I feel like recently you see the term Girl Boss being thrown around at any and every opportunity. Got a promotion? Girl Boss. Made the gym class? Girl Boss. Sticking to your blog schedule? Girl Boss. Whatever else you successfully achieve (well done by the way!).. Girl Boss. Don’t get me wrong, I actually really like the term Girl Boss in the inspiring and empowering context of women taking control of their lives, going after their goals and ambitions and effectively bossing life. And I don’t want to take away from how uplifting this sense of the term can be. In fact, I actually admire any woman who defines themselves as, is working towards or is aspiring to be their own version of a Girl Boss, whatever shape or form that takes. I’m talking about the students, graduates, career women, mothers, and each and every woman out there bossing life in your own way.
However, on the flip side, I feel like this whole Girl Boss phenomenon, which is so prevalent in today’s society, is quite prescriptive in the way that it suggests that women should be bossing life and for this reason, I think that it can contribute to unrealistic and unhealthy expectations for women. This is the part that I’m not such a fan of.
Life can be challenging enough without the pressure and expectation that women need to boss life, and all aspects of it. From our lifestyles, careers, home life, health, hobbies, side hustles, families, friendships, relationships, even our appearances. As women, I think that it is so important to accept the fact that we don’t need to live up to anybody’s expectations. We don’t need to boss, excel, achieve or even action, any aspect of our lives. Moreover, we actually need to realise that it is completely natural and normal to not be achieving everything at once. Let’s face it. Life is a balancing act; it’s the biggest multi-tasking challenge that you will ever face. Life isn’t perfect and it isn’t easy, and we shouldn’t have to make out that it is in order to be identified as a Girl Boss.
Let me tell you. It is okay to miss a blog post, a gym class, a catch up or you fill in the blanks. It is okay to prioritise your life, put more effort into some aspects over others, sit things out and let the world go by whilst you re-evaluate. You don’t need to be the perfect anything or everything all of the time. In fact, if you were, it is almost guaranteed that this would be at the expense of your mental health and well-being. I’m the first to admit that I’m not the best partner, sister or daughter when I’ve got a busy schedule at work. My gym targets go off track when life events intervene. My plan of weekly blog posts doesn’t necessarily turn into action when other things crop up. That’s life. It happens. You don’t need to apologise and it’s not a reason to feel like you’re failing at some aspect of your life. AND it doesn’t mean that you’re any less of a Girl Boss than the next ambitious woman.
As women, we have had the constant battle against outdated gender stereotypes; and now on the other end of the spectrum, the modern world has introduced a new battle, this time against the Girl Boss identity and the idea that women are these powerhouses who constantly have every category of their life down to a T. We are subjected to a long list of opposing ideas of what it means to be a woman and what a woman should be, and regarding these expectations, we either feel pressured to conform, stretch ourselves too far to meet them, feel guilty for not meeting them or feel disappointed, frustrated or fed up that we are constantly being put into some static gender identity by society and the individuals in it.
As women, we are constantly categorised and told what and how to be, when actually it is our decision. We need to remember that we are the (girl) bosses of our own lives. We have the ability to define ourselves however we want. We can choose to be whatever woman we want to be. After all, who are we answering to? If you want to be a Girl Boss, a career woman, a housewife, a student, a stay at home mother, a feminist or however else you want to define yourself, or if you just want to remain unlabelled and uncategorised.. whatever you choose in this whirlwind of gender identity is just fine. You don’t owe anybody anything, the only thing you owe is to yourself and that is one thing: to be the woman that YOU want to be.
You might also like this post about defying expectations and being body confident.
Bossing this beautiful wintery path near Wawel Castle in Kraków, Poland.
How do you identify with regard to your gender identity?
Do you like the Girl Boss term?
How do you feel about gender identity and stereotypical expectations?
Disclaimer: This post is not about the book Girl Boss which I recommend, by the way, it is simply referring to the term Girl Boss, which is commonly spoken about, found on social media and embedded within society today.