Carrie Bradshaw and her pals in Sex and the City were amongst the famed HBO shows of the early 2000s. A show about four perpetually single 30-somethings living in Manhattan that brought about a slew of popularity emerging from women around the world who found kinship with these characters. Charlotte, Miranda, Carrie and Samantha all seemed to exhibit qualities that encompassed a variety of traits women could relate to and the fact that the main premise of the show revolved around loving yourself despite relationship woes seemed to attract a variety of viewers.
In a continuous pattern, many more media affiliates released books and movies and shows that revolved around the female protagonist. Cher Horowitz, Cady Heron, Annalise Keating, Olivia Pope, Mindy Lahiri and others all became well known female characters who were strong and bold in their style and conviction while still managing to hold down a seemingly luxurious lifestyle.
Cue the entrance of the 2015 version starring Sutton Foster and Hilary Duff. Many of you 90s babies will remember Ms. Duff from her acclaimed performance as the beloved teenager, Lizzie McGuire. Lizzie was the child role model who represented strong and outspoken female teenagers from around the world. Her ability to embrace precious teenage milestones like getting a driver’s license and being able to vote emphasized a form of more archaic feminism. This archaic feminism goes more in hand with the simple rights attributed to women versus the more modern ones. This form of feminism represents ideals that may be viewed as more simple and primitive as opposed to the ideals expressed today. With her family and friends at the forefront of her priorities, she was more attractive to young girls because of these ideals versus the young women mentioned above who put relationships and career at the top of their own lists.
Foster and Duff star in the modern, coming of age version of SATC called Younger. It explores the relationship between women in NYC who deftly navigate through life and love in the big city. It revolves around Liza who—after dealing with a terrible divorce and raising her kid—decides to re-enter the work force in the modern age. After being so out of touch for close to 15years, she begins to realize that with the changing times come changing lifestyles and with a safety net of close friends, she is able to conquer anything that comes her way. The show is extremely fun to watch and millennials can relate to the fast pace with which the creators pick up on social media nuances and incorporate them into the show. The transition is fast and easy and the characters are brave and relatable. The show manages to uphold the famed luxury of living in NYC and it does so in a way that would make SATC fans very proud.
But what is it about modern times that makes the rise of the female protagonist so relevant? Could it be that women nowadays are aspiring to work in positions that would formerly be held by only men? It could be the fact that there’s the very high potential that America could finally have its first female president. It could also be the fact that women in the modern age are more determined than ever to succeed in their chosen fields. It’s less and less about the money and more about creating change and making a difference in the world. With that said, it’s a wonderful time to be a woman in the world. We have so much power and there’s so much positivity surrounding the success of women that it’s hard to believe there’s anything we can’t do.
Despite the fact that these shows are just shows, it’s the ideas they promote that make it possible for individuals to perpetuate a woman’s success. Younger focuses on real ideas for real women and that’s why it’s quickly growing in popularity. It hosts an all-star cast that promotes ideas like a woman’s success in the workplace and the ability to date or not date whomever you want. It has that motivational career aspect to it with an added splash of mischief and love that makes it adorable and completely binge worthy.
The character of Liza embodies feminism in a new way. In a sense, she became a form of archaic feminism when she first had her kid. She was still herself and a woman boldly recognized as such but she was more associated with the form of being a mother. She completely gave up her career in order to raise her child but this put her out of touch with new age feminism. She lost over a decade of experience in favour of familial priorities. Re-entering the work force introduced her to modern society and the realities of women today; a time where education and opinions are much more highly regarded than the simple right to vote – new age feminism. It even encompasses sexual rights as well as the laws that concern consent. These are the views highly regarded by modern feminists. The realization that a woman is more than her simple right to vote opens up a whole new chapter for women.
In addition, the idea that a woman is more than the qualities provided to her by a man is also an accepted measure for new feminism. As a divorced, recently single woman, Liza proves that she is able to maintain her career and her kid without having a man in her life. With the help of her friends, Maggie and Kelsey, Liza begins to realize that freedom means so much more than just standing on your own two feet. Fighting for what you love and staying true to that fight no matter what helps build you up into an independent woman who does not need a man to help her feel complete.
All in all, Younger is a great show that mirrors the realities of women today and offers an evidence of the positive influence of using media to support strong female leads in order to continue to encourage the young females of today.