By Allyson Vaughan
Sophia Amoruso writes, in the opening chapter of #GirlBoss, “So you want to be a #GIRLBOSS? I’m going to start by telling you two things. First: That’s Great! You’ve already taken the first step toward an awesome life by simply wanting one. Second: That’s the only step that’s going to be easy,” and Amoruso’s tale of thievery to CEO showcases just that. Originally published in 2014, #GirlBoss can still be found on many a front table in bookstores. And that’s largely because Amoruso’s tale of success is legendary, timeless even to those that don’t want their dreams to dry up like a raisin in the sun. Throughout the nonfiction book, the author stresses the contrast between her genesis as “a dropout, a nomad, a thief, a shitty student, and lazy employee” to the GirlBoss she is as the founder of NastyGal.Com. No, not a porn thing. It’s a vintage clothing empire now, but was once an Ebay store Amoruso created many years ago on a guided whim. It might seem that this book is intended to be a guide on how to become a successful female in the business world. And in many ways it is, but Amoruso never outlines as 12-step plan to success. She is simply telling her story.
It’s through her simple, direct, and efficient structure and humorous writing that the author reaches the reader. The closest thing she comes to telling her reader what to do is towards the end of the novel, when she explains how to interview and job search. But for most of the book, Amoruso encourages the reader to question her authority. She is clear that her success comes from hardwork and knowing how best to navigate business on her own terms. And not everything she does would work for everyone. But the book does what only successful nonfiction accomplishes. It remains self-focused, and in doing so broadens it for the audience reading her novel.
Amoruso’s writing style reads clear and focused through the book. The style is light and funny, but that kind of writing only comes from a dedicated precision to content. The book does exactly what it sets out to do, and that’s to show the reader that success comes from hardwork and perseverance. Never does Amoruso color her story with a veil to hide the failures and digressions she made on her way to becoming a fashion mogul. At the end of the book, the reader will walk away feeling inspired and determined in whatever endeavor they’ve set their sights on.
While Sophia Amoruso’s sights are set on the fashion industry, much of the book’s success lies in the fact that any advice she gives can be applied to any business, whether it be art or finance. She often writes how difficult it was at times to get other professionals to take her seriously as a young, attractive, and confident woman. But in the face of adversity, one thing a GirlBoss does not, is lower her chin. This book reads like Amoruso’s lift of her own chin after years of work and success, proving that no matter the height of success, being a GirlBoss means always keeping a chin lifted and eyes open to new possibilities. Because as Amoruso writes in the beginning, the only easy part of being a Girlboss is wanting to be. To be a Girlboss, one must be willing to work hard and harder even when they’re winning, be confident in themselves, and trust their instincts. And above all, as Amoruso’s actions show, a GirlBoss must finish things. And you won’t be spent to dedicate some time to finishing this book.