The Girlboss Movement: Empowerment and Toxicity

Today we will be talking about the Girlboss movement and ideology. In this discussion, I will be revealing the origins of the Girlboss movement, how the term rose in popularity, and what caused its eventual downfall.

The term has been used by a lot of women and companies, seemingly as a way to empower them. The term Girlboss is closely related to the other term Boss Babe, which basically symbolizes the strong female leaders of a workplace.

The Girlboss movement argues that having women gaining authority and power in a workplace would help facilitate having more equality. Thus, the movement gained traction pretty quickly.

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Origins of the Girl Boss

Girlboss book

The term Girlboss originated from a book authored by Sophia Amoruso, titled #girlboss. Because of the book’s positive message, it quickly became a bestseller to its target demographic. With the success of the book, Amoruso then built her very own media company revolving around the idea.

The girlboss media company had merchandise, conferences, and even a Netflix series. Ironically, Amoruso’s other company, Nasty Gal, went bankrupt a few years later.

This then became an object of scrutiny, as girlboss culture revolved heavily around succeeding. The problem with the movement is that it focused heavily on how women were supposed to lead better than men.

The problem with that ideology is that gender has absolutely nothing to do with that aspect. Women can be just as horrible as men.

Hustle Culture

Hustle Culture

Hustle culture is a pretty millennial concept that has also been making the round these days. It is about hustling and grinding relentlessly.

The problem with this is that hustle culture is more of a social media phenomenon. Those who practice it are encourage to post their progress on social media regularly, in order to seem like they are doing everything right and that they should be idolized for it.

Hustle culture comes in different forms.

  • There is a the pretty toxic one where a company was led by someone young, claiming that they are “self-made”, and that they worked very hard in order to achieve their current position. This one encourages that their employees work longer than 8 hours a day to “ensure success”.
  • Another form is the materialistic one, where they target people who are into luxury items. These people post about hustling a lot in social media. The truth, however, is that they hustled for what they have less than what they say (heirs/heiresses to fortunes).
  • Then we have the Girlboss culture. This includes surrounding oneself with material things, reading self-help books and podcasts, and buying from companies who follow the same ideology.

The hustle culture that involves the girlboss involves working and hustling as much as possible, in order to be the one in charge someday. This primarily involves building a career and becoming the girlboss.

Girlboss and MLMs

MLM girlboss

The term has been overly used by a lot of brands and companies, most notably, MLMs.

In MLMs, distributors are encouraged to keep spending money in order to stock up on more inventory. They even have the audacity to tell their members that stocking up on inventory is a good way to run a business, as it meant that you would have stocks when you need it.

This logic is then spun into different iterations. In the traditional girlboss mantra, losing money in an MLM means that you are trying hard. You are building your business in order to be a strong independent woman.

MLMs also tend to target women who are vulnerable. From what you can observe, most MLMs target women who are desperate to make money. Most of them are single parents who want to work from home in order to stay with their children.

MLMs encourage these women to continue investing even though they see no profits from doing so. They make it seem like the women are making something of themselves, even if it mean they are losing their savings in the process.

Well, we already know what is going to be the outcome of that. Having no money left is definitely not being empowered is all about.

Overall Toxicity

MLMs and hustle culture are two very toxic concepts that have seemed to take over social media. A day does not pass by that I do not see any “inspirational” quote about hustling in my feed.

What I am concerned about is that hustle culture is normalizing being overworked. They have the audacity to tell you that you should take overtimes everyday in order to succeed. Well, that is a fair point. You will be seen as a hard worker, but is it really worth it?

A lot of people miss out on important days in their lives because they have to go to work. Some even die because of pushing themselves too hard.

That should not be normalized. What should be normalized is getting paid a livable wage, where one does not have to take any overtimes in order to make ends meet.

Hustle culture and MLMs are toxic enough on their own, but together, they are as toxic as a nuclear power plant.

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Succeeding as a Girlboss

Bossbabe Toxicity

Basically, what girlboss culture is showing us is that a woman’s worth is based solely on how successful she is.

This throws in a lot of mixed messages in the already convoluted concept.

Does this mean that women who decide to focus on being mothers not worthy enough? We all have mothers, and I am sure that some of them gave up their promising careers in order to take care of the children and the household. That does not mean that they are failures as women, right?

Well, the girlboss culture is very much into telling women that they need to hustle in order to be considered worthy.

Somehow, they have created this narrative that only women with careers deserve everything in the world. That is pretty offensive to women everywhere.

Remember that not all women are the same. A lot of women are victims of circumstance. Some are privileged enough to enjoy life. Most have to work their way into earning what is enough to sustain their lifestyle.

“Self-Help” Does Not Help

Another thing that I want to talk about is that the self-help industry has been milking the girlboss culture for years.

I have always been turned off of by the notion of being told what to do. Self-help books are a hit to people who are unsure of what to do with their lives, but in my opinion, they do more harm than good.

From my observation, self-help books tell people that being successful is a choice. It isn’t.

There are a lot of people who work hard. There are also a lot of people who slack on their jobs. However, not everyone who works hard get a promotion. Not everyone who works hard can achieve success.

Remember that there are a lot of external factors at play here. You are not in complete control of your life. There are other people you have to depend on, and times constantly change.

Basically, you should not beat yourself up by not getting that promotion. Girlboss culture makes you think that your gender is the reason why you were not chosen to be promoted.

Well, no. There are a lot of factors at play. Our lives are all connected somehow, and it is impossible to take control over everything.

Women Empowerment

This is what the girlboss culture aspires to achieve. However, it seems that they cannot seem to do so, because they are busy contradicting themselves.

For one, women are not less susceptible to greed. Gender does not really matter when it comes to temptations, which causes one’s values to slip.

What the girlboss culture says about men is that they are sloppy and irresponsible. It pits males and females against each other, in a war that seems to stem from having gender inequality in a workplace.

Women empowerment should not mean bringing down men. Women empowerment should be about bringing equality to the workplace, not downplaying the effort of men who also worked hard to be where they are.

Feminism and the Girlboss

Remember that feminism means advocating women’s rights and striving for equality. Feminism does not mean that one has to hating men.

The girlboss culture does it all wrong. Hating men CEOs do not bring the necessary change to women in the workplace. Hating something will not change it; in fact, it is counterproductive.

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Final Thoughts

I have been reviewing MLMs for quite some time now, and what I noticed is that they have been pushing the girlboss narrative for as long as I can remember. MLMs always bring up terms such as “empowerment” and “equality”. This is so that women will think that the company will help them build a stable “career”.

What I do not like about girlboss companies is that they are spreading hate towards the male sex. They often complain about how the corporate world is mostly composed of men. Instead of acknowledging their efforts and encouraging women, what they do is incite hate towards men who are successful.

Doesn’t that just contradict everything that they stand for?

Another thing worth noting about this toxic culture is that it is very materialistic. It often tells people that they will only be happy if they possess a certain thing, or if they have this much money.

Happiness cannot be bought. Not everyone would be happy with a new car and millions of dollars. Some people are contented with just being able to eat three times a day, and having a roof above their heads.

Everybody is different. You should not be encouraged to do something just because someone else is doing it. If that is the reason why you do things, then you are likely to fail.

What you should strive for is making yourself happy. Do not be pressured by society. You are your own person.

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