Opinion

The Girl Boss on Social Media: More Harm Than Good?

I’ve always had strong opinions about this buzzword and the portrayal of what a girl boss is. After listening to Hayley Colleen’s latest podcast (I love her blog and her podcasts, be sure to check her out), finally I was convinced to write a post about this and share my views. Besides Hayley’s podcast, a great article I’ve read is “Why I HATE The Term Girl Boss” by Rachel Hollis. Rachel is of the opinion that women should not be given a label for their work based on gender. Whilst I completely agree, my post is going to take a bit of a different path; I’d like to explore why I think the term and its connotations can do more harm than good, especially when it comes to self-esteem.

Most of you will have come across the term “girl boss” at some point, probably on social media. The extremely successful Sophia Amoruso arguably started the #Girlboss trend with her 2015 book. The book is centered around women founding businesses from scratch and the buzzword became a part of the movement to motivate and inspire women which I think is great. However, now I think the term has evolved too much and has gone beyond this meaning and purpose. It’s used so much on social media to describe girls and women – that aren’t necessarily entrepreneurs – but are doing well for themselves in all aspects of life whether that be socially, financially, in terms of health and wellbeing and so on. When I think of a girl boss and the portrayal of one on social media, I get the vision of a woman that’s very successful in whatever she does. She’s driven, motivated and is able to balance her social life with her work life alongside running a blog, if she has one. She’s popular with colleagues and has a good friendship group and if she has a relationship, it appears loving and happy. She’s financially stable and takes good care of herself by attending the gym regularly and enjoying a healthy diet. All in all, she has it all figured out; the world is her oyster and the ship she is steering is sailing as she wants it to and in the right direction.

If you have got it all figured out, you know what you want to do with your life and you’re succeeding in every aspect – good for you. If you don’t get insecure or lack self-esteem because of social media and its impact and influence, that’s even better. The truth is though, a lot of girls and women lack confidence in themselves and their own lives, comparing themselves with others on social media.

Note though that when I describe my vision of a girl boss and what I believe one to be, most of it is based on what I’ve seen on social media. Women don’t necessarily have to call themselves a girl boss when they’re posting on Instagram but it’s clear that that’s the impression and the look they are going for. There’s clean, tidy, themed Instagram feeds with inspirational quotes and photos of holidays I could only dream of affording. There’s a large friendship group, that I don’t have, enjoying dinner together in their fancy outfits with their manicured nails and designer heels. There’s photos of clean eating and selfies in gym wear that I don’t buy because I HATE the gym…

…and that’s okay.

It’s okay to hate eating greens and working out. It’s okay not to have your career pathway figured out. Most of us don’t – we are simply winging it. It’s okay to have only a couple of genuine friends – you know, quality over quantity and all that. You get the idea. Anyway, we get so caught up in the world of social media that we have a clear image of what we should aspire to be – perfectly embodied in “the girl boss”.

Scrap that. You do you. That’s the only way you’re ever going to happy.

If you’re an Instagrammer, post whatever you want to post regardless of the colour scheme. If you’re a blogger and you aren’t self hosted, you don’t know the key terms like “SEO” and “domain” and you’re blogging because you love to write, not because you want to be famous, that’s fine. Infact, it’s great. Find something you love to do, your passion will radiate through your work and the success will follow. If you have gone off the blog radar for a while, that’s fine – everyone needs a break and we all certainly get writers block. Your readers will still be there when you get back.

Quite often though, because “girl bosses” seem to be pretty much everywhere on social media, I feel bad that I haven’t posted on my blog for a while. I feel bad that I’ve abandoned Instagram because I’ve not got any photos worthy of posting. I feel sad that I don’t have as many friends as others do to make plans with. But why should I? Just because my life is different and I don’t show every aspect of it on social media it doesn’t mean it’s less exciting or fulfilling.

In my opinion, if we want answers as to why so many people have a lack of self esteem, we should turn to social media and these labels for the answer. Everywhere we look there’s polished images of polished lives we all aspire to be living despite the fact they’re edited and show the best bits only, so much so we actually forget about the good things in our own lives. I don’t have a lot of friends, but the ones I do have are keepers. I don’t go out often, but I enjoy the times when I do and would prefer a night in most of the time anyway. I find it hard to juggle time on my blog alongside other commitments, but when I do post something my readers are just as supportive as they were the last time I did.

I’d rather we all abandoned the term but to express my point I’m going to use it. Aren’t we all “girl bosses” just for getting by every day, getting out of bed and trying to make the most of the day – living it in the way we want to – whatever that entails? Whether it’s juggling work with looking after children, balancing university work with maintaining a blog or living with a mental or physical health issue every single day. Life might not always be picture perfect but you’re doing your best. That’s all that matters.

Remember:

  • Not everything you see on social media is real. If it’s a person, they are filtered and edited. If it’s a place, it may have been travelled to just for a perfect picture and a post.
  • Just because it isn’t on social media, it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. You don’t have to post a video of the concert you went to just to prove that you were there. Live in the moment.
  • It’s okay to take breaks, take a step back or take some time away from things to rest.
  • It’s okay to be winging it, just be happy in doing so and embrace your spontaneity.
  • If you aren’t truly happy, there’s always something you can do to fix it.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about it all, I’d love to hear your opinions.

Megan x

12 thoughts on “The Girl Boss on Social Media: More Harm Than Good?

  1. Great post and reflects exactly what I think. I started deleting social media apps from my phone on the weekends because it mad eme feel bad when I wasn’t blogging/freelancing/running and just relaixng in my PJs and eating a plate of fries for dinner… I’m glad I’m not the only one feeling that way. But like you say, what we see on social media is not always real…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Yeah I completely understand, last weekend I switched my phone off and told my mum to take it away from me and hide it but I felt so much better! Lots of people on my social media were busy with friends and I was sat in…it made me feel a little lonely but when I switched my phone off I found myself enjoying what I was doing without bothering about anybody else and comparing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe I should fully turn mine off too, to be honest, it’s a great idea! Social media made it so easy for us to compare but it’s not very healthy. We are all unique with unique lives and needs. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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