“To all the little girls watching this,” Hillary Clinton said, following her shock election loss in 2016. “Never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”
Gutsy Women is a new Apple TV+ docuseries that’s being hosted and produced by the mother-daughter duo, under the umbrella of their new company, Hidden Light Productions.
The show will bring to life the stories spotlighted in Hillary and Chelsea’s 2019 book of the same name, asking the question: what exactly does it take to be a gutsy woman?
Announcing the collaboration on Instagram, the former New York senator said: “The world needs more change-makers. And I believe telling the stories of people who defy the odds and march forward will inspire others to do the same.”
Writing on Twitter, Chelsea added that she was “thrilled” to be working with her mum on the project, which is also supported by Sam Branson, the youngest son of Virgin billionaire Richard Branson. According to its Instagram bio, the trio’s new production company aims “to see the world in new ways and to celebrate the best of the human spirit”.
The book on which the new show is based stemmed from conversations Chelsea and her mother shared growing up. They wanted to know more about the women who moved mountains to shatter glass ceilings, and who paved the way forward for generations ahead – often in the face of unimaginable odds.
The pair drafted more than 200 essays before embarking on the project, in order to whittle down a list of female pioneers who have “overcome the toughest resistance imaginable to win victories that have made progress possible for all of us”.
Women whose stories will be honoured in the Apple TV+ show include Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, abolitionist icon Harriet Tubman and Edith Windsor, the LBGTQ+ activist whose same-sex marriage led to a landmark ruling by America’s Supreme Court in 2013.
The series will also chart the journey of writers such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who “named something no one had dared talk about before” in conversations around gay rights, racism and the language of gender violence.
Gutsy Women is designed to inspire girls and women everywhere with stories of towering female strength. The idea is to give us all some additional fuel to stand up to the status quo, be difficult and do what needs to be done – a rallying call that is especially important in the course of a global pandemic that has hit women the hardest.
“Growing up, I knew hardly any women who worked outside the home,” Hillary explains in a blurb for the book. “So I looked to my mother, my teachers, and the pages of Life magazine for inspiration. After learning that Amelia Earhart kept a scrapbook with newspaper articles about successful women in male-dominated jobs, I started a scrapbook of my own.”
Gutsy Women is a TV version of that scrapbook. But the idea is not to place those trailblazers featured on a pedestal; instead it will explore them as the multifaceted women they were, and are. Just like the rest of us they faced huge challenges on a daily basis; but just like the rest of us, they had the capacity to push through and be heard.
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“At the end of the day, we are so grateful for these women and their lives,” Hillary said in an interview last year. “And we wanted them to be seen as whole people – they’re not perfect, they’re not up on a mountain somewhere. They worked hard, they overcame obstacles, they’re gutsy because they’re clear they were following their dream.”
Gutsy Women is in production with Apple TV+ now. Roll on the feminist brilliance, and the women who empower us – each and every day.
Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for stylist.co.uk. Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.