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Self Made

Book Title: #GIRLBOSS

Author: Sophia Amoruso

Genre: Biography/memoir/ /inspiration

Prior to reading Amoruso’s memoir, the term #GIRLBOSS evoked trembling cringe – I have always grouped the hashtag users as pretentious and impulsive. In the wake of understanding Amoruso’s story, the hashtag suddenly carried importance. Her upheaval battle into the business world, was trying and arduous. The book simplifies her journey into a 237-page snippet of her life.

Based on a real-life success story, Sophia Amoruso founded “Nasty Gal” – an American retailer specializing in clothing for young women. However, her journey to implausible popularity and wealth was not so promising. Her vulnerable truth was explicitly written in transparency and confidence. Pioneering an attitude of “failure teaches you resilience”, her powerful rebounds after gut-wrenching losses empowers a vast audience.

Her journey from a hustling vagabond to a refined mogul inspires many. A stingy 50-dollar investment grew to an exceeding 250 million dollars, under a decade. The setting is early 2000’s Sacramento, San Diego. The air is rife with hope and brewing with opportunity. In 2001, coming from a broken background of divorced parents; clinical depression; ADHD; Tourette’s syndrome and ADD – Amoruso decided to turn her life around. Her dauting attitude prompted inevitable bumps along the way, yet her strong-willed persona preserved onward.


As inspiring as Amoruso is, her book is ambiguously superficial. It is not a blueprint to economic success, nor a manual in starting a business – rather it is the musings of a lucky girl. The perception of not attending college, neglecting schooling development and lashing out erratic behaviour, is seemingly “accepted” in her retelling.

Throughout the book, her ignorance of obvious privilege is objectionable. Often forgetting the consequences of her actions, she continues risking her life and earnings for short term gains. Some readers may overlook practicality for these short-term gains, causing a chunk of #GIRLBOSS-followers to plunge into bad debt.

An obnoxious referral to colloquialism throughout the book is apparent. Broken English and slang words have been loosely used to translate hefty topics. In attempt to engage with a younger audience, the timeless art of writing is lost. Whilst some writers prefer to move with the times, I believe the elegancy of formal writing should be honoured.

The common belief that capitalism is evil and corporate industries are grim, have become the status quo of our generation. This ‘unifying’ hatred towards the government and corporate, is essentially uncooperative.

Specks of relentless behaviour and a spoilt mentality can be used to characterize Amoroso’s attitude.

Aspect best enjoyed

Chapter six, “Hocus-pocus: the power of magical thinking” was the most delightful read in the book. The theory in “the law of attraction” has always been an ideal close to my heart, reading Amoruso’s take on manifestation was inspiring and amongst the pinnacles of the book.

Illustrations and images

Chic cartoons centred on working ladies and feminine accessories, are scattered throughout the chapters – allowing the reader to visualize Amoruso’s mindset. Authentic photos of Amoruso is positioned to add a sense of reality to the story.

I applaud the creativity behind the inclusion of illustrations/images, as they better translate the story to illiterate or disabled – making it a universal read.

Lessons learned

Amidst the harsh portrayal of some lessons, I enjoyed Amoruso’s determination throughout the good and bad. Her perseverance and tunnel-vision translated a successful end. She defied the odds and achieved her goals – which models a trait of will power to the younger generation.


The concluding chapter of the book is entitled “the chances”, with a centric based on ‘what are the chances?’, promoting the ultimate characteristic of a businessperson – taking a risk. The book follows the spontaneous journey of a fashion entrepreneur rooted in female empowerment. As opposed to finding closure at the end of a book, Amoruso encourages millennials to take action and follow their dreams. She goes on to add that it isn’t the end of her journey as well.

In keeping with the idea behind the book, the conclusion was satisfactory – in that it inspires young girls to believe in themselves and take the chance.


As explained in the above critique, there are many aspects to which the book negatively portrayed. I would have liked to hear more on the administration and thought process involved in starting a business, arguably the details could be “boring”, but for someone venturing out into the business field – having proven information could be highly beneficial.


Unfortunately, I would not recommend #GIRLBOSS to anyone in seek of business guidance. The book is simply a “feel-good” story, without tangible advice to take away. In attempt to pinpoint the downfalls, I would disagree with the writing style, low creativity, and briefness of the book.

Evidence of sarcasm, sassiness and spiteful behaviour is vivid in understanding Sophia – I would oppose to having my children or peers adopt this nature whilst reading #GIRLBOSS.

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