The Bold Type heavily focuses on the lives of three women, Kat, Sutton, and Jane. Therefore it’s no surprise that the majority of the show’s screen time is dedicated to women. However, the time and agency given to two of its minority actresses, Aisha Dee “Kat” and Nikohl Boosheri “Adena”, make a significant contribution to the overall minority representation on screen today.
Some might question the importance of seeing people similar to them on television, however, representation is crucial for both younger generations and older generations. The Bold Type has contributed to a vastly empty representation sphere, young Muslim women specifically lesbian hijabis. While my life/personality is quite different from Adena my heart leaped when I saw her on screen, tears may or may not have been shed. I found it surprisingly satisfying to relate to Adena and realize how much I had been craving young Muslim representation on tv. It is important to note that The Bold Type was certainly unique with their characterization of Adena and did not make a cookie cutter stereotypically character, rather the show added multiple layers of individuality and complexity to Adena even though at first she was only a guest actor. The actor Nikohl Boosheri during an interview with Glamour stated that
“ If we were going to use pansexually and Islam and merge them together, it needed to feel real…with a character like this you are going to offend some people…I can only do my best to tell this one story.” – Nikohl Boosheri
Representation has a much greater impact when one person’s story is focused on rather than attempt to squeeze multiple stereotypes into one character’s story arc.
Kat’s story arc is also especially notable. The show spends a significant time developing Kat’s relationship with Adena and showing Kat’s path to understanding her sexuality. The show, in my opinion, did a great job representing coming out as an encouraging experience as opposed to a dark and upsetting process that is often emphasized in media. However, as one of the lead roles and a person of color, it was upsetting that The Bold Type, a show known to address relevant topics such immigration, seemly dismissed Kat’s race by never addressing it in season one. However, the show attempted to redeem itself in season two. The episode Rose Colored Glasses, allowed Kat to come to terms with her background while also creating a discussion about being biracial. The Bold Type is just one show in millions however they are helping to contribute to the hopefully expanding representation of women and minorities on screen.