The fi gure of the domestic worker has long existed on the margins of American cinema: the glimpses viewers catch of her are fl eeting at best, as she traipses through rooms, carrying trays of food, setting tables and doggedly caring for children outside the central activity of the home and, indeed, the narrative. While this tendency to acknowledge elliptically the labour of the domestic all the while denying her a full subjectivity has surely not abated, American mass culture has recently witnessed an unprecedented rise in popular representations of maids and nannies, fi gures who remain paradoxically visible and invisible at the same time. Consider: we now regularly see real life domestics helping families on television’s Nanny 911 (2004-) and Supernanny (2005-), as main characters in the fi lms Bread and Roses (2001), Maid in Manhattan (2002), Uptown Girls (2003), Love Actually (2003), Spanglish (2004), Nanny McPhee (2005), Friends with Money (2006) and The Nanny Diaries (2007) and as central literary fi gures in novels such as Allison Pearson’s I Don’t Know How She Does It (2003), Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus’s The Nanny Diaries (2002) and Liz Ireland’s How I Stole Her Husband (2005). This rise is, I argue, a matter of interest not only for fi lm and media scholars, but also a structural problematic in the ideological history of feminism, which has largely failed to grapple with the question of how the preponderance of domestic labourers has ensured economic gains for America’s elite, while fi xing others, mostly women of colour, in positions which ensure little economic mobility.