Recently, we have been bombarded with TV shows and movies about the not-so-average average girl. What type of girl is this, you ask? This girl is the sarcastic, smart, curvy and career-driven woman.
These trendy women are starring in breakthrough roles and creating new role models for young women. College girls now want to be the next Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling and Lena Dunham. If you haven’t seen any of these actresses’ work, then I suggest you immediately purchase a Netflix account and start watching. These women are the definition of triple-threat, as they often write, direct and star in their shows and movies.
Girls can agree that these shows are a breath of fresh air in a world where body image and women’s sexuality are strictly held to an unhealthy standard.
The nature of TV is anticipation, making viewers crave the next week’s answer to the cliffhanger. This creates a relationship and loyalty with fans. Each of these women in her own way creates a new kind of loyalty from viewers that gets fans to listen to her message. Freeing us from stereotypes one episode at a time, I applaud these ladies for taking risks and exposing it all on screen (sometimes literally).
Lena Dunham plays Hannah, a sarcastic and witty New Yorker struggling through her twenties, on HBO’s Girls. Viewers see all of Hannah’s humiliations and rare triumphs, but regardless of what is going on in her hectic life, we can somehow relate. She isn’t your stereotypical bombshell, but she often bares it all on screen, leaving nothing to the imagination. Dunham is a force for womankind; she propels conversation about class, feminism and sex, and reminds us how liberating it is to be yourself.
Mindy is a doctor who works at an all-male practice in New York City on Fox’s The Mindy Project. Her intelligence is not masked by her love for Beyoncé or The Bachelor, and her boy-crazy antics do not sway her career. Her sharp tongue is quick to give the men in the office a harsh truth, which is usually delivered in a hilarious one-liner. Mindy breaks barriers of what is expected of women, and she doesn’t allow herself to be marginalized by stereotypes. Kaling brings out the simplest truths in people and turns them into comedic gold.
Amy writes and produces for Parks and Recreation while also starring as Leslie Knope, a mid-level bureaucrat with a strong loyalty to her town of Pawnee. Leslie’s dream is to become President of the United States, always remaining optimistic when pushed down by politics. Before Parks and Recreation, Amy had a reccurring role on Saturday Night Live. “I just love bossy women,” Poehler says. “I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn’t mind leading.” Amy is always championing for women to be confident and take charge, which comes across in her work.
Tina Fey is a multitalented: she is an actress, writer and producer best known for her work on Saturday Night Live, Mean Girls, and 30 Rock. Tina plays Liz Lemon on 30 Rock, a college-educated, workaholic, single female with awkward social skills. In this role, Tina’s character often spoke about hot political topics with a comedic twist, championing such causes as gay rights, equal societal standards for women and other politics.