The Amazing Women of "Orange Is the New Black" Stephanie Barnes

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or Mercury being in retrograde has affected you a bit more than it should have, by now you must have heard that orange is the new black! No, who am I kidding? Orange is a hideous color, but Netflix does have a new series called Orange is the New Black and it is amazing!

And I feel like our very own Gina Vaynshteyn said it best when she described the show:

This is a show about emotional, physical and psychological turmoil that occurs within prison and oneself. It’s about Stockholm Syndrome. It’s about survival and social issues. It’s about love and absolute hatred. Most importantly, it’s about a young woman in her early thirties who gets busted for a crime she stupidly committed ten years ago post-college, and now she is confronted with her past life, her inner rebel, and…moldy prison pudding.

Orange is the New Black has brought together the most beautifully diverse group of women, each with their own unique story to tell. These women are strong, their stories are inspiring and even a little heartbreaking. Here are some of my favorite characters, I’ll try not to spoil it too much for you.

Alex Vause

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Alex Vause is everything you want in a girlfriend because she is everything you know you should stay away from. Played by the gorgeous Laura Prepon, Alex is the badass, eyeliner wearing, former international drug cartel ex-girlfriend of Piper Chapman. But don’t let that tough exterior fool you, because as the episodes go on we do get to see her vulnerable side. She got her heartbroken and everyone can relate to that on some level, she’s just dealing the best way she knows how.

(Also, Laura Prepon is totally swoon worthy with those thick-framed glasses, long dark hair and killer dance moves)

Piper Chapman

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Played by Taylor Schilling, Piper Chapman is our main character – the emotionally dependent, artisanal soap making New Yorker who goes to prison for fifteen months – ten years after committing a drug-money related crime for/with her lesbian love interest at the time, Alex Vause. Now in prison, Piper tries to find a balance between maintaining her relationship with fiancé, Larry (Jason Biggs) on the outside and coexisting with the treacherous ex-girlfriend while trying to navigate the ups and downs of prison.

But even though she did her research and studied for her time in prison, nothing could have prepared her to be called “Taylor Swift”.

Galina (Red) Reznikov

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Kate Mulgrew‘s portrayal of the large and in charge Russian prison chef “Red” is brilliant! On the outside, Red owned a restaurant with her husband but got caught up with the mob. Now, she serves as a mother figure for many of the younger inmates.

Be careful though, you only get two chances! Russians don’t play baseball.

Sophia Burset

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Sophia, our favorite hair stylist played by Laverne Cox, is a male to female transgender who goes to prison for credit card fraud. When the prison decides to lower her hormone dosage, she finds herself struggling to accept the possibility of her body’s reversal. She also finds herself in a difficult situation when her wife, Crystal, decides she is ready to move on. A truly incredible woman.

Nicky Nichols

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In prison, we meet the vibrant, hilarious, crazy-haired lesbian and former junkie played by Natasha Lyonne. With a little help from her prison mama, Red, she manages to get clean and goes on to become a friendly, upstanding inmate.

Well, as upstanding as having sex with your engaged best friend and secretly making wedding collages for the two of you gets.

Tiffany (Pennsatuckey) Doggett

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You know how Netflix recently earned 14 Emmy nominations? Well, next time around, Taryn Manning should definitely be on that list. Her portrayal of borderline psychotic Jesus freak Pennsatuckey is absolute perfection. Pennsatucky was sent to prison after shooting a nurse at her favorite abortion clinic. She converted to Christianity after a Christian law firm earned her less time in prison, believing “God had found her”.

Homosexuality is a big no-no for Pennsatucky, so make sure she doesn’t catch you and yours “lesbian-ing together”.

 Images were captured and cropped from the Orange is the New Black Netflix page. 

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  1. I recently binge-watched the entire first season and fell in love! Every episode is truly inspiring. And the bit about how the scariest thing about prison is coming face to face with who you truly are – because in everyday life it is so easy to be distracted from that reality. Brilliant show.

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