This week, I finished reading #GIRLBOSS (New York: Portfolio, 2014) by Sophia Amoruso, the founder and CEO of Nasty Gal. It remains a blockbuster business best-seller, with more than two months on all the major lists. Even today, it is # 7 on the Wall Street Journal hardcover business best-seller list, and #37 on the Amazon.com all-book types best-seller list.
I’m not a #, nor a girl, nor a boss, but I wouldn’t want to follow this anyway. I found it to be a tired rags-to-riches story, and the book is unprofessional, laced with vulgarity and profanity, even in chapter titles.
I am unimpressed with a story about someone who bucked authority while young, ate food out of dumpsters, ran away with and from weird boyfriends, refused to take prescription medicine for treatment, shoplifted strategically, among a host of other maladies in her background.
I am glad this all worked out for her, but it is hardly a model I would want anyone else to follow. I assume that by now, people buy this out of curiosity, as she has been the topic of many magazine articles, such as Inc., and Marie Claire, and the darling of numerous internet features and interviews. As a result of this type of coverage, the book has received much publicity.
The book does not offend me. But, I choose to be offended. It’s a free country. People can write what they want, and read what they want, and form their own views as they choose.
But, if this is how you get ahead, I want no part of it. It seems to me there are unique and even radical paths to success that don’t do it this way. Contrast this book with other radical approaches, such as Rules for Renegades. You quickly learn that you can be different without being offensive.
I doubt if I am alone. I perceived an astonished, rather than an appreciative or even understanding audience following its presentation at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas on July 11. When so many people asked me, “how did you select this book,” I got the sense that there was quite a bit of offense, even from an edited presentation.
The winner took the book home, but I would not have been surprised had she left it on our give-away table. And, I understand this post may sell a few more copies. Comments like these always inspire curiosity. But, if you buy it, and read it, ask yourself if this is really how you would like your daughter to be successful? And, would you trade less success in favor of a different path to get there?