The timeless TV brunette from Queens will always have a place in our Millennial hearts. Francine “Fran” Fine – played by actress Fran Drescher – may have been just a sitcom nanny, but this bombshell of a lady, with her wisecrack one-liners, masterful banter, and confident stride, is the role model we need in 2021.
Fran’s unapologetic energy and ability to work the room with her street-savvy magic was what made the show The Nanny a gem among ‘90s-era American sitcoms. Produced by Drescher herself, the series was a chronicle of her own life as a stylish cosmetics saleswoman turned sitter.
Few women in the spotlight today can live up to her spunkiness, vibrancy, and sense of fun and adventure. Fran’s personality was liked by all. (No wonder people are still watching reruns!) While no one will ever hold a candle to the original Nanny, there’s a lot we ladies can learn from her upbeat, positive attitude and that unmistakable smile that lights up the room from scene to scene.
Fran Embraced Fun
As humans, we naturally gravitate toward the happy, funny people who brighten our day and light up the room. To this, Fran is sunshine personified. In every episode, viewers looked forward to her classic descent down the staircase as she greeted her audience with what was an unlimited wardrobe of fierce outfits. Fran knew she was expected to make a grand entrance, and she certainly delivered. It was an event, after all, and she had fun doing it, as she reflects in a 2018 TODAY interview about her life.
Fran Always Looked on the Bright Side
But as spunky as she is, she’s also a peacemaker. I’d even say she’s emotionally mature in that she masterfully makes light out of every situation without an angry bone in her body. Somehow Fran found this magic formula that turns conflict into comedy. I’d imagine if more women took after Fran’s conversation cues, they wouldn’t have much trouble meeting the right man or improving their own relationships.
Fran Was Supremely Self-Confident
Show me a woman who’s perfectly comfortable in her skin and I’ll raise you Francine’s flawless figure and a fanciful wardrobe that could stop traffic in New York City. But I love that her sense of style didn’t make her stiff, stuffy, or sterile. Her fashion flexes were just for her, as she made herself comfortable in any setting. It helped that her personality was an instant ice breaker, making her approachable and likable.
Fran wasn’t shy about being sexy either. She didn’t apologize for being a grown woman or try to infantilize herself. She was single and attractive and played it up – ultimately to her advantage.
Fran Doesn’t Keep Her Fabulousness to Herself
But Fran wasn’t selfish about her style abilities either. I would have given anything as a teen to have been Maggie, the eldest daughter of the Sheffield household, who Fran helped dress for a dinner party. At the start of the pilot episode, the 14-year-old seemed down and frumpy. But Fran worked her magic by sharing her penchant for style with the young teen. A transformed Maggie, in a beautiful and age-appropriate gown, floated down the staircase with newfound confidence thanks to Fran’s special touch.
Fran didn’t keep her fabulousness to herself and certainly wasn’t afraid of it. Instead, she used style and sophistication to make every place better than she left it, which is how style should be.
Fran’s Joyful Energy Is Contagious
I like to believe that the fountain of youth is in our attitude. That the energy we choose to give to the world will rub off on us as well. Fran was full of positivity and joy, allowing her curiosity and fearlessness to guide her. She made happiness a priority for herself and she wanted the same for the Sheffield family. This is a perfect embodiment of the notion that we must love ourselves before we can fully love someone else. Because Fran knew self-love, she could love this family, and that love would eventually grow beyond her job role.
Fran Fine wasn’t just a ‘90s fashion trendsetter. For many young ladies from my generation, she was the first mainstream messenger of self-confidence, style, and an unabashed appreciation for life. And while The Nanny may not air on television again, let’s hope these vital character traits from the Nanny herself get a rerun in 2021.
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