Girlboss: How they leave out the failure
„Alright, underestimate me.“ Probably a lot of women have thought this after an unwanted advice or a patting hand. Sophia does not think it, she speaks it out loud, just as she says everything else — what she feels, thinks and most of the time didn’t think through. Impulse control is a foreign word for her. This can get annoying, but you have to deal with it if you are watching the newest Netflix show „Girlboss“.
The show tells the true story of Sophia Amoruso who started selling Vintage clothing in her early twenties when she was in need for money and developed a successful business called „Nasty Gal“. She became one of the most successful self-made woman on earth and a big role model for a lot of women.
No space for failure in the show
Amoruso portrays the american dream — she created a million dollar business without a college degree, looked gorgeous enough to model for her own clothes and found the love of her life. It’s an incredible script, but it completely leaves out the down sides of the story.
If Sophia has to look through trash cans for food, she comes back with a tasty sandwich and a perfect hairstyle. The undefinable boil which grows out of her belly, looks on her perfect body more like a little bump. And when she stole a carpet, the sales rep let her go, because he thinks she’s pretty. And even though, she is still sad at the end of the day, because she does not want to ask her dad for money and her boil hurts, it can hardly be connected with any kind of failure.
Her way might be not easy, but in the end she manages anyway: She gets away from bankruptcy, hunger, illness and depression. She runs into a guy who waits in front of her door at night and still takes the laundry back in after she screamed at him. And the only sacrifice she takes is overcoming her biggest fear — walking over bridges — to avoid a negative review. The show ends after the successful lounge of Nasty Gal, but the real story of Sophia Amoruso didn’t end that well.
An instruction on perfect self-representation
The real Amoruso knows how to sell her story to the media. She turned her life into a brand which stands for strength and success, good-looking and big goals. She made her first 300 million dollar revenue when she was only 30 years old, but only two years later her dream was already over — she divorced after one year of marriage and Nasty Gal became insolvent. After this became public, it got very quite around her.
Her leadership manners also got a lot of critic and there were many lawsuits against her company. Among others, four employees claimed they got fired because of their pregnancy. The entrepreneur never said anything against the charges. She never talked about the bankruptcy of Nasty Gal either till her Netflix debut. In the InStyle magazine Amoruso justified herself in a well formulated article and placed herself again in the image of a professional and strong business woman with a new business („Girlboss“) and man on her side. She didn’t talk about the time of her disappearance. But especially this crisis could turn her back into a role model.
Instead of giving instructions on how to represent yourself, Amoruso could take away the fear of failure. How do you survive to see your own business failing and divorcing your husband at the same time? How do you get back on your feet after that?
Maybe a second season of “Girlboss“ can answer these questions, but it is not clear yet if there will be one. Maybe the show was just one more american success story, even though the story leaves out huge parts of reality. But well that’s just how it is. At least our hero is female this time.