The Power Suit: Empowering Women on TV

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By Afshi

The Power Suit: Television has always been a powerful medium that shapes societal norms and perceptions. Over the years, the portrayal of women on TV has evolved, reflecting changing attitudes towards gender roles. 

One major transformation has been the rise of powerful female characters who wear the metaphorical “power suit” on screen, that can be found at TheUSASuits. These characters’ challenge traditional gender stereotypes and empower women by showcasing strength, intelligence, and resilience. 

In this article, we will explore the impact of the power suit on empowering women in television, and examining how it has become a symbol of liberation and equality.

The Evolution of Women on TV

Historically, women on television were often consigned to stereotypical roles, portraying them as homemakers, damsels in distress, or mere accessories to male protagonists. However, as societal norms evolved, so did the representation of women on TV. The emergence of the power suit as a symbol of authority and competence has played a crucial role in reshaping the narrative.

The Power Suit Defined

The power suit, both literally and figuratively, symbolizes a woman’s assertion of her capabilities, independence, and authority. While the literal power suit may be a well-tailored business ensemble, the figurative power suit represents a woman’s ability to navigate and conquer challenges in various aspects of life. This empowerment is not just about appearance but extends to character development and the roles women play in television narratives.

Breaking Stereotypes

Television has been a battleground for breaking stereotypes, and the power suit has been a powerful weapon in this fight. Characters like Olivia Pope in “Scandal” and Alicia Florrick in “The Good Wife” challenge traditional gender norms by excelling in male-dominated fields. These women wear their power suits as a statement of their competence, demanding respect on their own terms. By doing so, they become trailblazers, inspiring real-world women to pursue careers and positions traditionally dominated by men.

Agency and Independence

The power suit serves as a visual cue for the autonomy and agency of female characters. Whether it’s Annalise Keating in “How to Get Away with Murder” or Jessica Pearson in “Suit“, these women are not defined by their relationships but by their accomplishments and intellect. The power suit becomes a symbol of independence, highlighting that a woman’s worth extends beyond her personal life.

Subverting Beauty Standards

Traditionally, female characters on TV were often defined by conventional beauty standards. However, the power suit allows for a redefinition of beauty. Characters like Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada” and Selina Meyer in “Veep” demonstrate that power and influence can emanate from intelligence, wit, and competence rather than conforming to narrow standards of physical appearance. This subversion challenges societal expectations, encouraging women to embrace their individuality and redefine their self-worth.


While the power suit has undoubtedly empowered many female characters on television, it’s crucial to recognize the intersectionality of this empowerment. Women of color, and women with disabilities are often underrepresented in mainstream media. The power suit, when embraced by characters from diverse backgrounds, becomes a tool for intersectional empowerment, challenging not only gender norms but also racial and cultural stereotypes.

The Impact on Audiences

The representation of powerful women in power suits has a profound impact on audiences. It not only shapes perceptions but also serves as a source of inspiration for viewers. Research indicates that positive portrayals of strong female characters on TV can contribute to increased self-esteem and aspirations among women and girls. The power suit becomes a visual cue that communicates the message: “You can be powerful, successful, and in control of your destiny“.

Challenges and Criticisms

While the power suit has undeniably played a significant role in empowering women on TV, it is not without its criticisms. Some argue that the emphasis on the power suit may perpetuate the idea that a woman’s worth is still tied to her appearance, even if that appearance now includes a tailored suit. Additionally, concerns about tokenism and the need for more authentic and diverse representations persist. The challenge lies in ensuring that the empowerment portrayed on screen translates into real-world opportunities and equality.


The power suit has become a potent symbol of empowerment for women on television, challenging stereotypes, and redefining traditional gender roles. Female characters who don the power suit are not just fashion-forward; they are agents of change, breaking barriers and inspiring audiences. The power suit, in all its forms, serves as a reminder that women can be strong, independent, and successful, both on and off the screen.

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