If you ever needed confirmation that Netflix is consciously putting women first in their programming, look no further. A newly released Netflix infographic highlights female pairs and groups from a variety of prominent titles on the streaming platform. In doing so, the graphic strongly makes the case that bringing together women of various ethnicities and walks of life creates more realistic shows, and as such, helps pave the way for a new level of positive female representation on TV.
Titled "We're Stronger Together," the infographic includes photos from shows like Orange is the New Black, GLOW, Mad Men, Grace and Frankie, Luke Cage, and House of Cards that spotlight notable female groups from those very series. This illustrates what Netflix really means when they say women are stronger together — whether that's Lily and Robin's friendship on How I Met Your Mother, or the bond between Litchfield crew from Orange Is The New Black. You also can't forget about the mole women from The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, who came together when trapped in an underground bunker.
Making these relationships all the more powerful, shows like OITNB, Grace and Frankie, and GLOW tick big representation boxes when it comes to uniting women of color with white women, as well as women of varying ages and socio-economic classes. And on the innermost ring of the infographic, Netflix has pointed out a range of reasons these ladies join forces: "for a greater cause," "to escape," "for companionship," and "to succeed."
It could be argued that seeing this kind of inclusivity has a positive effect on those watching these shows, which feeds back into Netflix's desire to break — as they put it — a "'me' over 'we'" mindset. As Netflix lays out in a press release, their initiative to put women front and center resulted from the positive reactions to Orange is the New Black. They write that the show introduced "fearless, complicated and flawed characters," and in turn, "unlocked another truth: the fact that women want to see real and relatable groups of women on screen."
There's no doubt that OITNB has, over the course of five seasons, brought women from deeply different background together in a believable way, forcing them to confront their differences and eventually unite. The ripple effect can now be seen in shows like GLOW brings a remarkably inclusive cast together to explore ideas around female sexuality, gender identity, and the importance of women coming together in a positive work environment.
To this end, Netflix is showing they're committed to do more for their female-identifying viewership by consistently bringing together inclusive female casts and shows; not just scratching the itch before returning to male-fixated programming. This idea is backed up by another statement Netflix made about this "We're Stronger Together" initiative:
"Netflix also believes that it takes a strong group of women behind the camera, both creatively and at an executive level, to get a strong group of women on camera — this is why it has committed to building a strong and supportive network of female talent on and off screen, who gravitate towards storytelling that is more reflective of what complex female relationships look like today."
The infographic may just be a marker of how far Netflix has come in diversifying their programming, but it also alludes to the direction they want to go in the future — both on- and off-screen. Understandably, this infographic doesn't include every single show currently available to stream, but these examples of beloved characters make the strong case why female representation really does make a difference.