Pop culture's 'Strong Female Leads' | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Scene from “Ocean’s 8”
Scene from “Ocean’s 8”

“The Bold Type” (TV show)

“The Bold Type” tells the story of Kat, Sutton and Jane, three twenty-something New Yorkers who work at Scarlet, a fictional fashion magazine patterned after the iconic Cosmopolitan. The show, which premiered in 2017, has been dubbed the “millennial’s ‘Sex and the City’” and compared to “The Devil Wears Prada.”

There are similar beats there, for sure. The main leads’ professional ambitions as well as their romantic entanglements are a significant part of the story. But this isn’t what “The Bold Type” is all about.

The show is—for lack of a better word—woke. Alongside stories about the main characters’ love life, the show also talks about female sexuality, religious and race discrimination, and gender politics in the office. Workplace plotlines are anchored on real-life issues like sexual assault, misogyny, race and slut-shaming. And Jacqueline, Scarlet’s editor in chief, while as fierce and as fashionable, is definitely no Miranda Priestly.

At its core, what the show really champions is women solidarity. Friendship, mentorship, women supporting and standing by women—these are what make “The Bold Type” great.

“Invasion of Privacy”
by Cardi B (music)

When rapper Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” hit the top of the charts last year, people were quick to dismiss her as a one-hit wonder. But after her album “Invasion of Privacy” dropped in April, the former stripper and reality-show star proved to her haters that her success is no luck of the draw.

As early as the first half of this year, her album has been cited in a lot of “best albums of 2018” lists by music and pop culture websites.

Not only is the album full of great bops, the music itself is an effective pick-me-upper. The lyrics of her songs speak about loving and being true to yourself, owning your sexuality, hustling hard and not letting the trolls and bashers pull you down.

If ever you find yourself in need of a self-esteem boost, just put “Invasion of Privacy” on full blast. Cardi B will surely help you get your groove back.

“Lumberjanes” (comic book)

Boom! Studios’ “Lumberjanes” is the comic book we wished existed when we were young.

It tells the story of friends Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley and their adventures at the summer camp named Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types.

In “Lumberjanes,” the main characters are all complex, well-rounded people. They have strengths and weaknesses, dreams and fears.

Aside from story arcs full of myth, magic and even mystery, the comic also explores themes like growing up, acceptance, compassion and the importance of friendship.

“Ocean’s 8” (movie)

Women-centric spin-offs of well-known male-led movies can be such a gamble. The recent “Ghostbusters” remake, for one, received a lot of flack online from obnoxious fanboys. (Frankly, we enjoyed the 2016 film, because Kate McKinnon can do no wrong.)

This year’s “Ocean’s 8,” however, is cool, fun and led by women of various ethnicities, shapes, ages and backgrounds. It’s about time we see that women can work together and do it well—be it in front of the screen or behind it.

“Truly Devious”
by Maureen Johnson (book)

One of our favorite genres in literature right now is “smart girls getting stuff done.” No longer can we hold back our contempt for the so-called TSTL (“too stupid to live”) book heroines, especially in young adult lit.

Stevie Bell, the heroine of Maureen Johnson’s “Truly Devious,” is a girl after our own heart. She’s a murder-mystery-reading, true crime podcast-listening Holmesian who decides to enroll in an elite boarding school for talented kids. She gets to use her detective skills when one of her housemates gets killed.

“Truly Devious” is an addictive mystery, yes, but the reason we love it is it introduced us to the amazing Stevie. She shows us that girls don’t need to be anyone but themselves, quirks and all.