Every so often I discover a new powerful woman who is often involved in writing somehow and I become a little obsessed. This time it’s Rae Earl.
I started watching My Mad Fat Diary back when everyone else did, when the first series was on tv. I immediately felt a deep connection with Rae and couldn’t wait until 10 o’clock on Monday nights when I could watch the show. For those of you who haven’t seen the show, it follows Rae Earl, a sixteen stone sixteen year old as she leaves a mental health clinic and enters the world of 90’s sex, drugs and rock n roll. Rae is easily the strongest female teenage character I have ever seen on television as well as being one of the only true representations of women and in particular teenage girls I have seen as of late. She is fucking badass.
The tv show is based on the ‘My Mad Fat Diary’ novel which is based on the author Rae Earl’s actual diary. So the Rae you see weekly on a Monday is a TRUE reflection of a teenage girl. She gets angry, sad, anxious, horny, bitchy and insecure and the show isn’t afraid to address this. Supposed ‘taboo topics’ are explored in a lighthearted manner, such as female masturbation, self harm and depression.
In each episode we see the life of Rae unfold as she attempts to juggle college, her love life, her friends and her family as well as coping with mental health issues by visiting her psychiatrist Kester. Kester is another of the reasons I love watching the show. In series 1 we saw parts of his life unfold and discovered that EVERYONE – even psychiatrists, fall apart sometimes. No one has their shit together all of the time.
But what really reaches out to me isn’t the tv show, it’s what I think about whilst I watch it. I think of the real Rae Earl and her struggling in her teens, keeping a diary and later publishing that diary for the whole world to see. I think she’s brave. I think she’s an icon. I think she’s a hero.
If you’re considering watching (which you definitely should) then I strongly advise you to watch the first series before the second which is gracing our screens right now. Watch this show and I dare you not to feel totally inspired by something Kester has to say or totally proud of Rae’s coping, despite her being ‘fiction’.