Female-Led Shows Are Not A Phase or Trend
The word is out, female-led shows are anything but a “phase” or “trend.” That’s because more actresses are insisting that show runners accurately depict women in film as more than a soft-spoken wall flower.
It’s no easy task landing a leading lady role in Hollywood. There are less female characters than male characters in most movies, so actresses are always pining for the same handful of roles because that’s all that’s available.
On top of less roles written for women, female characters are usually within a younger age rage, being portrayed as the hot, young bombshell wife of the leading man.
In other words, they play a supporting character to the male leads.
Let’s not forget the impossibly outrageous task of needing to be thin yet curvy, tall but not too tall, gorgeous but relateable, and big busted but not to the point of offensive.
Ya know, an average, everyday woman. Insert eye roll here.
Now, shows like Insecure on HBO are showing that female-led series are in high demand and consistently pulling in ratings. In it’s third season, Insecure follows Issa Rae and her best friends as they navigate bad jobs, sloppy dates, and general adulting through life in their 30’s in L.A.
It’s real, it’s raw, and it’s completely female-led. It doesn’t show these women being pretty and frolicking through life while using their husband’s credit card at Neiman’s.
Nope. These ladies are single, independent, living paycheck to paycheck, and being totally fine with who they are as they try to figure out life.
But it’s not just Insecure that is a powerhouse of female characters. Shows like Game of Thrones, Big Little Lies, and The Handmaid’s Tale are all jam-packed with female leads.
How often do you hear a reporter ask an actress, “How does it feel to play such a strong character?”
How does it feel? Well, it should feel normal. Because a strong character can also be weak, just like in life a strong person has moments of vulnerability.
Characters are suppose to reflect today’s culture and society. Now, more than ever, audiences are craving to see themselves reflected on their screens. It’s a chance to feel connected to a character and identify with them.
Women are strong, just as they can be weak. But there is nothing wrong with that, because it’s part of life to have moments that are filled with highs and lows, failures and successes.
Now let’s flip it. How often do you hear an actor get asked, “How does it feel to play a strong man on TV?” That’s because society has conditioned us to believe the only role men can play are strong male leads.
It should feel and be normal to play a strong female character, just like it should be normal to have her as part of the cast in a show or movie.
And there’s never been a trend in women being strong. Since the beginning of time women have proven how strong they are and continue to be.
The Suffragettes were strong, every woman who has ever fought for equality is strong, and every woman who continues to march, break the glass ceiling and demand a close in the gender gap is strong.
It’s never been a trend. It’s a constant and it’s here to stay.