I’m a Woman, Not a Lady

A new era of TV shows are breaking all the cliches in their portrayal of well-rounded women who appear as more than a pretty face with a ditzy mind and a clean mouth. It’s so refreshing to see women with agendas, opinions, and complete control of their body. These are the types of characters young girl’s should be seeing, especially when they tackle once ‘taboo’ subjects like abortion and sex. They don’t need a man’s opinion when it comes to their body.

Sex Education

This hilarious British rom-com follows Otis (Asa Butterfield) as he takes after his sex-therapist mother by joining forces with Maeve (Emma Mackey) to help fellow students with their sex lives. Although the show is a comedy, it manages to tackle incredibly real subjects, and breaks all the cliches when Maeve realizes she is pregnant and decides to have an abortion. She doesn’t consult anyone on the issue, but instead books the appointment and follows through. Upon getting to the clinic she meets a woman who’s been here one too many times and Maeve has a chance to see a dark mirror of herself. This is when most shows would have Maeve scared into keeping the child, but instead she follows through as the women comfort each other before and after the operation. The show doesn’t forget to dabble in the flip side of things, with protesters outside the clinic screaming about the sin of abortion, but the viewer gets a better sense, of the wonderful things happening inside the clinic. Maeve can barley support herself, let alone a child. But what does that matter anyway? A woman’s body is her own.

Workin’ Moms

This laugh-out-loud Canadian sitcom follows a group of women trying to balance work, fitness, relationships and a new born baby. Today’s women know they deserve the right to go back to work after having a child, but is it for the best? How do you prioritize? From missing her child’s first words to wondering if the baby will start becoming more attached to the Nanny than her, Kate Foster (Catherine Reitman) must undergo the journey of a modern day woman with child. From pumping breast milk in the bathroom to having no idea how to sing to a child, it quickly becomes obvious Kate is more comfortable at work than she is as a mom. Once a taboo subject, more and more women are becoming open with to their fears surrounding motherhood and whether that relates to you or not, it’s a great show to watch. Workin’ Moms will open your eyes to women striving to do it all and reminding the audience that it’s okay when you can’t. Something’s got to give.

This is Us

Used to your protagonist being a twig? You’re not the only one. The majority of American shows host a female lead with a slender or fit body type, when in reality over 30% of the American population is considered obese. It’s nice to have a character with struggles the audience can genuinely relate to. From weighing herself on the scale to fearing sex due to her appearance Kate (Chriss Metz) tackles the mental and physical stigmas of being fat. A truly under represented character as most shows use their heavier characters as comic relief. The truth is, you shouldn’t have to be funny to be heavier, and your weight should only be taken into consideration when it comes to your health. Never once does this show doubt Kate’s beauty, brains, and worth which is just one of the many reasons I recommend watching. Kate aside, the show also follows Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and her desire not to have children, even though her husband want them. Not often does TV tackle the social pressures put on women to be mothers the moment they’re married.

Derry Girls

Irish comedy with wit and heart, this show reminds the viewers that just because you’re a girl, doesn’t mean you’re a lady. From one foul-mouthed sixteen year old to the next, these girls verbally abuse one another from the get-go. Too often do we see boys threatening to beat each other up, it’s nice to see girls toss that threat around now and again. Not to mention it’s set in an all girl’s Catholic school, where the first boy ever has been brought in due to his British ‘fragility’. Breaking all the cliches their isn’t a fragile girl in the lot, let alone woman as the nuns crack down like drill sargents. If you’re looking for a taste of girl power, Derry Girls is the way to go.

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