The Bold Type
FreeForm’s new original 'The Bold Type' is loosely based on the magazine company Cosmopolitan (Image via Freeform)

‘The Bold Type’ Offers a New Persona for Women in Publishing

In contrast to ‘The Devil Wears Prada,’ ‘The Bold Type’ suggests that ruthlessness is not a pre-req for success in the world of publishing.


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The Bold Type
FreeForm’s new original 'The Bold Type' is loosely based on the magazine company Cosmopolitan (Image via Freeform)

In contrast to ‘The Devil Wears Prada,’ ‘The Bold Type’ suggests that ruthlessness is not a pre-req for success in the world of publishing.


Loosely based on the life and happenings of Cosmopolitan employees, including former Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles, FreeForm’s new original “The Bold Type” gives audiences the perfect mixture of women empowerment and social commentary with witty writing and fabulous clothes.

The show follows three besties that work for the fictional magazine of Scarlet in New York City, and each young woman has a different personality, perspective on life and dreams of what their future could hold. Whether it’s personal, professional or both, the women of Scarlet are ready and willing to take on the world no matter what the world is prepared to throw at them.

The first up is Jane Sloan. She is a quiet staff writer who wants nothing more than to be a journalist, a journalist who is taken seriously in the workplace and has the chance to stand side by side with the great works of Joan Didion and Nora Ephron.

She has troubles here and there, as she’s made to write articles about sex, relationships and other topics she refers to as “fluff.” At the end of the day, that’s what sells, so she does it with the hopes of one day writing on what she wants to in the future: politics. Scarlet may not be ready for that kind of news yet, but Jane knows that she can pave the way for it if only given the chance.

Kat Edison is the social media manager for Scarlet and has no trouble saying what’s on her mind, which easily gets her into trouble with both her peers and the viewers of Scarlet. With a drive to get equality for women in all aspects of life, Kate quickly finds herself questioning her identity while also battling the patriarchy on many fronts.

As social media platforms are one of the magazine’s strongest ways to reach out to their targeted audience, Kate wields her skills like a weapon and fires when she finds a fight worth winning. She has little fear when it comes to giving the rulebook a swift kick in the ass.

The last of the power trio is Sutton Brady who finds herself as an office assistant, and like Jane, dreams of climbing the Scarlet ladder but does so while taking some very distinguished risks. One risk in particular includes sleeping with a superior who sits on the company’s legal department, which has the potential to get them both fired.

But risk or not, Sutton is determined to have this secret relationship while leading the fashion department to new heights. She’s free to be with anyone she wants while at the same time pairing the perfect pair of shoes with that outfit.

Is anyone else trying to figure out which one of these lovely ladies they are? Which one their friends are? Don’t lie now, we’re all doing it. Sorry “Friends” and Rachel, but the real question at the moment is: timid Jane or hotheaded Kat? Is it possible to be both? It should be.

The Bold Type | Official Trailer | Freeform

Now while the show follows much in the footsteps of our new favorite #squadgoal gals, no one can talk about empowering women in this series without talking about the ever-essential character of Jacqueline Carlyle. As the magazine editor of Scarlet, and modeled after the persona of Cosmo’s Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles, Jacqueline sets the bar for bosses everywhere.

Unlike the stereotypical image of women working high up in the magazine world — think Meryl Streep’s Miranda in “The Devil Wears Prada” — Jacqueline is kind, clever and understanding. She wants to encourage women everywhere to look and feel as she does, and she’s not shy about the fact that Scarlet has a lot to do with fashion and dating advice.

In fact, with mantras like, “Here’s a fabulous pair of jeans, now go climb a mountain,” Jacqueline stands by the notion that she and her team’s work provides just as much substance as it does style. While many might think “The Bold Type” is just another show about girlish drama, much of the storyline revolves around important issues of identity — gender, class, sexual orientation and much more — that plague the lives and thoughts of the younger generation.

The series clearly prides itself in asking the hard questions and placing these women inside to get some answers. Of course there still is drama (do we really watch TV shows that don’t have drama?), but woven within are these women bonding with each other, supporting each other and fighting their way forward. The world that this series creates feels real and audiences are easily able to identify with the members of Scarlet.

Overall, no matter if fashion or journalism or millennial problems are something that you’re interested in, aspiring to utter fearlessness is something that anyone can reach for. Push back at the rules that bind you. Second-guess the way that the world is constructed. Ask questions about the things that screw people over. Resist and be without fear.

“The Bold Type” reminds every girl out there that they are strong and able and should know the value of their own worth even if no one else does. If you don’t feel empowered, like you can do whatever you do damn well please, at the end of every episode, then watch it again because something isn’t right.

The show will return with Season 2 on June 12 but until then, remember the inspiration and powerful words of Jacqueline Carlyle, one of the most kick-ass boss ladies there is: “I expect you to have adventures. I expect you to fall in love, to get your hearts broken. I expect you to have sex with the wrong people, have sex with the right people. To make mistakes and make amends, take a leap and make a splash. And I expect you to unleash holy hell on anybody who tries to hold you back.”

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Selena Lundy

Grand Valley State University

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