By: Susannah Hutcheson, Regular ContributorJune 27, 2015
I am a Netflixer. I’m not sure if that’s even a real word- but I am one. I could lay on the couch and watch Netflix all day and be perfectly happy. Whenever Netflix produced “Orange Is the New Black,” I was excited for something else to watch. As soon as I began watching, I was surprised by how deep the show went. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I was immediately enthralled by the rich backstories, criticism of prison life, and the discrimination that echoes through the script.
“Orange is the New Black” is an immensely groundbreaking show- showing sensitive subjects that are often ignored in pop culture.
The show has no superiority factor about it, and it discusses the deeply flawed human condition. As “Orange is the New Black” leaps over boundaries and breaks through taboos, so does its cast.
Matt McGorry, star of ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder” and C.O. John Bennett on “Orange is the New Black,” has spoken very publicly on feminism and the stigmas surrounding it. In March, he tweeted: I’m embarrassed to admit that I only recently discovered the ACTUAL definition of ‘feminism.’ Being a feminist is for both women AND men. I AM A FEMINIST.”
Since then, McGorry has consistently tried to break down the walls and assumptions that come with the word. You can hear more from him in this incredible video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmX-59dp3b0 (it is SO worth watching!)
The show has also been extraordinarily open about the female body, opening doors and conversations about self-image and beauty standards. “Orange is the New Black” stars, Dascha Polanco, Danielle Brooks, and Lea DeLaria, have spoken about the importance of smashing down these beauty standards, and how “Orange is the New Black” has been such a pioneer- the girls don’t wear much makeup, and they wear prison scrubs: not girdles and Spanx. DeLaria said,
“We have a lot of women on our show of every shape and size and age. I think it’s something that young women can relate to. You don’t see that much on television.”
Also a subject that “Orange Is the New Black” addressed has, in turn, spurred much conversation about transgender men and women. Selenis Levya, Gloria Mendoza in OITNB, spoke about the acceptance that transgender men and women struggle with so much. Laverne Cox, who plays Sophia Burset, a transgender woman on the show and in real life, said it eloquently: “Transpeople in general can show everyone that you can define what it means to be a man or woman on your own terms. A lot of what feminism is about is moving outside of roles and moving outside of roles and moving outside of expectations of who and what you’re supposed to be to live a more authentic life.”
As the show goes on and more viewers become attracted to it, “Orange is the New Black” will continue to smash glass ceilings and blow more of us away with its raw pure honesty. Check it out on Netflix now!
Have you seen oitnb? What did you think? Who is your favorite character? Tell us below!
Susannah is a Journalism major, passionate about social justice and Jesus Christ. She loves cold weather, triple-shot lattes, and macaroni and cheese. When she’s not writing papers or baking cookies, you can find her Googling random things on the Internet or watching large amounts of reality television. You can read her ramblings at ileftamessinthekitchen.wordpress.com, or look at pictures of her coffee on Instagram: @susannah.beth.
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