However, with social media serving as the extra ingredient to the philosophy, the idea became less of a choice and more of what some would later consider peer pressure.
Women built platforms and even empires under the empowerment manifesto in realms spanning beauty, tech, fitness, finance — the works. And admittedly, with so much of the hustle documented on social media, it all seemed glamorous.
Then the pandemic hit, and people had to rethink what they knew about sacrificing their time. Younger millennials and Gen Zers got older and entered the working world (where they could) at an incredibly turbulent time. People around the globe began thinking in their new homes turned offices about what life beyond a career meant when a career could so quickly go up in flames.
The Great Resignation impounded on what people thought they had wanted, and as the movement grew, so did the resentment for the dreams girl bosses had sold.
The cultural powers that once ruled how many vacation days many women deemed acceptable were quickly replaced with a different set of powers — wellness and mental well-being.
Along with corporate culture, girl bosses were questioned, if not interrogated.
“Much of the critique of the girl boss trope was legitimate, perhaps inevitable. It was infantilizing while also pushing a near-impossible template of success. And there was always something facile about the notion that a female leader could, on her own, solve the problems inherent to capitalism or start-up culture,” The Cut wrote in an explorative piece on the subject.
Women realized that they were not identified only by their careers. In fact, people as a whole came to this realisation. A kind of self-respect was rebirthed for the person as exactly that — a person — and rethinking around how we allocate value to people began profoundly.
When Kim Kardashian infamously championed hustle culture by denoting that “it seems like nobody wants to work these days… get your f****** ass up and work”, she completely ignored the simple fallacy girl boss culture sells — that working hard will always earn you success.
Famous hard worker Kim Kardashian has a message for you https://t.co/IqPf7QBlfo
— Benjamin Dixon (@BenjaminPDixon) March 11, 2022
As many critics pointed out, there are millions of women who work multiple jobs and work far more draining hours than most in privileged positions who will never be seen as successful, simply because they are too busy trying to survive. Kim’s comment may have received a different kind of praise two years ago, but in 2022 it was nothing short of outdated.
So, with the girl boss slowly weaning from our lives, what’s next? The outlook isn’t one of laziness or pessimism. Perhaps what’s to come is an era that’s simply more realistic and less stubborn, accepting of different allocations of value and equalizing them all, unequivocally.
Feature Image: Pinterest