By Gianluca Russo
The magazine industry is known for constantly evolving and changing to fit the wants of readers all over the country and world. With the current political and social climate at a whirlwind, many publications, most prominently Teen Vogue, have switched their focus from fashion, entertainment and lifestyle to serious topics that directly impact the young women, and men, who read them.
The reason for this is simple: young people want to be informed and want a voice. They want representation in media, in business, in government and in every place that lacks their unique voice. This focus switch served as a major inspiration for Freeform’s hit summer show, “The Bold Type.”
“The Bold Type,” which premiered in July, centers on three young women working at a fictional version of Cosmopolitan Magazine called Scarlet. Each episode discusses real and relevant topics, stemming from the focus point of female empowerment. From immigration to sexism to sexual assault and, of course, fashion, the show does a great job of documenting what it’s like to work at a progressive magazine as a modern day millennial woman.
Meghann Fahy portrays the role of Sutton Brady, a 26-year-old assistant working at Scarlet. Along with Jane Sloan (Katie Stevens) and Kat Edison (Aisha Dee), the three women are navigating their way through life while finding themselves and their voice in a man’s industry (and a man’s world).
“She loves working at Scarlet, she loves the magazine,” Fahy tells Campus News about her character Sutton, “but she isn’t really passionate about what she’s doing right now. So during the first season, we get to see her say ‘Okay, this is what I care about, and I’m going to go for it.’”
While fashion is Sutton’s true love, she is well aware that is a financially unstable business. When she’s offered a job in ad sales, she must decide: take the safe route or fight for what she wants? As expected, she fights, and (spoiler alert!) lands a fashion assistant job at the magazine.
“I think ‘The Bold Type’ is important because it talks about current events and issues and it makes it really easy to digest, too; it’s not banging you over the head with anything, but it’s more than just a show about three girls who work for a magazine,” says Fahy.
She adds, “We talk about politics, we talk about sex, we talk about women’s health, we talk about friendships and supporting each other. We show the positive side of that and how building each other up is more productive for everyone, and I think that showing those kind of relationships on television, especially now, is really an important thing to do. Feminism is fairness: everybody deserves the same pay and rights in the workplace and outside of the workplace.”
Since its premiere, the show has picked up a relatively large fan base and has been praised by many in the magazine industry who are working the jobs depicted on screen. While Freeform has not officially renewed the show yet, the cast and creative team are hopeful that a season two is on its way. Fahy has loved growing with “The Bold Type,” especially bonding with her castmates.
“I’ve really enjoyed becoming a family with these people. Katie Stevens and Aisha Dee have become sisters to me, and I just have really enjoyed exploring our relationship with each other on and off screen.”
Reflecting on “The Bold Type’s” message, Fahy hopes that the show’s first season empowered young women and showed how strong their voice truly is.
“I hope that young women will be empowered. I hope that they will be less afraid to speak about things that are on their minds. I hope that they see that it’s okay to start conversations about things that initially might feel tough. We want to make it easier to start conversations about things like health and sex and everything else,” she says.