Angry Beautiful Women are Taking Over TV and We’re Not Mad About It!
How many times have you been rightfully upset over something and a man said you were acting crazy, overreacting or pms-ing? Did anyone accuse Monte Cristo of the same thing when he spent his entire life seeking revenge against those who woefully wronged him. It’s highly doubtful the same plot with a female leading character would have been as popular circa 2002, the year Count of Monte Cristo was released.
Anger makes a man strong while it makes a woman look crazy, over-sensitive, and too emotional. Traditionally, on crime shows women either end up dead or they serve an angry man with a mission. But it’s 2018…almost 2019 and women are on all kinds of missions on their own these days. Anger is no longer an exclusively male trait, but a plot point for female lead characters. It no longer makes a beautiful woman flawed- it makes her a force to be reckoned with.
Shows starring angry beautiful heroines like Marvel’s Jessica Jones and Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel are garnering ratings and awards. HBO’s Big Little Lies and Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale dominated the Emmys and Golden Globes last year. The list doesn’t end there: Jessica Jones, The Crown, Alias Grace, and Insecure. Their success proves that women on TV are no longer dependent on men to be effective. The injustices these heroines suffer give them license to take all sorts of vengeful actions.
On Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Jessica is infuriated at being raped, being controlled by Kilgrave, and channels that anger into becoming the bitchy superhero she’s meant to be. Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale is a tale of multiple righteously angry women who woke up one day stripped of their basic human right and began taking action to fight for themselves and for others. They’re not always successful, but at least they’re doing something about it and it doesn’t seem like they’ll be giving up anytime soon.
We can credit this small screen gender shift to the number of women in Hollywood taking control of the camera. Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman launched their own production companies recently to highlight stories of women aiming to inspire the female audience and authenticate the female experience. With hits like Gone Girl, Wild, and Big Little Lies, Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard company is breaking down barriers and becoming an industry force in this post-Harvey Weinstein era.
Last year was also the first time three of the Emmy nominees for best director were women. The Hollywood women in power have created a ripple effect, encouraging more women to come forward, and take their seat at the table as the number of complex female characters being put on screen shift in their favor. Women deserve to narrate their own stories, shifting words like “female victim,” “the girlfriend,” and “her” to “me.”
Written By: Andrea Lee, @organicbeautylover