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Best TV for Girls
Best friends really are the best. For girls and young women, they're the ones who psych you up for fun, admire your talents, help you through tough days, and let you ramble on about your crazy theories.
But if you watch much TV -- from The Real Housewives to American Idol -- you might think female friendships were something entirely different. Throwing drinks in your friend's face, calling her a tramp, or yanking her hair might seem like normal parts of being buds. Even scripted favorites such as Nashville and Pretty Little Liars regularly pit women against each other.
But there are plenty of shows that don't wallow in the negative. By choosing entertainment that sends a better message to your kids, you can proactively counteract negative female stereotypes. Here are our favorite weapons against girl-on-girl hate.
My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, 4+ (the Hub): It's super cutesy, but this animated preschool favorite shows girls (or girly ponies) working together to solve problems and sort out their differences in healthy, age-appropriate ways.
Ruby Gloom, 5+ (streaming): If cutesy isn't your kid's thing, this goth take on girl friendship might be more her style. Ruby, Iris, and Misery problem-solve and cooperate in a ghoulishly fun setting.
H2O: Just Add Water, 7+ (Nickelodeon): This live-action drama focuses on three teen girls who find they have magical mermaid powers. As they make their way through high school and its attendant social dramas, the three stick together, showing the true power of friendship.
SciGirls, 7+ (PBS): This science-oriented educational show highlights girls working together to construct or develop experiments to learn about the world around them. Girls encourage each other and have fun together while modeling enthusiasm for science.
Jem and the Holograms, 8+ (the Hub): In this flashy animated series from the 1980s -- now airing on the Hub -- a group of women rock stars plays music and battles meanies as a team.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 13+ (DVD): This oldie but goodie never fell victim to silly stereotypes about female friendships. Buffy and Willow are best friends through thick and thin, and even Buffy's female rivals don't fight her over a man -- but rather over the survival of the world.
New Girl, 13+ (Fox): Jess and Cece are childhood friends who've taken different paths in life. But even though they don't always enjoy the same activities or agree with each other's life paths, they stay loyal and committed to each other.
Tia & Tamera, 13+ (Style): Real-life sisters go through ups and downs as they navigate different stages of their lives, but in the end they're always there for each other.
Parks and Recreation, 14+ (NBC): Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones are hilarious and realistic as friends and coworkers who navigate the wacky world of relationships, careers, and camping trips. Their friendship shows that they can stand by each other, even if they sometimes disagree. That's what real friendship is, right?