

Two films adaptations have been made of Ira Levin’s satirical thriller The Stepford Wives.

The story focuses on Joanna Eberthart, a young mum who investigates the possibility that the housewives in her Connecticut neighbourhood are actually robots.

Protagonist Joanna is originally from New York City, meaning she is acutely aware of how men dominate the local area.

 Nicole Kidman plays Joanna Eberhart in the 2004 remakeHandout Nicole Kidman plays Joanna Eberhart in the 2004 remake

By the end of the plot, she is desperately trying to escape the robot ridden neighbourhood.

In 1975, Bryan Forbes’ movie hit the big screen and has since become a cult film.

Frank Oz’s remake was released in 2004 and starred Nicole Kidman, Matthew Broderick and Bette Midler.




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