Want to start sharing your mind and have your voice heard?
Join our community of awesome contributing writers and start publishing now.
Freeform’s The Bold Type is a series based on the life of the former Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief, Joanna Coles. The series revolves around the lives of three best friends (Jane Sloan, Sutton Brady and Kat Edison) who work for Scarlet magazine, trying to achieve their ambitions while dealing with issues on gender, race, relationships, friendships and many other social and emotional issues in their day-to-day lives.
The series is a milestone in many ways; it breaks stereotypes, it represents marginalized groups, it deals with complex issues and, most importantly, it encourages you to be positive and maintain positive relationships—with friends, with family, with society, within workspaces and with oneself. In today’s society, where people have become less tolerant, maintaining positive relationships is important for living in peace and harmony. The show tackles these issues and encourages positive relationships in so many ways.
Unlike in other fashion dramas, where the female bosses are shown to be abusive and demeaning, the editor-in-chief of Scarlet magazine, Jacqueline Carlyle (played by Melora Hardin), is an encouraging, intellectual and influential mentor to her employees who always tries to maintain positive relationships with them. She often reinforces the importance of originality and independence. She takes time to personally speak to her employees, clearing their doubts, boosting them with confidence in themselves and their work.
In one episode, for instance, when Jane (emerging writer at Scarlet magazine) yells at Jacqueline in front of all the magazine staff for not being open about herself in the same way that she asks others to be, Jacqueline calmly asks Jane to “take a walk.” Later, Jacqueline invites Jane to her home, introduces her family and talks to her. In such ways, Jacqueline creates an atmosphere of positive relationships by respecting her employees, listening to their concerns, guiding them and helping them. Maintaining such positive relationships in a workplace not only makes it easier for a person to work but also increases their self-confidence and love for what they’re doing, which produces invaluable results.
In addition to boss-employee relations, The Bold Type addresses social responsibility. As a magazine that creates content for society to consume, the show places an emphasis on the importance of being understanding and inclusive. When you want to maintain positive relationships within a society, you need to respect the people in it, along with their ideas and opinions.
As the editor-in-chief of Scarlet, Jacqueline insists on looking at an issue from diverse viewpoints before jumping into writing an article. This approach tells the readers that you respect them, which helps develop a positive connection with them.
In her Mandy Awards speech, Jane talks about Jacqueline, saying “She pushed me to dig deeper, even when it was too painful, and she taught me that what matters most isn’t your by-line or these awards. What matters most is the story and the truth. In our personal lives and the stories we tell, the truth must always come first.”
Biased content gives only one side of the story, which often leads to misunderstanding, disagreements and conflict. Therefore, in order to maintain positive relationships with your audience, and society as a whole, you need to look at the truth behind a story from everyone’s point of view. In other words, you need to produce content that is inclusive to embrace positive connections.
The Bold Type routinely addresses issues surrounding mutual dissent and how people can have conflicting opinions while maintaining a relationship and respect for each other. This is an important lesson throughout the show as mutual dissent is something that is necessary for a society to live in harmony. Mutual dissent basically means ”agree to disagree.”
In the episode titled ‘Betsy,’ Jane is uncomfortable and unable to come to terms with the fact that her best friend, Sutton (who works in fashion at Scarlet magazine), has a shotgun named ‘Betsy’ in her possession. Jane was in first grade when the Columbine shooting happened, in which her kindergarten teacher’s daughter was killed. The event left her traumatized and helped shape her animosity toward guns. Sutton, on the other hand, has nothing but good memories about her high school shooting club that she was a part of.
As the two argue over having the gun in the apartment, they come to discover each other’s pasts and make an effort to understand one another’s views. They both agree to disagree. Jane doesn’t agree with having a gun, but she understands Sutton’s emotional dilemma and tells her she can keep it. Sutton doesn’t agree with Jane’s view on guns but decides to give up her gun as she understands Jane’s past. Even though they had to deal with a contentious issue that threatened their relationship, their ability to engage in mutual dissent helped sustain their friendship. When you practice this act of mutual dissent, it helps you to look at the people around you with an open mind, which will help a great deal in maintaining positive relationships with friends, family and society.
The Bold Type is also sex-positive, meaning it promotes an open, tolerant and progressive attitude toward consensual sex and sexuality. This is important because having a positive attitude toward sex lets you talk more openly about it with your partner, children, friends or parents. This helps to not only improve your relationships with others but also removes any stigmas associated with it. If sex and sexuality are discussed more in society, it can help create awareness and even reduce sex-related crimes. An open mind to the broad spectrum of sexuality will help maintain a harmonious society where marginalized people feel safe and free.
When Jacqueline asks Jane to write about orgasms, Jane thinks that this is a little off for her, as she wanted to voice out her opinion on more serious issues. However, a realization kicks in about sex being a part of our lives and just as important as anything else. There is nothing demeaning or wrong about discussing the issue. Talking about sex also reduces anxiety and doubts you might have about it.
In one episode, Kat (social media director of Scarlet magazine) has some sexual issues with her girlfriend, Adena. Kat discovers her bisexual side only after Adena enters her life. As she explores her sexuality, she is not ready to “go down” on Adena since she is new to it and confused. However, they both talk about it, respect each other’s space and try to understand where they each came from. Kat finally feels comfortable with the act and feels positive about their relationship. So, feel free to talk about sex and be more tolerant of the existing broad range of sexuality as it will lead to a better society where its people feel safe and positively connected with each other.
Throughout the series, The Bold Type features the characters trying to help each other out, lift each other up, stand up for others and, more importantly, stand up with others. In an episode titled ‘Carry the Weight,’ the three women support a sexual assault victim. The victim is an artist trying to express the injustice faced by sexual assault victims where their rapists aren’t punished either for not having enough evidence or for insensible reasons like the victim made the first move or was drunk and so on.
Inspired by the “Lady Justice” statue—Lady Justice is an allegorical personification of the moral force in judicial systems—she carries weights in both hands and stands in the park, waiting for another victim to take the burden off her. When she stands her ground, painful and sore, through the night, the three women show up and stand up with her, offering support. This encourages other victims to come forward, including Jacqueline.
In another episode, Jane, Sutton and Kat pose together for a photoshoot without makeup, showing their real selves. The women look so beautiful with scars and blemishes, and it is empowering for those who have insecurities about their self-image as they can feel positive about themselves now. You might often feel the lack of positive attitude about yourself in which case, it is important that you embrace what makes you unique and respect yourself and stand up for yourself to maintain a positive relationship with yourself.
On the whole, The Bold Type isn’t just another drama, it is a bold step toward breaking stereotypes, empowering others, dealing with complex issues and maintaining positive relationships wherever you go. When the world becomes all about speed, advancement and constant mechanical movement, the workplaces, relationships, families and societies also become industrialized and mechanical.
It is important for us to break free from this pattern and stop to take a moment to think about people, no matter who they are: to listen, understand, feel and love. We need to stand up for ourselves, be open-minded, help each other out and empathize with one another to embrace positive relationships that make life more meaningful and make the world peaceful to live in. And that’s what The Bold Type stands for.
Please register or log in to personalize and favorite your content.
Please register or log in to view notifications.
Send this to a friend