Sunday, April 30, 2017

You Don't Have to be a Girlboss to Kick Ass

Let's start with: I'm no girlboss. I don't own my business, I'm not a freelancer or creator of sorts. I just happen to love taking photos and crafting words to tell a story. Does this make me any less cool? (I mean, I hope not 'cause this entire post would be pretty much done for ha ha ha....)

If you have Netflix (which I don't, so lol me) then you already know that #GIRLBOSS is now a TV series which chronicles the whirlwind force that is Sophia Amoruso from her eBay beginnings and to its eventual Chapter 11 demise. Understandably, everyone is fawning over it because #girlboss is now a phrase so familiar to every single person in the creative industry and aspires to be. Plus, everyone loves the book to death.


And yet, I'm basically the antithesis of what being a 'girlboss' is. Au contraire to majority of the blogging community, I don't run my own business, create content, work in social media, have a consistent blogging schedule and am very unwilling to spend money on blog 'props' (wtf). Because in reality, I work with large Excel sheets and get frustrated at the lack of memory space on my good-for-nothing Lenovo work-assigned laptop. But that's not the point.

What I want to say is: it's okay to not be a girlboss. You don't need to be a freelance megababe jetsetting across different countries every other weekend, get invited to press events to kick ass because you are a goddamn normal human being and you can do kick ass things in your own kick ass way. Anyone who tells you less is unworthy of your time mistaken.

We have the notion drilled into us – if we're not channeling our inner girlbosses or 'taking charge' of our own future then doom shall fall. I've always been (controversially) silent about motivational phrases on overpriced stationery and tongue-in-cheek slogans on T-shirts from clothing companies with dubious ethical logistics but I digress; I confess that I'm definitely not the first when it comes to buying into trendy ideas, but I simply and really didn't get along when 2014 was all about being your own boss.

Amoruso's book felt like an accuser's finger, and to women everywhere, which screamed: hey you, look at me, I have wisdom to impart and I have my successful company and these are my life learnings that should empower you. But after some light reading, it sure looked like she was using the peak of her success to pivot away and create her own personal Hollywood brand and left the reins to someone who definitely did not know what she was doing (which of course, crashed and burned).


Lest someone comes all out and turns the table on me, I want to caveat that I'm all for supporting women/individuals who are out there doing their own thing and doing it successfully - in fact, a few close pals are doing an awesome job at running their own businesses – I just don't sit squarely with this all-or-nothing #girlboss franchising in our culture.

Behind closed doors, and apart from the wildly successful #girlboss empire, let's not forget about the business which started it all and gave this movement life. Nasty Gal.

While her readers and fans were blindsided besotted by her book (I mean, new age female entrepreneur topping the Forbes Self-Made list?), the toxic culture of her company wasn't doing her any favours. Sure, Lululemon's (another brand that everyone seems to love) Waterson probably didn't do her job well but favouritism and flying discrimination lawsuits were pretty telling of how non-proverbial shit was eventually going to hit the fan.

I guess every thing was fine though because people were still buying her books, recommending it in every 'What I Read This Month' videos/posts, quoting her verbatim, and living life post-relevation of #girlboss.


I don't think we need a codename for anyone to have achieved great and wonderful things. Of course you would call Marie Curie a #girlboss by today's lingo but she was a remarkable and resilient individual deserving of her achievements in her own right. To use a blanket term for success seems too trivialised and fails to truly recognise anyone's work, and we all deserve more credit than a slick millennial catch phrase. 

We often talk about diversity in our community and culture, so maybe let's start with doing exactly that? 

Phew, that was heavy wasn't it? Keen to hear your thoughts on it, especially from other bloggers who have lived through the #girlboss phenonenon. I hope this isn't seen as a scathing attack on #girlboss/Amoruso/Nasty Gal - I just wanted to share my humble commoner's thoughts (lol) on this topic because it's just been swirling around in my head for a while.


delicately © . Design by FCD.