Los Angeles is home to many kinds of people. One kind—moms—has a slew of stereotypes to contend with. That is, when they’re not jamming Valley carpool lanes, twisting into boob-baring yoga postures, or shopping for new clothes for their mini boho hipsters. (We kid!) In reality, L.A. mothers are are as diverse as the neighborhoods that make up the city. But with Mother’s Day around the corner, we’re celebrating eight motherly archetypes we all know and love.
The Social Justice Mom: Helen Hunt Jackson
This 19th Century Angeleno is notable for sounding an alarm to warn against the mistreatment of local native Americans. Her book, Ramona, amplified the message—but also drew eyes to the city thanks to her description of local culture.
The New Domestic Goddess: Gwyneth Paltrow
The blogger is a serious local mommy tastemaker. She prefers alternative modes of travel and alternative names for her children. Her do-it-all-ness reflects of our city’s crush on creativity.
The Radicalized Mama: Barbara T. Smith
Los Angeles tends to infect its residents with artistic ambition, and mothers are not immune. Smith went from being a 1960s housewife to an Artist (yes, capital A). Her work—and life transformation—was the subject of a Pacific Standard Time show.
The Evangelical Mother: Aimee Semple McPherson
The always animated McPherson started Angeles Temple near Echo Park Lake and helped underserved communities through her preaching. Her daughter went on to help create the show Name That Tune.
The Anti-Gluten Free Mother (Who May Be Partly Italian): Mother Dough
While not a person, per se, the East Hollywood staple is one of our favorite pizza places in town. For that, she has our love and devotion.
The Drought-Consumed Momma: Zanja Madre
The Madre was the first aqueduct that helped bring water to wet our wells. Was she well intentioned? Sure! Did she lead L.A. to a future of water dependence? Maybe.
The Mother Nature Wannabes: Mothers of East Los Angeles
MELA is a group of activists from the Eastside who organized in the ‘80s to fight prison construction in the area. Today they crusade for causes like cleaner air, health education, and environmental injustice. Go on with your badass mommy selves!