Bob Ross is a Doula

June 27, 2016 - 5 minutes read

A few weeks ago, Netflix began streaming several seasons of The Joy Of Painting with Bob Ross.  Like everybody born before 1990, I could hardly contain my excitement!

Watching Bob Ross work his color mixing magic on that giant acrylic palette (who doesn’t love a great lavender made of phthalo blue and alizarin crimson?!) and transform smudges into masterpieces is a downright American pastime.


Bob Ross, The Joy of Painting

It seems strange that a nation obsessed with Real Housewives, The People of Walmart, and twerking could also be totally enamored by a little cabin in the woods, a misty mountain range in the distance, and occasional appearances by that little rascal, Pea Pod the Pocket Squirrel.

So why exactly does Bob Ross captivate our hearts?

Bob Ross is a doula!

The Joy of Painting is a real life demonstration of what it means to instill nonjudgmental support. There are no mistakes in his world, only choices. And those choices are never wrong. He cheers you on no matter which way you blend your colors or where you put your clouds. He doesn’t really care how you compose your painting, only that you feel good about its outcome and that you build your confidence in the experience.

As I’ve watched the first season – and maybe or maybe not forced my children to sit down, shut up, and enjoy – I have heard Bob Ross utter encouraging words that immediately create peace and reassurance. Sure, he’s talking about painting, but he doesn’t have to be. His lessons transcend canvas and can be applied to any challenging situation.

He could be talking about brush strokes or birth stories. His nuggets of encouragement, calming, and wisdom are precisely things that your doula would say to you.  And so I present:

The Top 20 Quotes That Prove Bob Ross is a Doula

  1. Let it happen. Just let it happen.
  2. This seems hard, but you really can do this.
  3. All we want to do is show you how you can make these effects. What you make is totally up to you.
  4. I bet you didn’t realize you had that much power. You have total and complete power here…. You can move mountains, rivers, trees. You can determine what your world is like.
  5. It’s up to you. You have to make the big decisions.
  6. Everybody’s will be totally different, totally unique. We learn to work with whatever happens.
  7. You’re truly the master of your world here.
  8. I know that sounds crazy, but it works. Trust me.
  9. Just think about things, and mentally if you can see them, you can do them.
  10. Don’t fight that. Let it happen.
  11. There’s no pressure. Absolutely no pressure.
  12. You can do anything.
  13. I like to do mine like this, but you do yours any way you want. It’s very individual.
  14. We want you to be happy. We want this to work for you.
  15. Don’t fight ‘em.
  16. Ok, tell you what. Maybe we’ll have a little water now.
  17. See? You can create beautiful, beautiful things. You really can do that.
  18. Tschew! Gotta make those little noises. They can really help.
  19. And we’ll just let that one taper right on off into nothing, just like that. Good.
  20. Push, just push him out. We’ll come right down through the bottom now.


There you have it. Bob Ross really is a doula. With a wink and a smile and really sweet afro, he can bring compassion and expertise right into your world.

On his behalf, I wish you a happy little birth!


The photo above is courtesy of halden goggln, and the license can be found here.

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