I’m power posing all the way into this review. Try it, it really works.
One thing is undeniable in episode 5, The Bold Type has a type. The series follows a specific structure that we’ve seen in just about every episode this season. In the beginning of the day, Sutton, Jane and Kat round up in the fashion closet to squeal and rejoice about the good things that have happened to them since the last they saw each other. This time the big and exciting news was that Kat finally kissed Adena, a girl, and liked it.
However, roughly 5 minutes into their day, everything comes concaving in on them. They find themselves broken, with shattered dreams, their limits tested, their spirits broken; everything is in shambles. Then piece by piece, they begin fixing it, finally finding the right pathway back to that happy fashion closet filled with champagne and expensive shoes. It’s a good set up though so I can’t complain – there’s conflict, there’s drama, there’s a resolution and there’s a cliffhanger… it makes for some really good, and often times inspiring, television, especially in the summer.
Things were seriously messy for our go-getter darlings this week. Kat’s fling with Adena lasted about 24 hours before imploding and it was, for the most part, all her doing. Jane’s promising story fell apart and taught her an important lesson and Sutton realized that to make it, you have to be willing to fight for it.
While Kat was beaming after their night together, Adena couldn’t help but feel guilty for cheating on Coco. And yes, for those with morals, cheating is still cheating even if sex isn’t involved. She promised Kat that she’d tell Coco the truth and break it off since it’s been a “longtime coming” but obviously breaking up with someone after 3-year is quite complicated. When Adena stopped responding to texts, Kat immediately assumed that she regretted cheating and ruining her perfect relationship and pulled the plug on the possible relationship.
Shocked, Adena came waltzing into Scarlet looking for answers but Kat already made her decision – she was done with the complicated aspects of the relationship. And just like that, she closed the chapter on Adena. A short while later, a soul cycle class led her mind a workout that helped her realize she was being a complete coward. As tears poured down her face, she released her fears – she was failing something because she was scared of the new, of getting hurt, of failing. But as the story goes, she was too late… Adena had already booked a flight to Paris and was going to try to “work things out” with Coco. The truth hurts but maybe, seeing as Adena is always conflicted about her feelings and what she should do, it’s for the best.
Sutton’s love life remained in tact, which is honestly surprising because I thought a major part of the series was going to be about her secret relationship with Richard. I’m glad it isn’t, at least for now, because her struggle of getting her “dream job” within Scarlet is key. Becoming Oliver’s “fashion assistant” was her dream until she realized that taking it would cost her a considerable chunk of her already measly salary. Let that sink it. We’ve all made the same face Sutton made when we’ve looked at our paychecks too, right? Does she take a job she’s always wanted with a lower salary or does she pursue something that’s less fulfilling but better in terms of cash? Sutton opted to power pose her way in and renegotiate her salary but “I’ll consider it” was basically a “no” and she was which with limited options. Her new job wouldn’t pay the bills, heck, it could barely pay rent, and her old job was already gone because she was replaced by a bright and overly excited new assistant that seamlessly transition into the role as “new Sutton.” It was disgusting.
Jane told Sutton that the only way she’d get what she wanted was if she was “willing to let it go.” Obviously, Sutton didn’t take to the idea very well because she didn’t have a safety net to fall back on but the girls made it more than clear that they would be there for her if she failed. As long as she waltzed in and fought for her worth and didn’t settle for less. And they were right! Her persistence and bold attitude impressed Oliver. She obviously knew what she wanted and was willing to settle less by negotiating for “perks.” Her take-it-or-leave-it attitude proved that she wasn’t afraid of having her voice heard and that’s admirable in the industry and for an assistant.
Sutton’s predicament is one many millenials have found themselves in over the years. We settle on taking low paying jobs because of the allure of the industry, in this case, the magazine industry. The “girls making it in the city” trope has been rehashed in every magazine industry based movie for DECADEs if not longer and it begs the question: What’s so glamorous about having a job when you can’t afford your life? Your job title. The allure is in the job title. It’s as if your to pretend your “fashion assistant” title is worth the ramen noodles, thrift store outfits and ratty apartments in unsafe neighborhoods. Yet, it doesn’t change and there is a line of potential candidates waiting to jump at that low paying job like the new girl replacing her. Sutton should feel lucky. Sutton is lucky. Millenials who get these job are lucky. And then, they should feel lucky to hustle to keep their position or get a promotion.
I’m sure it helps if you have some inspiring and supportive friends who will offer to pay for your rent and drink cheap bubbly with you. It’s a cutthroat industry for a reason and only those who are truly confident and fearless, like Sutton proves to be, will have a shot at making it.
The series touches upon many important issues in our current society, especially when it pertains women, but Sutton negotiating her pay is a major one for young women, and honestly working women in general. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read articles about how women are too scared to stand up for what they think they deserve in terms of pay. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost walked into my bosses office to show him my achievements and ask for a raise. And I’ve never done it because I think it’s wrong, I’m out of line, I’ll be fired, I’m pushing my luck or that I’ll be perceived as needy. Other times, I’m so certain of it but I just don’t know how to approach it. Sutton was my hero and I’m going to take her courage and run with it the next time I see my window of opportunity. I don’t just want a raise, I deserve it.
And lastly, when you’re not worried about paying rent, you’re worried about getting sued. Jane has literally been tiptoeing on a minefield since getting this writers job and this week was no different. She was convinced she wrote this wildly inspiring feminist piece about a Wall Street employee who quit her job and became a stripper to feel liberated but instead got sued by said stripper. Then she made it worse by judging this woman and calling her “just a stripper” to her face.
Jacqueline handled the news better than Jane explaining that writers often times got sued for defamation. Comforting, right? But it wasn’t that Jane wrote a terrible or hypocritical piece, it’s that she didn’t do her research, which is KEY when you’re a journalist. Sutton told her that Morgyn was less upset about her identity being revealed and more about the fact that it got her son kicked out of private school, so Jane decided to go against what her lawyers advised and waltzed back into the strip club to apologize. They say you always have to make things worse before you can make them better and that couldn’t ring truer for Jane. Eventually, Morgyn settled and Jane knew she deserved the money. Not every piece you write will be a winner but that doesn’t equate to failure. As Jacqueline said, you just have to go and write something else.
Jane’s job is seemingly safe for now… that is until she writes her next controversial piece. Sutton has the dream-job, but it’ll still be a struggle to make ends meet and live up to the glamorous “ideals” that everyone believes should come with working in the fashion industry. And Kat, well she learned that sometimes, it’s just a little too late and self-sabotage is a real B.
Till next week – go be bold.