What The Bold Type gets right and wrong about working at a magazine03/24/2021
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If the lives of Jane Sloan, Sutton Brady and Kat Edison have become your new obsession then we are with you. After The Bold Type was added to Netflix’s repertoire it’s become perfect binge watching material.
If you’re loving watching the trio of besties navigate life while working at Scarlett magazine, then we’ve already taken a deep dive into the lives of the actresses who play them – no problem! But now you may be wondering how much of it reflects what it’s really like to work at a publication.
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Giving the main characters journalism jobs is something we've seen a few times before – The Devil Wears Prada, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Never Been kissed and Trainwreck to name a few. But Scarlett is a based on an US editor’s life so they do seem to get a lot more right. That being said there are also some things we really need to talk about. Here is our view on what they get right and what they get oh so very wrong…
The intense bond Jane, Kat and Sutton share is very much reflected in real magazine offices. The job requires you to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and it would be really hard to get by without having other women (and men – we see you Alex) supporting you.
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THE FASHION CUPBOARD
At the start of series one, none of the three characters work in the fashion department and yet they still spend a large chunk of time hanging out there. The actual fashion journalists would definitely be very confused, and probably politely ask them to leave so they could actually do some work.
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Also, the amount they borrow clothes is unlikely. The clothes are reserved for actual shoots and it wouldn’t be great if you’d taken the little black dress to wear to a bar opening that was intended for a fashion spread. Stern words would be had.
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THE RANDOM ASSIGNMENTS
Jane finds herself in doctor’s offices, at a strip club and even gets sent to a sex party at one point. You do end up doing an eclectic bunch of things while writing for a magazine. I once even went to blowjob school (the less said about that the better).
Although, the chances of three journalists being sent out of the office to do something that one person could get done on their own are slim to none. It is a business after all, not a community club.
STARTING AS ASSISTANTS
Most people do come into journalism at the bottom naturally. The well-trodden route is to start as an intern or assistant and then work your way up. As a result a lot of people arrive and then never leave like our trio. There are currently five assistants still at OK! and our Reach hub (including me!).
That pretty glass office that Jane gets after a promotion is really lovely, but honestly it’s a bit pie in the sky. Usually just the editor gets an office, and even then they like to be out on the office floor chatting to their staff.
USING THEIR OWN LIVES AS INSPIRATION
Jane, Kat and Sutton's ideas often come from what is going on in their own lives. This is also something that happens – for example, I recently wrote about my experiences being mixed race, while my colleague wrote about what it felt like having children return to school.
Also, we generally enjoy revolving our lives around Love Island, peeking inside celebrities’ homes, and announcing happy news such as pregnancy.
THE AMOUNT OF WRITING
Jane seems to only have one writing assignment going on at any one time. We wish! Our to do lists are usually very long. It’s common practise for a journalist to have ten+ projects all at different stages.
THE SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
There’s a lot of spontaneous tweeting going on at Kat’s desk and A LOT of selfies. It’s much more likely a little more thought goes into social media posts, and they are often scheduled in advance.
THE DOT COM
We need to get something off our chest – nobody calls the magazine’s website “the dot com”, it’s digital or the website.
Jane is generally quite rude about the website as a whole. As a young writer she’d surely know the importance of the internet and embrace it, rather than being quite aggressive to boss Patrick at a dinner party.
Everyday the three women seem to look effortlessly glamorous with perfect hair, makeup and outfits. I've got to be honest some days brushing my hair is about as put together as I get. Plus, a pair of leggings and a decade old jumper is sometimes the best kind of outfit.
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