Fifty Shades of Red

What did you think of the cringe-inducing exchange between Dakota Johnson and her mother Melanie Griffiths at the Oscars?

Conversation Between Friends
Star and Starlet, Mother & Daughter, Dakota Johnson & Melanie Griffith

It’s a very common scenario – conversations between mother and daughter can include bickering, but this is generally not witnessed in such a public forum. This is an award’s ceremony, der! Typical mother daughter arguments usually occur in the privacy of your home, with family members collectively rolling their eyes, running for cover  – or both!

It’s no different in my household; now I’m ‘big mama’ and even when I was the ‘irksome daughter’ it was just the same routine. Frustration, raised voices, slamming doors, wild gesticulation and spiteful words. It’s all about boundaries, being top ‘bitch’, respect and approval. A complex, emotional cocktail, not to be consumed by those with a weak disposition.

It was amusing and embarrassing to witness, Dakota’s frustration with her mom for refusing to see her arguably ‘finest’ hour on the big screen. I understood her mum’s point of view, and to be fair, you don’t need to see the film to imagine what the scenes might look like. We can assume that Mel flicked through the book when Dakota was offered the part. Her mother graciously remarked that she knows her daughter is a great actress. Dakota’s response, was pure teenage indignation and a demand for approval. “I’m a woman too!” she said without saying it!

This should be in the National Portrait Gallery – it’s a masterpiece

So, mothers and daughters of the world, do not despair – your bickering is normal and natural (assuming you have breaks in between where you are friends and can laugh at yourselves). It’s not easy being a mother whose daughter doesn’t or will not hear you. It’s equally distressing being apparently ‘brushed off’ by your mum. You both have an opinion and they are equally valid.

Keep smiling ladies, you’re in stellar company 🙂


Suzy Rigg


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