Through the lives of three best friends, Jane, Sutton & Kat, The Bold Type talks about necessary and heavy conversations that are usually ignored. On the surface, it might look like another chick flick but the further you go into this TV show, you realize it’s so much more than that!
The Bold Type showcases a rather realistic portrayal of what goes behind running a magazine and other than the glitz and glamour of fashion and lifestyle publishing, The Bold Type has me hooked with its storyline that talks about heavy and important conversations that usually go undiscussed.
The Bold Type touches upon some issues that strike a chord:
Though we’ve had TV shows talking about Breast cancer and its effects, they’ve rarely showcased the journey of living in continuous fear of the probability of getting detected for Breast Cancer due to the BRCA gene at a younger age. The Bold Type talks about the aftermath of a double mastectomy (removal of your breasts) in your 20s and that’s pretty commendable. The experience of removing your breasts and living with fake ones is alienating and watching Jane struggle with this helps us understand that the fear doesn’t disappear after the surgery. This TV show portrays her struggle of making it part of her life, the acceptance, and opening herself to others so well! The way she looks for support groups to talk about post-surgery depression and anxiety, I love that this series captures it all!
With the #MeToo storyline plugged into the series, The Bold Type gives you a perspective that might help understand how big of a deal this is for survivors. The unbearable load of the trauma, how victims want to talk about it and unload it, but sometimes people, organizations, and law turn a blind eye to the whole scenario. When Jane decides to cover the story of a rape survivor who shows up daily at a park holding weights as an art piece that got attention initially but died down soon after, reminds us how even though the “story” fades away, the pain doesn’t wash off so easily. With Jacqueline holding the weights, it puts forth how difficult it is to talk about harassment but watching someone stand up for justice, gives you the strength to come out, acknowledges it, and talk about it in front of the world, and that’s a different kind of liberation. Something Jacqueline said that stuck with me, “You will never feel normal again, but you’ll find a new normal and it works so well that you don’t even know that it’s not, and I don’t think I realized how much of the weight I was still carrying.”
According to reports, the episode about possessing a gun was shot one week after the mass shooting in Florida. The episode doesn’t go through the very detailed discussion on gun possession but leaves you with food for thought. It isn’t black or white, while Sutton owned a gun to use it as a sport, Jane couldn’t accept the fact that her roommate had hidden it from her for many years and is not willing to give it up. Jane is afraid of gun possession because it brings back memories for her of shootings in the past.
Kat is on a journey of exploring her sexual identity/ sexual fluidity, where her experiences of belonging in the queer world are new but she is open to accept what may come. The normalcy of discussions around queer inclusion and their rights throughout the seasons makes this series a great watch.
While being a Drag Queen as a profession might not have been appreciated earlier, The Bold Type shows you an inclusive society where Andrew, an assistant to Jacqueline by the day, is a Drag Queen by night, and he’s valued and loved more for the latter by his colleagues.
Rarely do you come across a TV series that gives importance to female pleasure. Episodes around not being able to have an orgasm, self-massaging tools, yoni eggs being stuck inside the vagina, and vagina facials, help normalize the need for female pleasure. It shows you that all these things are pretty normal and you shouldn’t be embarrassed to talk about your own body, desires, and needs. And of course, not fall into any and every marketing gimmick (Hint: Vajacial).
The Bold Type also manages to highlight the diversity and complex level of privileges we all come across in our society. It all starts with Jane getting rejected for a job even though she’s loved by the employers because they want to support diversity. Jane feels disappointed as she couldn’t get a job even after being qualified, where Kat steps up to point out that there are many talented people from the minor community who aren’t able to get basic rights, like going to college to even be able to qualify. While Jane takes a while to really understand this, she also mentions that she doesn’t have financial support to fall back on currently. Both, Jane and Kat have their own points of view and neither is entirely wrong or right. Just like these two, a lot of us find ourselves at the crossroads of circumstances, privilege, and worth.
Usually, women are seen and portrayed as motherly figures with a natural maternal instinct, but maybe it’s not so natural and obvious for all? Many women do not see themselves having babies and when Sutton goes through a miscarriage, everybody believes she must’ve been sad to lose her baby but instead she feels relieved, which makes her realize how she never wants a child and feels guilty about it. But should you be judged for not wanting that and just be one because others expect you to?
The system stinks
Adena, a supportive character in the whole story has the most powerful layers to her persona. A Muslim lesbian woman who fled her country to live her life the way she wants, her photography is powerful and proactive. She hones the Hijab proudly but doesn’t bend herself to societal pressures. In relationships, she tries to understand Kat wanting to explore her sexual identity and agrees to an open relationship for her. Even though she is unapologetically herself, sensible, and stays strong towards her beliefs, the fear and struggles of a Muslim queer woman living on immigration in New York are highlighted in this series and it makes you wonder what your belief in the system is based on because sometimes the system fails you and you bow down to it.
Discrepancy in health care
Does our health care system treat every gender equally? Though the kind of health insurance plan depends on the organization, The Bold Type forces us to check whether our health insurance plans are gender-inclusive or not and whether it discriminates between diseases and surgeries for different genders.
Even when we talk about the struggles of the queer community, how often do we touch upon the torture inflicted on them by relatives, authorities, and organizations forcing them into conversion therapy? The issue is sensitive and their trauma is indefinable, and there are so many who have lived through this hell and only a few who’ve talked about it and confronted it. The Bold Type addresses how the top management of Safford donates to the bureaucrats who support conversion therapy and why it’s necessary to bust the chain.
Have you watched The Bold Type? What did you think about it? Tell us in the comments below.