Girlboss: a Netflix loss



Britt Robertson, starring as Sophia Amoruso in the Netflix original series "Girlboss."

Caroline Sudbeck, Staff Writer

A self-created feminist icon, Sophia Amoruso is one of the most influential business women to enter the fashion arena.

Recently, Netflix created an original series titled “Girlboss” based on the events of Amoruso’s life, but to the dismay of many viewers, the production of the series was discontinued after the first season.

Amoruso successfully started one of the most accomplished retail companies without any loans or debts, a rare business feat, especially given her rocky financial state starting out. Having no debt and maintaining a thriving business is impressive, but Amoruso also developed the beginning of her clothing company Nasty Gal from the interior of her rinky-dink Los Angeles apartment. The birth of Nasty Gal came after young entrepreneur Amoruso obtained a “Business for Dummies” handbook and soon began her everyday vintage clothing eBay shop, which eventually converted into her website and well-known company. The clothing Amoruso sold on Ebay was primarily thrifted or from estate sales.

Before becoming an acknowledged business woman, Amoruso was a notorious vagabond, a shoplifter and drifted through life aimlessly. Amoruso finally released her first book #Girlboss in 2014 which explains the journey and rollercoaster of events it took for her to arrive where she is today, as well as loads of encouragement and advice. The book became a pop culture phenomenon, and soon after, Netflix created a series starring Britt Robertson as Sophia Amoruso based on Amoruso’s biography.

The Netflix series gives viewers a perspective of the inner workings of Amoruso’s mind. Unlike a large majority of TV series and shows which depict women as dull and uncomplicated, “Girlboss” seeked to create an honest version of Amoruso. The character of Sophia is independent, spontaneous, stubborn, and rebellious, just like the the real Sophia Amoruso. Throughout the show, Amoruso’s character development is also quite obvious. She goes from a young woman with a childish comportment to being confident with what she has to offer. Amoruso was also successful in never losing her playfulness and staying true to her roots.

Many young women, including myself, strive to emulate empowered women like Amoruso and by watching her show, I tried to derive certain attributes I want to model in my own life. I found the rawness and honesty of the story inspirational and refreshing compared to so many other TV series and movies starring women, which is slim. I was very disappointed when I found out that Netflix would be removing the series “Girlboss” because I think it is such a powerful tool for young women seeking advice on how to chase their dreams, but afraid of what chasing their dreams could entail.

“If you’re frustrated because you’re not getting what you want, stop for a second: Have you actually flat-out asked for it?” said Amoruso in her book #Girlboss. “If you haven’t, stop complaining. You can’t expect the world to read your mind. You have to put it out there, and sometimes putting it out there is as simple as just saying, ‘Hey, can I have that?'”

Through Amoruso’s story, I was able to observe that it is possible for every girl to become their own version of an Amoruso-style “girl boss,” in whatever field they choose to pursue. Possibly the greatest lesson that can be learned from Amoruso is that it is essential to know when to listen to rules and when it is time to break them. Another lesson Amoruso reiterates a lot is that it is just as important to trust your instincts and your gut as it is to trust the advice of others.

“No matter where you are in life, you’ll save a lot of time by not worrying too much about what other people think about you,” said Amoruso. “The earlier in your life that you can learn that, the easier the rest of it will be.”

I believe it is important for platforms like Netflix to ensure they are creating and keeping shows and movies that demonstrate the capabilities of both man and woman so that we can have powerful role-model representatives for each gender available for viewers. Women like Amoruso are helping to pave the way for the future of females, a path that is full of leadership and growth.

“You don’t get taken seriously by asking someone to take you seriously,” said Amoruso. “You’ve got to show up and own it. If this is a man’s world, who cares? I’m still really glad to be a girl in it.”