Let’s be real: Hollywood does not usually do the fashion industry justice when it comes to television and movies based on what it’s like for young women working and werking their way up. The snobby coworkers, female rivalry, and cold, emotionally abusive bosses are usually the typical tropes, with a touch of glamour and A-lister appeal to make it all worthwhile. While I stan for The Devil Wears Prada, it was more entertaining than realistic, and if it came out in today’s social media climate, it wouldn’t stand a chance TBH. Still, I won’t discredit the additional inspiration it gave me to work for a fashion publication, but the positivity of young career woman finding her way and importance of the fashion industry depicted could be easily lost amongst the stereotypes. Also, I still find it annoying that Andy had to lose her relationship and the support of her friends to ultimately excel in her career–it was as if she is only allowed to one choice and must be fulfilled with it.
On ABC Freeform’s The Bold Type, that mindset doesn’t fly; this show has found the happy medium and I couldn’t be happier.
I finally sat down to binge season one before the premiere of season two. Based on the title, I knew that it would be about working in journalism, but was not expecting fashion to play a part. Within the first two minutes, I was immediately obsessed! I thought it was so cute seeing three coworkers who happen to be BFFs, excitedly walk through a chic lobby up to their even more chic magazine job at Scarlet, and casually chill in the fashion closet for girls time at a moments notice.
Although we don’t have a fashion closet (yet), it feels similar to working at WhatRUWearing. Being based on a real editor-in-chief, Joanna Coles, and her life at Cosmopolitan makes this show so much easier to appreciate. From social media, editorial, an amazing female boss, and overall positive environment for women employees, the show is us! Though we aren’t necessarily assigning our personality types to each character, we just love how all the nuances–despite small unrealistic details, like expensive wardrobes, and salaries–make up what it’s like to work for a women’s publication. Here are all the reasons we relate to The Bold Type and why it gets a gold star from us:
It’s non-judgemental toward millennial women’s lifestyles
What is commendable about The Bold Type is the writers are committed to showing the complexity of women’s interests. The three main characters Jane, Kat, and Sutton are millennial women that care about fashion, dating, and social media just as they do about social issues and establishing their careers. Unlike the multiple of articles that exist on the interwebs about how 20-somethings are the downfall of basically everything, the show doesn’t use plots or characters to condescend the girls for being and behaving young.
It’s unapologetically feminist
The women on the show stick together so much that it was surprising, seeing as tough women are almost always pitted against each other on TV. They also have no issue with standing up for what they believe in, no matter if they’re battling Twitter trolls or if their superiors are all old white men. We watch Kat, Jane, and Sutton take control of their sexualities, put their careers first and know their worth and that is empowering AF.
It shows that your boss could actually care about your personal and professional growth.
Scarlet’s Editor-in-Chief Jacqueline Carlyle has juxtaposing qualities about her; she’s sharp and slightly intimidating, but she is also transparent and approachable. She acknowledges and nurtures the talent of her staff and makes them feel valued. Jacqueline’s character doesn’t play into the impossible to please, fashion boss-from-Hell stereotype and it is thoroughly refreshing. Again, it also reflects positively on women by showing that a woman can be powerful, well-respected and still be a normal person with compassion. While she makes it known that she makes sacrifices in her relationship regarding her career, we also get to see her happily married.
It has a positive female relationship dynamic.
Success of shows like Sex and the City is due to the fact it celebrated a strong, successful, female friend group. On The Bold Type, the three main characters have very different personalities, have a great bond and support each other on their journeys of coming into their own in life, love, and careers. They have a great working relationship as well as personal, challenging each other to reach their full potential and handling disagreements maturely.
It’s socially relevant.
Unlike many fictional shows and even real-life publications, The Bold Type doesn’t shy away from controversial topics. Kat explores her sexuality and comes to terms with her biracial identity. The ladies take on many layers of feminist topics. Adena is an Iranian Muslim and is struggling to find stability amongst immigration policies. Sutton deals with slut-shaming and workplace romance, and Jacqueline confesses she had a traumatic #MeToo moment in the early years of her career. Scarlet as a publication recognizes their duty to be socially responsible, and shine a light on issues that impact their readers.
This may be just touching the surface of what The Bold Type will talk about next, but that’s why we’re watching! Let’s hope that there’s now a new trend for positive, female-led series. Otherwise, we’ll take it from here.