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The female faces of television

Women are taking the entertainment industry by storm and making it their own by writing, producing, directing and starring in their own shows. Below are a few examples of the women who are challenging the male-led industry of television, showing that they can do everything themselves and can produce unique and hilarious content.

Lena Dunham – Girls
Lena Dunham is the writer, creator, producer and star of the show Girls – all by the time she has reached 29 years old. The show is about women in New York City in their 20’s, trying to make it in careers such as writers and singers after college. Girls documents a number of topics such as dating, abortions, casual sex, female friendships and drugs. The originality of the show, Dunham’s onscreen nudity and the fact that she created everything about it makes Girls a giant step forward for girl power and shows how she completely owns her content.

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Mindy Kaling – The Mindy Project
Kaling is the creator, producer, writer and lead actress of The Mindy Project. The show makes feminist strides in its hilariously accurate representation of women – as the writer of the show she often makes references to her weight, how much she eats and how she detests the gym. However, Mindy also owns everything about her body shape and is a confident, sexy, successful Indian woman in an impressive career. Therefore she is a total role model.  She is a loveable and realistic character, a hopeless romantic and a late night snack lover. I feel like every woman can see a bit of themselves in Mindy and if not, they wish they did.

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Abbi Jacobsen and Ilana Glazer – Broad City
Jacobsen and Glazer both created and star in the show, which is based on their web series of the same name and Amy Poehler is one of the producers. The show has a similar theme to Girls, about women in their 20s making their way in New York City with very little money, unsuccessful in their careers. Yet this show is more comedy-oriented and is fresh and hilarious. Notable moments are when they look for people to have sex with on the internet and call themselves feminist heroes for asking men out instead of the other way around. Another favourite moment is when Ilana’s boss calls her out on her personal email being ‘Ilanawexler@mindmyvagina.com’ and he says that it is not appropriate for clients to be immediately reminded of her vagina, and she replies with, ‘and a MIND’. Is this not the most perfect feminist statement ever written?

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Amy Schumer – Inside Amy Schumer
Schumer created, produced, writes and stars in the show. The show is unique in style; it consists of a combination of sketches, interviews and stand-up comedy. Relevant and modern topics such as sexting, one night stands, casual sex and dating are discussed in a way that promotes feminism and portrays women’s sexuality in a positive way. Schumer is similar to Kaling in that she makes jokes about her body shape and her appearance whilst also being a successful woman and owning her sexuality and female form.

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Tina Fey – 30 Rock
Fey is an actress, writer, creator, producer and comedian. She was the first female head writer at Saturday Night Live, adapted a book to create Mean Girls (one of the best films of all time – no arguments) and created the television show 30 Rock, in which she stars. She has acted in various other films and television shows, but is a talented writer and creator and has made new waves for women in comedy.

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Shonda Rhimes – Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder
Though Rhimes does not star in the shows, she produces Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder which both star African-American actresses as the lead characters – Kerry Washington and Viola Davis. These shows represent not only women but give leading roles to African-American women who are greatly underrepresented in television.

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Together these women have been nominated for and won, a variety of awards for their acting, writing, producing and directing. Women are often underrepresented in the industry and this is such obvious proof as to why that needs to change and female talent needs to be embraced.

As Hillary Clinton once said, ‘Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world’.

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