Freeform series inspires working women, defies harmful stereotypes

The new drama, “The Bold Type,” airedon Freeform on June 20. The show has been an absolute success ever since, receiving high ratings and a magnitude of praise from viewers. 

The main characters in “The Bold Type” transcend female stereotypes, as they prove to be intelligent, witty and kind. But most importantly, these characters show versatile, successful women working at a magazine called Scarlet, where they face serious issues while always maintaining a positive attitude. The show was even referred to as, “TV’s most refreshing intersectional feminist series” by Advocate.

Freeform should be applauded for their carefully created show, as it serves as an inspiration to women across the country. More shows and media creators should be conscious of how their portrayal of different groups of people—particularly women—affects the way these groups are treated and viewed.

The depiction of women in popular TV shows and movies, especially successful women, has been plagued by negative stigmas and stereotypes. Career-driven female characters in media are often typecasted to be heartless and self-centered. 

This portrayal of working women can be damaging for young viewers. If the media continues to equate a woman with drive and determination to a woman who is cruel and alone, it will only deter girls from being ambitious. 

“While [the characters work] together to publish each issue of the periodical, they struggle to find their identities, manage friendships and find love,” “The Bold Type’s” description said. “The drama series is inspired by the life of longtime magazine editor and executive Joanna Coles, who serves as an executive producer.”

The female influence of Coles, the first person to hold the position of Chief Content Officer for Hearst Magazines, positively affects the way the publishing industry and career-driven women are portrayed in “The Bold Type.”

“Freeform's latest series salutes its characters for their ambition without limiting their achievements to the realm of young people,” IndieWire said. 

The three main characters in the show are millennials and have different careers and success levels while also representing varying ethnicities and sexualities.

Furthermore, the editor-in-chief of the magazine does not take on the heartless CEO stereotype that one would expect. Instead, she acts as a mentor and a friend to the young female leads, supporting them through difficult times in their careers.

It is extremely important for these types of relationships to be portrayed in the media. “The Bold Type” offers hope to female viewers, creating aspirational television for young millennial women entering the workforce. 

In addition, PopMatters claims that “The Bold Type” fosters “the joy of seeing women working together, supporting one another, and being smart and competent and funny and flawed, rather than fighting over a man.” 

“That such portrayals are still rare in popular culture allows ‘The Bold Type’ to position itself as a defender of this (absurdly) niche category,” PopMatters said. 

“The Bold Type” not only avoids stereotyping successful women in the media, but it also doesn’t reduce a female’s importance to solely their relationship with a male.

“The Bold Type” is not only entertaining—it also transcends female stereotypes while managing to discuss prevalent and controversial topics, without seeming too heavy handed. 

Freeform should be commended for creating “The Bold Type” and for writing female leads who inspire and fully encompass what it means to be a successful millennial woman in 2017.