Long story short… No.
This show stars Katie Stevens, Aisha Dee, and Meghann Fahy playing three girls working at a feminist fashion magazine. It’s inspired by the life of the former Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles.
Let me get this out immediately: I feel like they’re trying to be feminists and not really succeeding. They’re trying to be edgy and again, not succeeding.
It is supposed it be a show about empowering women, a lot of different types of women and yet, we are facing three thin, gorgeous and beautiful ladies working at a fashion magazine. And it’s not empowering. Think about the first episode: they judged each other’s decisions. Immediately.
Sure, the head of the magazine is a (white) woman, there is a lesbian Muslim photographer being imprisoned for smuggling vibrators into her country and there is a diverse staff… but is that enough?
It’s so glossy and perfect. Their outfits are always innovative, super trendy and their makeup is perfect. (I’m suddenly having intense Pretty Little Liars flashbacks.) It feels like they’re trying so hard to be edgy and also maintain that camera ready, perfect and never a hair-out-of-place vibe.
I was reading this blog entry on Artfulanalysis.wordpress.com and the author, Jess, is saying rather well what I am trying to convey here. She wrote: “I feel more squeemish about their portrayal of feminism than anything else. The reason I feel this way is that I feel as though the producers are trying to capitalize on feminism. Their desire to ensure that The Bold Type feels selfish, while still attempting to be “looking out” for other women. While part of me can appreciate that some of the themes and issues they’re trying to tackle are making the program “woke”, it seems behind the times on “wokeness”. In 2017, young people are far more radical than programs like The Bold Type want to portray us as.”
It feels like Freeform is trying to show how progressive and innovative it is,
the type of feminism is extremely basic.
Of course, it’s not easy writing a feminist show and be inclusive: it’s such a broad topic with opposite views within itself.
But let’s try not to mix up friendship with feminism. They are two separate things the show might be confusing and overlapping.
Just because they are friends, it doesn’t mean they are feminists.
At on point, Kat says that they are doing is “stealth feminism … It’s no longer how to please your man or woman in bed. It’s how to please yourself.”
Which is great! (Basic but great). Most people interested in feminism already know this and those who don’t life it, won’t watch the show.
But when you write a storyline like the whole orgasm thing in the first episodes of season 1. Jane has never had one, she writes about it and then magically the next day, a guy appears and voilà! It’s orgasm city up in here! So was it just about the guy? There was no exploring your sexuality, trying to “please yourself”? She just needed a guy who writes columns about sex at a men’s magazine?
This is what you call feminism? Nah, I don’t think so.
If your tag line is: “Feminism is only our second favourite F word”, you gotta deliver. Don’t come here bullshitting me around.
It’s the type of feminism for people who don’t know anything (or they know very very little) about the topic. Which is important! You have to start somewhere! Myself included! I have only approached the subject itself fairly recently and it’s been a journey of constant learning!
There are positive things about the show, obviously. Some themes they have been talking about include the importance of women sexuality, raising your voice for what you believe in, going after what you want, doing what is best for you and your career, being truthful to yourself and loving Beyoncé.
They might be vague and at times, kind of meaningless but it’s there! As I said before, there is representation (although I’m still waiting for the utterance of the word “bisexual”), one of the recurring characters is a Muslim lesbian artist, they talk about sexual harassment and rape, the importance of having your breasts check out to prevent breast cancer and the online harrassment episode was one of the show’s best.
Amazing and important topics! So yay! If the show had come out ten years ago, it would have been really important for people to watch. Now in the #MeToo, Trump and political and social awareness era, it goes unnoticed.
Speaking of the current US president, I did not like the fact they kept mentioning him and their hatred towards him. That is exactly what he wants. He loves people talking about him, he lives for attention and the show is serving all of this on a
silver gold plate.
800 words later, it’s time for me to end this post.
Do you watch “The Bold Type”? Do you think its portrayal of feminism is realistic? Do you feel like any of my views are wrong?