Growing up a TV fanatic, I looked to my favorite TV shows for role models.
Too often though I was met with women who forced me to have unrealistic expectations for who I was supposed to be.
I could never be perfect enough, pretty enough, or desirable enough. It was exhausting.
I would give anything to be able to go back in time and have my younger self watch The Bold Type. Sutton, Kat, and Jane, who I like to refer to as the Bold Babes respectfully, are the female characters that I needed.
They are the perfect example of writers getting it right and writing realistic young female characters; ones that are far from perfect but are strengthened by their imperfections and have their priorities in check.
Sutton, Kat, and Jane are the definition of friendship goals. Too often female friendships on television are bogged down by jealousy, power struggles, and competition over men. Not the Bold Babes, though. They support each other, through thick and thin.
During The Bold Type Season 3 Sutton and Richard reunited and decided to take their relationship to the next level by moving in together. It would have been easy for Jane to be angry. Sutton was leaving her without a roommate with little to no notice.
However, instead, Jane was happy that Sutton and Richard's relationship was strengthing after everything they have. Jane tends to be selfish, but at that moment, she put Sutton first.
When Kat ran for City Council, even though her winning would mean her leaving Scarlet, altering their friendships, Jane and Sutton were there every step of the way.
They campaigned for her, listened to her struggles with accepting change, and were there holding her hands when the results were announced on election night.
The Bold Babes aren't often single, but during The Bold Type Season 2, Jane and Sutton found themselves without men. When Sutton worked on a photo shoot involving a slew of eligible bachelors, she hit it off with one man in particular: Ben.
Following the shoot, Sutton introduces Jane to the men, and Jane also hits it off with, you guessed it, Ben.
When Ben and Jane first showed off their flirtation after us rooting for Sutton and him throughout the episode, I cringed. I was assuming the worst was about to happen.
On any other show, this moment could have lead to a territorial fight. During high school, watching Gossip Girl, I watched Blair and Serena let men get in between them time and time again.
On One Tree Hill, Peyton and Brooke were stuck in an endless loop of Lucas getting between them. On Dawson's Creek, Jen and Joey barely ever had a real friendship because of the Dawson-sized elephant in the room.
Sutton stepped aside, though, without discussion or hesitation. This tiny unspoken moment speaks volumes to viewers. Women's friendships don't have to be destroyed by a man or defined by a man.
Men will come and go, but your friendships are your forever love.
The Bold Babes' friendships aren't the only thing young woman can look up to. Their career driven personalities set a great precedent for the women watching it.
When I was young, the female characters I was brought up with were rarely seen doing anything to further their careers or education.
The only time you would see them in class or at work was when it was to drive a different storyline forward. Writer's didn't see those storylines as interesting enough to focus on.
The Bold Type is part of a new wave of shows that we have seen come out over recent years that have had a huge spotlight on their female character's careers. Shows like UnReal and Younger began to pave the way, and The Bold Type followed in their footsteps.
By seeing characters like Jane, Sutton, and Kat kicking ass at their jobs, it allows young women to aspire to be more.
Young woman watching The Bold Type who may have only dreamed about pursuing their dream jobs might now look to the Bold Babes and see that it is possible.
More importantly, it shows that it doesn't happen overnight. We are told from the start, that these three women worked their way up from their humble beginnings as assistants, and with hard work and dedication got where they wanted to be.
Even now that they are there, it isn't all sunshine and rainbows. They continue to have to work in their careers.
After Jane quit Scarlet and got fired by the job she quit it for, she struggled. Jacqueline didn't hand her a job again because that isn't how the real world works. Jane was forced to prove herself again, and in the process, she became a better writer.
By inspiring young woman to want to be more, The Bold Type is helping to form a new generation of boss bitches that will exceed the world's expectations.
While their friendships and careers are envious, to say the least, the Bold Babes are far from perfect. These flaws are why we love them and relate to them, though.
Jane is as type A as they come. Giving up control has been something that Jane has struggled with throughout the series. This control is something that has often manifested as selfish behavior.
When Jane learned that Sutton had a gun in their apartment during The Bold Type Season 2, Jane initially refused to see Sutton's point of view.
She couldn't get past how the gun made her feel, ignoring how it made Sutton feel. Moments like this popped up all over the first two seasons.
At the end of Season 2, though, we saw a change. During a road trip to Sutton's hometown, Jane finally lets loose.
A stoned car ride and a cover of Natalia Imbruglia's "Torn" later, Tiny Jane has finally broken free of the confines of her obsession with being in control.
Yes, Jane will always be a control freak, but the quality that once made me cringe I now find endearing.
Sutton has had to struggle and fight for everything she has ever gotten has made it difficult for her to let people help her. She is too proud. Even the mere act of letting Richard's maid do her laundry triggers Sutton.
Sutton had to learn that being in a relationship means letting the other person in all the way. You are partners.
Sutton may always strive to maintain her independence, but by accepting Richard's sewing machine during The Bold Type Season 3, she acknowledged that sometimes it is okay to accept help from others.
Kat has a fear of commitment that has kept her running from relationships her whole life. It isn't until she meets Adena that she begins to overcome this fear.
Regardless of her love for Adena, though, Kat still found herself looking to other women and eventually found herself in an open relationship.
When Kat finally realized she was ready to commit, it was too late. But even the mere acknowledgment that she wanted it shows growth.
The writers not only showing the Bold Babes flaws but embracing them and allowing them to grow through them, give the viewers something relatable.
We don't want to see a perfect woman who makes us compare ourselves to their unobtainable standards; we want to see a woman who is like us; flaws and all.
So please, other writers, take notes. These are the type of women that need to get written. These are the woman that we need on our television. These are the woman of The Bold Type.
Which young female characters on television right now do you think set the standard for future TV characters? Comment your own below and don't forget to watch The Bold Type online at TV Fanatic.
Meaghan Frey was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in September 2020.