The girls of Pretty Little Liars.

The girls of Pretty Little Liars.

In today’s world so many times girls and women seem to be pitted against each other. Whether it’s two girls fighting over a boy or the competition to be the most popular girl in school, this is most evident on screen and in books. But there are TV shows that celebrate the power of female friendships, girls who support, encourage and protect their friends. First up: Pretty Little Liars. (Minor spoilers ahead for those who are not up to date with the show.)

The four main characters, Aria, Hanna, Emily and Spencer, begin to receive messages from the mysterious ‘A’. This person knows all of their secrets and threatens to reveal them if they don’t play along with them. While the unveiling of ‘A’ is the main crux of the show it is the relationship between the four girls that has kept the show interesting for the past 6 seasons. When Hanna gets hit by a car, the girls are there to help her out, as they are when she gets her heartbroken by Caleb. When all the evidence points to Spencer being the killer of their friend Alison they never once doubt her innocence, they instead work together to find out who really killed her. When the girls find out about Aria’s relationship with their teacher Mr. Fitz they do not judge her or tell her to leave him. They know that she loves him and they tell her to follow her heart. This probably wasn’t the best advice they could give her at this point but the theme of the four girls sticking together against everyone is important for the show.

The best example of the power of their friendship is when Emily comes out as gay. While initially shocked when she sees a picture of Emily kissing Maya, Hanna then goes out of her way to get Maya to go to the dance with Emily. Instead of looking at her differently which was what Emily was afraid of, they treat her exactly the same. They do not see her as ‘Emily the lesbian’ they see her as the same Emily she always was.

The show deals with a number of traumatic events for the girls, the death of a loved one, the divorce of their parents, as well as attempts on their own lives. Instead of abandoning each other and focusing on their own problems they stick together and help each other through the storm. They work together in order to figure out who ‘A’ is he dust has settled their friendship is still intact and stronger than ever which is a strong message for girls. Despite the terror that they have been through in the past few years and the uncertainty that they faced, they still had each other.

-Michelle O’Brien
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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