“It’s not really that deep.” Many people may think that we should take fiction for what it is, a form of entertainment. But, as an English student, a writer, and an intellectual human being, I am one to proclaim that the things we choose to watch, listen to, read, and indulge in are a big factor that shapes the kind of person we become … and shapes the way we perceive the world around us.
The Bold Type is a Freeform television series produced in Montreal, Canada. The storyline follows the chaotic lives of three young female fiction characters who work together at Scarlet magazine, a publication for young women that centres around the concept of feminism (so basically, a fictionalized Make Muse). The series has just been renewed to film a season four, which means another season of rejuvenating the toxicity film has projected onto society. Through its realism, its relatability, and it's all-inclusivity -- The Bold Type is a healthy binge-watching alternative.
I have had many favourite shows and films with female leads, and as a creative I have noticed that I am drawn to binge-watching productions that portray young women excelling in artistic occupations. After falling in love with 1/3 of The Bold Type’s protagonists, Tiny Jane, I only then realized that the media uses such great hyperbole to draw us in, that it is constantly feeding us with lies and false hope. We are all in a toxic relationship between the viewer and the media, and these are the movies and television series that have affected me along the way.
The First Date
I think it’s safe to say that fiction character Andy from The Devil Wears Prada was my first love when discussing this toxic relationship. The way she was able to work her way up the fashion industry so quickly and be taken with open arms into the glamour of the Hollywood lifestyle. Yes, the movie displayed the hardships the character faced such as her (evil) boyfriend limiting her and demining her success, and how hard she had to work for the first little while of employment … it failed to balance the negative and positive effects of the truth behind the reality. This movie painted the field of journalism to be glamorous. It exclaimed through its plot that with a journalism degree, you’ve got your pass into the parties, the free gifts, a placement at the largest magazine in New York. It forgot to balance this claim with the dangers of not being able to afford rent as an assistant, what really happens when you get rejected from a position, and how bad a job that requires such heavy workload and verbal harassment truly makes an individual feel. Although I am able to recognize this all now, I am still admitting that this is just one form of entertainment that pushed me to look myself in the mirror and say, yes, let’s get into journalism.
The First Heartbreak
As I grew older and reached my senior years of high school, fiction character Carrie Bradshaw from the iconic Sex and the City became the new liar on my list. This HBO series followed the fabulous life of single Carrie, who wrote a column for the New York paper following her sex life. From the Louboutin’s to the Valentino’s, it really did appear at the first glance that Carrie had it all. The position of a writer is once again being romanticized in this media outlet without explaining the career choice with any truth. First things first, the show was so entertaining that it stopped us all from thinking logically. How did Carrie really afford this lifestyle by writing one single column a week? The show did an efficient job at masking the dangers of a creative career by making it seem iconic, “sometimes I would buy Vogue instead of dinner, I felt it fed me more.” Even at the lowest point of the femme fatale’s career when she realizes that she can no longer afford her way through life and she “really [was] the old lady who lived in her shoe”, the conflict is resolved by her miraculously landing a position with Vogue. Newsflash: fashion journalism is NOT that easy to conquer. And these are the reasons The Bold Type is a breath of fresh air for those of you whom love fictional inspirations from fiction characters just as much as I do.
From family issues, to sexual awakenings, career problems and finding true friends; The Bold Type is delivered to our television screens by creatives that are more than just woke. This series is one that goes beyond the levels of entertainment but challenges us and comforts us as not only feminists and artists, but as decent human beings. It deals with subject matter touching upon sensitive issues such as bisexuality, racial discrimination, and financial instability. But it does it so it’s educating, and all-inclusive, and it is executed in a way that goes beyond the definition of brilliant. Jane, the writer; Sutton, the fashion assistant; and Kat, the first black female head of social media; take us on their independent journeys through New York displaying the truth behind young women who choose to pursue their dream career and guide us through the very-accurate bumps in the road. It does not lie. When Jane gets laid off, she struggles. When Sutton is neglected, she works hard. When Kat is defeated, she shuts down. For once, The Bold Type and its fiction characters are a presentation of the ugly, brutal side of the real world …. But in a way that still makes it a pleasure to watch.
From one artist to another, we need to be aware of what it is that we are feeding our minds. Like our body needs us to be healthy – our creative side, and our mental health as a whole, is more fragile than we realize. The media can be toxic, it can convince us that reality is opposite from the truth. And we deserve to indulge in every bit of this utopia, as long as we remind ourselves that when it comes to fiction and fiction characters … there are no strings attached.