Netflix’s ‘Grace and Frankie’ and its Message to Young Women

Grace and Frankie (starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin), isn’t just a show about two 70-something-year-old women complaining about their arthritis and trying to remember where they parked their car. It’s about the strength of female friendship and finding happiness in independence.

When Grace and Frankie’s husbands, Robert (Martin Sheen) and Sol (Sam Waterston), come clean about their affair and leave their wives for each other, the two ladies who once couldn’t get along are forced to live together and lean on each other for support. There’s something incredibly uplifting about two elderly women facing challenges and overcoming them, and the unlikely friendship between Grace and Frankie proves that you can find meaningful connections with people at any age. The audience gets to see their relationship grow every season, from acquaintances to best friends, and throughout the show, they prove that friendship beats adversity. That is a powerful thing for young women to see because it demonstrates that no matter their age, women can start over, make a life for themselves, accomplish any goal, and that independence can be rewarding.

A show depicting women in their 70s living full lives is important, especially in an industry where older women rarely receive recognition. Despite the fact that the series is comedy gold, Grace and Frankie deals with heavy topics, from loss and heartbreak to sex and ageing. And yes, thinking about older people and their sex life is probably very uncomfortable, but we get to see vibrant, older women taking charge of their bodies and feeling happy with themselves. Young women spend their whole lives worrying about their appearance, so it’s empowering to watch two older women being proud of what they look like. It shows that there is no reason to be embarrassed over your body, nor is it impossible to get lucky at 70.

In an interview with Access Hollywood, Jane Fonda explained why she feels that younger women identify with Grace and Frankie:

What we hear a lot when we talk about [the show] is that women–and not just older women, but younger women, too–say that the show gives them hope[….] At least, I’ve heard them say, it makes them less afraid of getting older.

It has given younger women hope, and proved that growing older isn’t the end—it’s a new beginning.
(Featured Image: Grace and Frankie, Netflix)

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