Taking Up Space (Physically & Metaphorically)

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend about being more conscious of how much space you take up, physically or metaphorically.  We talked about it through the lens of leadership, and how a mark of maturity is being conscious of how much attention you are putting on yourself, or how much space you take up, and when to shift the attention to others, or when to share space with others.  

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House made me think about this concept, but in a much more physical way.  Mr. and Mrs. Blanding cannot even share space in their closet; their physical location, such as their bedroom and closet, does not contain the space to hold their belongings.  

I believe this mirrors a more abstract issue this family is facing.  There is a focus not only on how much physical space they need to exist, seen when Mrs. Blanding decides she wants to renovate the apartment in which they live, but also on who in their relationship is permitted to “take up space” in the sense of being the center of attention, and being the one who makes the big decisions.  

The romanticization of “space” is also interesting.  It seems as though this family believes a lot of their issues comes from how much space they have and how that space is being utilized.  From a viewer’s perspective, it is clear that this couple has communication issues, and maybe some issues with the power dynamics in their relationship, many of which probably stem from the defined gender stereotypes of the time.  They seem to believe that their issues can and will be solved if they just have more space, or a better home.

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