Girlboss Blackgirl Kat Edison, The Bold Type

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Girlboss Blackgirl Kat Edison is real, no, she is fake, imaginary from a novelist brain. Let us settle this, Girlboss Blackgirl Kat Edison played by Aisha Dee, that is the one that is real. Aisha!

Girlboss Blackgirl Kat Edison is going to do something to you. So let me warn you ahead before you read this piece, this is reality, not TV. No, not reality TV. Okay, is the life that we all live, each one of us, is it an undocumented reality TV show? I just don’t get it. Not after #blacklivesmatters!

Try to think of every Black girl you’ve ever dreamed could grace your television screen on a weekly basis. Try, who, me? No, you must be kidding me. I am not even a female to be close to being a feminist. At least, not for the purpose of this write up.

The decision to create a fully fleshed-out Black character and then have her reduced so exhaustively is ‘rough’. And doing that in one season feels more than just a betrayal. For fans who feel an overwhelming sense of connection to Kat’s character, it feels like violence.”

Try again and think of a specific Black girl now, listen to me. The Girlboss type, you know, Girlboss Blackgirl. The one you have ever dreamed could grace your television screen on a weekly basis. yes, I got you. Your choice did not come close to the character of Kat Edison.

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Girlboss Blackgirl Kat Edison Bold Type – how is it different?

In The Bold Type, Kat (played by Aisha Dee), occupies a unique and consequential role as a Black main character known for her unabashed sense, and celebration, of self. The joy imbued in this fully developed character helped make The Bold Type a very different fantasy than the one it initially appeared to be.

The series was marketed as a walking Net-a-Porter ad for surface-level feminism. The Bold Type quickly and skillfully crafted an escapist media-world fantasy. Where, one night a week, a career in journalism was as easy as a fully funded magazine.

“… success without the slightest hint of turmoil in … work life … perfect niche of fantasy … escapism…”

500 words in sans serif a day, a million-dollar fashion closet to ease any relationship woes. Bosses that supported a version of “lean in” feminism that was inclusionary and intersectional in a way real life never was.

While all of this is in line with the surface-level feminist fantasy that The Bold Type initially appeared to be. The negative reactions to Kat’s story line from both viewers and Aisha Dee herself make it clear that these decisions are a betrayal of what the show has actually become.

The Bold Type’s decision to position Kat as a success without the slightest hint of turmoil in her work life helped catapult the show into its perfect niche of fantasy media escapism.

The decision to create a fully fleshed-out Black character and then have her reduced so exhaustively is ‘rough’. And doing that in one season feels like more than just a betrayal of the show’s established themes. For fans who feel an overwhelming sense of connection to Kat’s character, it feels like violence.

“In the end, the promises of #Girlboss feminism are as empty as they are exclusionary”

Again, Black women are left behind

But the reality of how much Kat’s character represents lies in more than just viewer backlash. In an open letter published on Instagram, Dee critiqued her character’s portrayal. She pinpointed the lack of representation in the writers’ room that led Kat to this moment.

This seems more than just a simple character misstep. This season of The Bold Type is the perfect example of what happens when white feminism moves beyond the confines of entertainment and into the open spaces of real life.

When issues that can be flattened into easily digestible pillow talk are placed into a real scenario, they fail to hold up actual fact and experience. In the end, the promises of #Girlboss feminism are as empty as they are exclusionary. And once again, Black women are left behind.

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Girlboss Blackgirl, what next?

The love and support for Kat Edison is clear evidence of a still unquenched desire for Black women to see themselves onscreen. And the success of earlier seasons of The Bold Type show that Kat’s character does more than just live well. It lives because some are weathering the pandemic storm, and any one too has an opportunity to weather any unfavorable storm.

Her openness and joy is a definitive marker of what makes the show great. So Kat’s baffling season-four journey does more than do her character a disservice. It shows that as long as diverse voices are kept out of the room, the era of the #Girlboss might not be as dead as we think.

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