7 TV Shows That Tackle Womxnhood Beautifully and Complexly

There is no single picture of womxnhood, and TV shows in recent years have been beginning to reflect that. It’s immeasurably gratifying to finally have a variety of shows that aren’t just about a straight, white, cisgender womxn finding love or engaging in misogynistic, petty drama. Seeing womxn of many different identities supporting each other, chasing their dreams, overcoming unique situations or simply being messily real makes me feel seen in the best way possible, while also beginning to understand the ways other womxn navigate the world. If you want to be reminded of your divine power as a womxn or learn about womxnhood from diverse perspectives, here are seven of my favorite shows you need to watch that display all the beauty and the complexity of womxnhood:

  1. 1. Dollface

    Giphy from Hulu Show Dollface

    Maybe it wasn’t very feminist of me to begin watching this show for crumbs of Matthew Gray Gubler, but either way, I watched Dollface and instantly fell in love. The show follows Jules Wiley who, after being dumped, seeks to reconnect with the female friendships she had neglected whilst in love. Starring Kat Dennings, Shay Mitchell, and Brenda Song, this show will remind you to appreciate the womxn in your life who will always have your back through thick and thin! It’s also beautifully shot, set in sunny Los Angeles, and it features a cat lady who acts as Jules' guide to female friendships, so what’s there not to love? Available to stream on Hulu.

  2. 2. Pose

    Scene from the show Pose

    Pose explores New York ballroom culture in the 1980s centered around Black and Latinx LGBTQ folks, comprised mostly of transgender womxn (who are played by transgender and non-binary actresses). This show not only presents the heartwarming way that these womxn, like the lead character Blanca (played by MJ Rodriguez), step up as mothers for their found families and create a community for Black queer folks, but also reveals the heartbreaking struggles they experience as a result of the discrimination they face. If there’s one show that I think everybody should watch on this list, it would be this one, being that it shows important viewpoints and issues that are extremely present in contemporary society, yet never addressed in popular media. Plus, Pose is super entertaining, has the most diverse cast I’ve yet to see, displays awe-inspiring performances and fashion and literally makes me cry at least once every episode. Available to stream on Netflix. 

  3. 3. The Bold Type

    Scene from the Bold Type TV Show

    As a writer for a womxn magazine and lover of those early 2000s rom-coms where every lead is a writer for publication in New York City, I naturally got hooked on The Bold Type, which chronicles the lives of three millennial best friends finding love and progressing their careers at Scarlet Magazine. Each episode shows the process of creating each magazine issue where these powerful and talented womxn seek to find increasingly progressive and creative approaches while handling topics like women’s health, sexuality, ageism and much more. Seeing other womxn live my dream while also facing missteps and setbacks is super inspiring as I learn to navigate my own career path, and I’m sure it will be for you as well! Available to stream ​on Hulu. 

  4. 4. Insecure

    Issa and Molly from the Tv show, Insecure

    Issa Rae’s Insecure is a hilarious, but also intriguing story about the friendship of two Black womxn, Issa and Molly (played by Issa Rae herself and Yvonne Orji), trying to find confidence in their professional and social environments in Los Angeles. We see the pair dually and separately deal with relationship problems, microaggressions from non-black coworkers and general life. Their friendship is complicated at times and extremely fun at others as they support each other through their misadventures, making Issa and Molly a joy to watch and reminiscent of your ride-or-die BFF. Available to stream on HBO.

  5. 5. Bojack Horseman

    Princess Caroline from the TV show , Bojack Horseman

    While Bojack Horseman revolves around titular character/washed-up 90s sitcom actor, Bojack Horseman, the animated comedy-drama does a stupendous job at developing multidimensional female characters, one of which is the pink-haired cat agent named Princess Caroline (voiced by Amy Sedaris). Witnessing her journey as she struggles to find a healthy work-life balance throughout the seasons resonated deeply with me, and most likely will with my fellow ambitious womxn who also have aspirations for a family. Though half of the characters are animals, this is ironically one of the most human shows I’ve ever seen, making it one of my all-time favorite shows; literally, I’ve watched the entirety maybe 8 times now! Available to stream on Netflix.

  6. 6. Jane the Virgin

    Jane the Virgin Tv Show

    If you’re looking to be taken on a wild ride through insane plot twists about drug dealers, accidental artificial insemination and love triangles that are reminiscent of your Mom’s favorite telenovela, Jane the Virgin is the show for you! While the basic premise is how leading character Jane Villanueva gets accidentally artificially inseminated, the real heart and theme is Latinx motherhood between the three generations of Villanueva womxn: Jane (Gina Rodriguez), her mother Xiomara (Andrea Navedo) and Abuela Alba (Ivonne Coll). Though each of the womxn carry conflicting ideologies on parenting, marriage and virginity, they all unite on the basic front of wanting to be the best mother they can be. Through this, us Latinx womxn can better understand our own mothers and grandmothers, while bearing in mind that it is okay to take agency over your own body and lifestyle. Available to stream on Netflix.

  7. 7. Fleabag

    Fleabag scene

    With the constant breaking of the 4th wall by the main character, Fleabag feels as though you’re cracking jokes right with her as she experiences hilariously awkward scenarios. Written by lead actress and creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the story revolves around “Fleabag” as she tries coping with the loss of her best friend. It’s such a realistic, yet refreshingly funny look at a grieving woman that isn’t just crying the whole time, but trying to live her life in London, have sex and maintain her relationships with her family. She’s a bit self-sabotaging and makes questionable choices, but that only adds to the relatability of her character. Available to stream on Amazon Prime.

There has never been a time before where television looked so diverse and developed such realistic tellings of womxnhood, which is something to celebrate. As the years go by, I look forward to seeing more identities represented especially in lead roles, being that the bounds that TV defined “normal” womxnhood are expanding to include more colors, more cultures and more sexualities. Happy watching, and I truly hope I’ve helped you find wonderful female characters who become just as special to you as they are to me!