I wasted 390 minutes of my life watching it before I realised Girlboss is literally garbage
Trash I tell you
Like me, you might have been tricked into watching Girlboss – a Netflix series based on the rise of entrepreneur/Nasty Gal Sophia Amoruso, as she creates a business empire from an eBay store – because the title made it sound feminist, quirky and empowering. Right?
Spoiler alert: Girlboss is complete trash, and I have absolutely no idea why I wasted 390 precious minutes of my life watching it. And I’m not the only one wanting to gauge out my eyes with a fork, the show only ended up on Netflix after several TV networks rejected it, and as Julia Raeside writes perfectly in the Guardian: “If you watch Girlboss and love it, I want you to get help.”
I hated it so much, it would actually be a waste of my time not to write about it.
My main problem lies with the Girlboss herself: Sophia Marlowe (notice: different surname to Amoruso). Perhaps indicative by the name of her company, the main character – played by Britt Robertson – is a Nasty Gal. Although perhaps a better moniker for Marlowe would be Complete Fucking Selfish Narcissistic Cow, as in order to set up her business, she lies, steals and cheats; all the while showing no compassion or human decency to her best friend, Annie, or boyfriend, Shane.
Her actions – such as refusing to pay her BFF, who put in hours of work to help establish Nasty Gal – aren’t sassy, but rather that of a deeply troubled sociopath. It’s hardly a plot-twist when her boyfriend cheats on her, as the first time they meet she gets him to make ocean noises so she can sleep. Mmm, ocean noises. What the hell, Sophia?! Her ridiculous behaviour gets pretty tiring, pretty quickly; almost to the point where I am praying Amoruso is nothing like her TV incarnation.
Maybe I’m naive – because, after all, I am only a 19 year old girl who has never run an empire – but it’s damaging to believe that in order to be a successful career woman, you have to be a heartless narcissist. I’m under no illusion that in order to make it to the upper echelons of the business world, you have to be tough – especially as a woman – but does this have to permeate into your personal life and how you treat others outside of work? No, Sophia, it absolutely fucking doesn’t. Being a cow 24/7 is not empowering. Being a bitch does not equal success, unless you’re the baddest bitch of them all, like say, Lady Gaga.
Bitchiness aside, Nasty Gal is no longer a success story, which kinda ruins the whole premise of the show. If further series are to be commissioned, and please-I-am-begging-you-absolutely-fucking-not, they would have to cover the fall of the company, which has been bankrupt since November 2016. Admittedly, the show was in the works way, way, way before Nasty Gal filed for Chapter 11 and was acquired by Boohoo, but it’s still so god-awful, I couldn’t imagine further series being entertaining, even if Marlowe was getting a taste of her own medicine.
And while Marlowe never claims to be feminist in the series, rewind three years and Amoruso was lauded as some kind of femtrepreneur. In the first chapter of her memoir, #Girlboss (ooh, a hashtag, how millennial!) she rattles on about 2014 being “a new era of feminism where we don’t have to talk about it? I don’t know, but I want to pretend it is.” Which kind of makes sense, as I can’t imagine Amoruso wants to talk about how Nasty Gal treated its female employees.
Staying as executive chairman of the board, Amoruso left her role as CEO in 2014, and passed it on to Sheree Waterson. As Amoruso focused on creating the #Girlboss Foundation (an organisation which gave grants to young female entrepreneurs) and promoting her memoir, in a 2015 report by Jezebel, Waterson was described as an “unpleasant, harsh, unpredictable CEO”. But more importantly, the same report brought to light how ex employees filed a lawsuit against the company, because they claimed they’d been sacked due to pregnancy – which isn’t only nasty, but archaic and really fucking hypocritical.
Maybe I’m getting too caught up in it all! It’s only a “loose retelling of real events” talk. Sophia and her real life counterpart don’t even share the same surname, after all. But not even RuPaul playing Sophia’s neighbour, Lionel, could save how piss-poor, boring and one-dimensional the show was. As it’s all-about-Sophia, there’s no chance for the supporting characters to develop, which are undoubtedly the best parts of the show.
The happiest part of the series is when the Vintage Clothes Forum (their online chat is acted out super annoyingly, by the way) take down Nasty Gal’s eBay store, but even then they don’t succeed! As she only goes and sets up a fucking website! I’ve tried to block the rest of Girlboss from my mind, but the episode where Sophia looks back on her friendship with Annie – because Annie is pissed off she isn’t in her MySpace top eight, ugh – is particularly vomit inducing.
It’s a real shame. As a 21st Century woman, I wanted to like Girlboss. I promise you I did. I’m an ardent feminist. I love girl power and strong, sassy women. Hell, I like a selfie, so I guess that makes me a narcissist too! And I like clothes, a lot. So considering I couldn’t scream “I’M THE TARGET AUDIENCE” any louder, the show should have been a winner. But the heinous, and boring, qualities of Sophia Marlowe made Girlboss too painful to watch. Not cool, Nasty Gal.”
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