In the span of 13 episodes we get a glimpse of the famous “Nasty Gal’s” beginning. At first it seems rather quick her success, but we must remember the 13 episodes is within a 2 year timeline. This is a rare never before seen, success story. A real life before and after. Although like everything in Hollywood, things are overemphasized for obvious dramatic effect. They clearly state in the beginning of every episode that this is “a loose retelling of true events, real loose”.What I admire most of the series, is the depiction of Sophia.
Sophia is far from perfect, her flaws are emphasized in every episode. Like any CEO, she is headstrong, stubborn, and can not work for anyone, but herself. Most of the time she is described as “selfish” or a “garbage person”, and honestly most of the time she is.Ironically Sophia’s struggles and setbacks are the reasons she became a success. Our first portrayal of Sophia was a “rebel without a cause”. She thought she was smarter than everyone around her. She didn’t need college, she didn’t need her father’s help. It wasn’t until her first major setback, that she learned how to be practical.
At the budding age of 23, Sophia gets a hernia. All of sudden, she can’t afford to get fired or “quit” whenever she feels like it. She needs to get a job, a job with a health benefits. This is Sophia’s real first bump in the road. She just “figured out life”, and now “life” is getting in her way.That’s all life really is, finally figuring out what we want and rising above the setbacks that get in our way. Sophia’s struggles were not her weakness, they were her saving grace. Other people’s doubts were her motivation. “Okay good underestimate me. It’s just what I want, I feed off that shit”. This is where Sophia’s temper worked to her advantage. We all want something more, when someone tells us we “can’t have it”.We watch Sophia build Nasty Gal, as an “one woman show”.
Independence is absolutely necessary, if you ever want to be your own boss. However, every great leader is followed by a greater team. Sophia has a good run making it on her own, yet eventually she does fall and learns “no man is an island”.The turning point with Sophia comes when she visits her mother. Sophia has deep rooted abandonment issues with her mother. Sophia’s mother left her at the mere age of 12, to chase a fleeting acting career. What prompted Sophia’s visit was hearing someone call her a “garbage person”, and not blaming her mother for leaving her.
Sophia seemed to avoid the issues with her mother, throughout the entire show. However when it was thrown in her face like that, Sophia needed answers. When Sophia visited her mother, it was an epiphany for her. She realized they were right, she was a “garbage person”, she was her “mother’s daughter”. She didn’t want to be that person anymore, and this is what made her a success. Sophia created her own site, that way it would be “hers” and eBay could never take it down.
Sophia realized she was selfish not to hire Annie, and Annie was not “replaceable”. Annie essentially was the reason the site launched. No matter how talented any fashion designer is, they are not a website designer. Annie hired a professional. She knew when Sophia was too proud to ask for help, (but really needed it). That is what a team is for, to be a life jacket when you are drowning. No matter how fiercely independent Sophia was, she couldn’t have done it on her own.
As Annie said, she “wasn’t doing it alone”. “No man is an island”, not even Girlboss. Girllboss is not a rags to riches story. It is not an “anything is possible, if you just believe” story. It is not a fairy tale happy ending. It is a flawed person who built her empire on hard work and fierce motivation. Girlboss is a real person, who made her dream real. Girlboss showed us that sacrifice and sometimes success can be selfish. In the end Sophia may have “sold out” of Nasty Gal products, but she didn’t have it all. She lost the boy and gained a business. Sophia and Shane’s relationship humanized Sophia. This strong woman with all this success, is still haunted by a boy. We are all still human.
It is rare for anyone to succeed in every aspect of their life. Life is about a lot of give and take. Most people do not see that behind the scenes, sacrifice to success. A lot of the times when we are focused on our career, our love life, family, and friendships can take a back seat. When Sophia lost Shane it showed us no one is perfect, not even Nasty Gal. Even in her heat of success, she couldn’t truly enjoy it.
They do not advertise the loneliness of success. They do not show you, what you give up for fame. The ending to Girlboss was perfect, because it wasn’t perfect. Sophia was never perfect, she was real. She is a real success story, not a fairy tale ending.