Book Club: Girlboss
Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso has been on my To-Read list for years and I only now bit the bullet recently. I downloaded the audiobook version from the library and when I finished, I had some feelings about it.
In the New York Times bestseller that the Washington Post called “Lean In for misfits,” Sophia Amoruso shares how she went from dumpster diving to founding one of the fastest-growing retailers in the world.
Amoruso spent her teens hitchhiking, committing petty theft, and scrounging in dumpsters for leftover bagels. By age twenty-two she had dropped out of school, and was broke, directionless, and checking IDs in the lobby of an art school—a job she’d taken for the health insurance. It was in that lobby that Sophia decided to start selling vintage clothes on eBay.
Flash forward to today, and she’s the founder of Nasty Gal and the founder and CEO of Girlboss. Sophia was never a typical CEO, or a typical anything, and she’s written #GIRLBOSS for other girls like her: outsiders (and insiders) seeking a unique path to success, even when that path is windy as all hell and lined with naysayers.
#GIRLBOSS proves that being successful isn’t about where you went to college or how popular you were in high school. It’s about trusting your instincts and following your gut; knowing which rules to follow and which to break; when to button up and when to let your freak flag fly.
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I was so excited to read this book because it was so hyped up. The book is called Girlboss for crying out loud! If that doesn’t scream “women empowerment,” I don’t know what will, and I am ALL for women empowerment.
The truth is though… it was kind of a letdown.
I’m currently in my late 20s and I feel like if I had read this book in my early 20s or even during college, I would have eaten everything in it all up. Reading it at my current age just felt… juvenile. This honestly isn’t even a criticism of Sophia Amoruso because I really do admire her and I think she’s amazing and what she did with Nasty Gal was incredible. But everything about her story felt a bit hollow because… well, I know that a few years after this book came out, she declared bankruptcy on Nasty Gal Vintage and sold it to Boohoo (which is why the site is still up and running). The book is part autobiographical with Girlboss tips sprinkled in between but the tips seemed almost laughably obvious. I wasn’t sure who this book really was for - women who wanted to run businesses or just people who wanted to read an autobiography?
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The book was riddled with contradictions - she would tell her readers to do the things that she herself didn’t do and to do the things that she didn’t. She said in the intro that she didn’t want to be writing a feminist manifesto and instead advocated for women “showing up and owning it” and not “whining” for equality which really annoyed me to my core. While she had a lot of interesting things to say about her life (she used to be an anarchist - that was really interesting to read about), other times she said a lot of tone-deaf things that made me want to stop reading immediately. She says she doesn’t believe in luck but that’s really hard to take in when she was, at the time, running a multi-billion dollar business that she created from the the ground up, as if she’s the first person to discover working hard and experienced no external forces outside of her control that influenced her to help her get to where she was?? The lack of awareness and her tone-deafness really soured me from this book.
I gave this book 2.5 stars on Goodreads (reounded up to 3). I really did want to like this book but I just could not with her.