Kat’s on-again, off-again artist girlfriend Adena (Boosheri) first confused the social media manager with her decision to don the traditional Muslim hijab. Kat first believed the hijab was symbolic of an oppressive cultural norm rather than liberating. In an episode where male strangers taunt Adena for her headscarf, Kat urged her to fight back; Adena doesn’t want to engage. “I choose to wear the hijab,” Adena tells Kat. “It does not oppress me, but liberates me from society’s expectations of what a woman should look like.”
Boosheri applauded the role of Adena for challenging stereotypes on a global scale. “She was just very fascinating to me when I read the characters because we don’t usually see Muslim women represented this way,” the actress told ELLE. “She’s very much in the driver’s seat of her own life, she’s not a victim, she’s not under the control of a man. I thought it was a great opportunity to normalize a Muslim presence in cultural spaces.”
Yet like a page out of The Bold Type itself, Boosheri has had to fight to make her voice heard in the writers’ room. “There have been times in my career where I’ve had to speak up to say, ‘This doesn’t make sense,’ or ‘I don’t think she would say this,’ or ‘This is really offensive!'” Boosheri explained of her “responsibility” to stay true to Adena.