Tips Up: 3 Life Lessons from ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’

Though The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a show that fulfills entertainment purposes and provides more than a few laughs, Midge teaches a lot of life lessons along the way.

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For those of you who tuned into season 1 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, season 2 does not disappoint. For those of you who haven’t watched either season, well, you should.

Miriam Maisel, also known as Midge, is a 1950’s perfect housewife turned divorcee turned aspiring stand up comic. Season 1 primarily builds the foundation of who Midge is and what life events spiral her into a state of drunkenness that leads to the defining moment of an impromptu and successful first stand up comedy act. The roller coaster ride that ensues includes (but is not limited to), acquiring a scrappy manager, moving back in with her parents, working her very first job at a makeup counter and even a brief stint in jail.

The latest season continues to unfold her life journey and build depth in her character. The Sherman-Palladino duo succeeds in this by pulling us through the romantic landscapes of Paris, the shores of the Catskills and in the crowd of crazy comedy gigs. The audience continues to fall in love and support Mrs. Maisel’s charismatic and smart demeanor described by others as a walking wink.

Though The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a show that fulfills entertainment purposes and provides more than a few laughs, Midge teaches a lot of life lessons along the way.

1. Look good, feel good.

Miriam Maisel is a fantastic example of dressing for success. Each gig she dons a black cocktail dress, pearls and heels before going on stage- even if it means having to make do without a changing room. Outside of her budding comedy career, Midge dresses for success.

Whether it’s strutting down the streets of New York, we never catch her wearing the same thing to events. This is evident from her packing ridiculous amounts of clothing options for summer vacation. Midge is well aware of the value of a good presentation—after all, she is the reigning Mrs. Steiner pageant queen.


As said by Coco Chanel, “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.” Mrs. Maisel certainly takes this sentiment to heart.

More than a few times in grade school I was told that dressing up for a test day makes you do better. You know, because that baby blue sweater with a fur collar definitely helps you remember the pythagorean theorem.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. However, there is a lot of truth behind dressing for success. Numerous studies have shown the positive impact that dressing well has on others perception of yourself, and in turn, your performance.  

When you feel good about your outfit, your new haircut, or that really expensive pair of new shoes, you naturally feel more confident. This is similar to the satisfaction of a well-made poster to present at a conference, or a really great picture to post on social media. A thought out and well-executed attire provides you internal satisfaction because you feel good about what you’re presenting to the public.

This internal satisfaction embeds itself into your self esteem and allows confidence to radiate outward. This confidence can even be contagious for those around you, impacting your day-to-day tasks and work.

Furthermore, others notice a good hair day or on-point outfit. In today’s time and age, the standards for dress when out and about have certainly lowered. Think about airports, grocery stores, even some office environments—the expectation for apparel is less than what is was say, a decade ago.

Therefore, by dressing up a little bit more you are differentiating yourself from everyone else.

Even though we may try hard not to judge a book by it’s cover, every day we notice physical details about those around us simply because that’s the first and most surface level to see. Studies have shown that in the first few seconds of meeting someone we have made our first impression.

Therefore, by dressing up a little bit more you are differentiating yourself from everyone else.

In those few seconds you really only notice that person’s physical presence, how they dress, maybe their mannerisms before you have made your first judgement. Therefore, your appearance means everything in that moment. Think about the difference between your first impression of Sophie Lennon and Midge.

When it comes to dressing to impress, take note of Mrs. Maisel.

2. Reframing. 

Reframing is a tool often used by therapists in order to help individuals take a different perspective on a situation, person, or relationship. Reframing usually pushes a more positive outlook, ultimately allowing an individual to change the meaning of whatever circumstances they are in.

Reframing is often done in humor—people who are really funny are usually able to quickly spin a situation into a joke. By doing this they are reframing and showing mental flexibility.

Midge regularly uses reframing in her stand up gig’s, in fact, most of her tight ten is exactly that; taking simple, mundane or frustrating day-to-day activities and spinning them into a funny quip.

For example, in one act she talks about her son being bullied in the playground. Instead of taking the normal mom mindset and talking about how bad that instant was or how she protected and sympathized with her child, she talks about how she told him to not be such a—ahem, let’s go with wimp.

Midge even uses reframing as a tool to work through adversity or uncomfortable moments in the show. At one of her first gigs in the season, multiple male comedians gave her a tough time before she got on stage after being bumped back multiple times. Instead of allowing their comments and this frustration to get into her head, she used it in her performance.

Her mental flexibility allows her to look at any situation and turn it on it’s head.

Similarly, while performing at a massive and elegant banquet in the Catskills she catches the eye of her father in the audience. Mind you, he has no idea about her pursuit of a career in comedy, nor her explicit nature in that field. Instead of freezing on stage, she reframes the entire situation and ends up talking about her parents’ sex life. Maybe not the best reframing she’s ever done—but effective nonetheless.

Her mental flexibility allows her to look at any situation and turn it on it’s head. This is what makes her funny, while being a great example of reframing.  

3. Moving forward.

Though the show does follow Midge’s pursuit of a comedy career, her personal life is also documented, and if you’ve watched the show you know just how entertaining that has been. Midge goes from the picture-perfect housewife, to a single mother living with her parents. There’s truly no shortage of material to reframe.

Each episode is constantly panning between a comedy gig, parent drama, a joke, an ex-husband sleeping around, a new doctor romance, another gig. It feels as if it never ends and it is exhausting. How she manages it all is amazing.

Rather than being swallowed by the complexity of her current situation with her ex, a new relationship, and pursuing a new career while also being a mom, she actively moves forward and continues to make small steps into the direction of finding solutions and health lifestyle.

With all of the difficult things, Midge has every right to hole up, be sad and a little lost. However, instead of allowing the big picture to overwhelm her, she takes it all step by step and takes care of little things at a time. Throwing a baby shower, letting Joel stay in their cottage, leaving the Catskills in a rush to get out of the call center and up to the makeup counter, Midge never stops actively seeking solutions and improvement.


When dealing with overwhelming and difficult situations, sometimes you just need to move forward and get a few small wins under your belt. Throughout the second season, Midge displays this well.

When dealing with overwhelming and difficult situations, sometimes you just need to move forward and get a few small wins under your belt. 

At the end of the day, we all admire Midge. Her presentation, her wit and her bold demeanor make us want to go into stand-up comedy and even live in the city too. While that may not be possible for all of us, we can all learn and improve with the little lessons Midge throws out along the way.

Midge’s matching purses and pumps aren’t required to be dressed for success, but she certainly illustrates the confidence a spiffy outfit provides.

Reframing keeps you flexible in your mindset and provides you with a more positive outlook in life—which may even bring you a few more jokes.

Lastly, even though everyone’s life is complex and sometimes the big picture can be overwhelming, always taking small steps forward helps, even if it’s something as simple as buying a $25 painting from a closet room in an art gallery.

Dress for success, keep a flexible mindset, always move forward and you’ll be a little more like Mrs. Maisel.

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