"Girl" Boss: Empowering or Unnecessary?
It never occurred to me that the term “Girl Boss” was controversial.
One day, I was scrolling through Instagram and noticed a new post by one of my favorite bloggers, The Balanced Blonde, declaring:
“I am finally sick of the term ‘GirlBoss’ and here’s why.”
Huh? Isn’t “Girl Boss” simply the grown up version of the 90s Spice Girls induced anthem “Girl Power”?
Of course I clicked through to read more. And then I kept seeing more and more posts on this very topic. I wasn’t seeking them out I swear.
So why all this controversy?
For me, “Girl Boss” conjures up this magical moment where I get to simultaneously be an Olivia Pope gladiator badass AND a rosé sipping through a straw mermaid worshipping karaoke star.
I imagine a Care Bear Stare where all the aspects of my personality are powerfully beaming together to make some amazingly fierce things happen. It seems like something I should be able to step into at anytime and yet for a variety of reasons I feel like I can’t.
Let’s take work as an example. It’s the rare unicorn who is able to completely be themselves at work. Even the stationary products I use at home are vastly different than the ones at work (hint: there’s a lot more color and flowers at home). And of course what I typically wear on a Saturday afternoon at home would not be acceptable in any professional environment (of course leggings are pants!).
Hence the sacred magic of the moments when I get to channel my inner “Girl Boss”.
So Back to the Balanced Blonde
“Ever since I started taking note of all of the controversy around the word, I stopped using the term myself because I do respect the idea that ‘girl bosses’ are just BOSSES and it’s kind of silly to distinguish us as anything other than that.”
"Women do cool shit every day. Women rock. Women run successful companies, write books, get degrees, work their butts off, bear children, inspire others, all of it.”
YASSSSS! Balanced Blonde, I get it. It’s 2017, we shouldn’t need “Girl” to qualify who we are or what we do. Fuck the patriarchy!
A difference in perspective
If I’m honest though...I do need the term “Girl” in front of “Boss” and here’s my why.
The Balanced Blonde makes her living from her health and travel blog, teaching yoga, making youtube videos and she's even published a book. She basically has made a career in being herself. She’s the unicorn I mentioned earlier.
In my world though, I have a career in a male dominated industry where I need to only the professional side of my personality gets to shine. For at least 40 hours a week the color pink doesn’t exist (try formatting an excel spreadsheet using pink and report back with what happens) and referring to myself as a “Girl” or fully expressing the girly side of me would cause serious doubt in my ability to get my work done or motivate others to do the same. This harsh reality is revealed on a bi-weekly basis for many of us in the form of the gender pay gap.
But when the work day is over and I’m ready to work on this blog or tackle any other dream project I have, I get to be a Girl Boss. I can wear whatever I want and use an insane amount of washi tape and glitter or whatever my heart desires. And I get to use words like “my heart desires”.
When I’m away from work, “Girl” isn’t a qualifier, it’s a way to feel empowered.
And the verdict is…
Just because the Balanced Blonde wants to call herself a Boss doesn’t mean I have to. And just because I like the term “Girl Boss” doesn’t mean her opinions are somehow wrong either.
Call yourself whatever you want but please do it with an increasing frequency to channel your fiercest self as often as possible!
Please share below! Are you a “Girl Boss”, a “Boss”, or something else entirely? I’d love to hear from you!
Also, this topic leads right into a new weekly series I’m launching this Wednesday on Instagram. Think of it as the pop culture version of a tarot/oracle card deck. Make sure you follow @innerhappyhour so you don’t miss out!