Female empowerment has reached new levels in today’s society with the help of social media. Following the popularity of the hashtags #girlboss (started by NastyGal founder Sophia Amoruso, who also released a book by the same name) and #bossbabe (created by Alex Hayden Hernandez with intention of starting a supportive community), women have become more inspired to become a boss in either the literal sense, or simply by taking charge of their lives.
Embracing the Mentality
How is it that simple hashtags can affect the way women view themselves? Likely, there are several reasons. Firstly, these hashtags imply a certain type of mentality. By identifying themselves as a #girlboss, women feel the positive pull of placing value and importance on themselves and what they do. We feel empowered to literally change the idea that being female boss is a negative, unaccepted thing. Instead, we can redirect the trajectory of the conversation about women. The result is that simply by reframing how we refer to ourselves and our personal and professional lives, we instantly feel more in control, more ambitious, and frankly, we feel like we can kick some butt. And what we project is what others accept.
These feelings of empowerment transfer over into the work we do, whether it’s our 9-5 job, family responsibilities, or entrepreneurship ventures. #girlboss and #bossbabe women imply strength, wisdom, and competence as part of the deal. A #girlboss can handle any challenge, work hard to achieve their goals, and be happy doing it. Personally, reminding myself of my boss status is also a reminder that I simply need to go out there and do it. Whatever “it” is at the moment, empowering myself also means that I am holding myself to a higher standard of performance, insisting on confidence, and striving for more, since that is what a true boss does in and out of the workplace.
Becoming Part of the Community
But female empowerment hashtags have more than just a persona to back them up. They come with their own community of support via social media. Whether women connect via a hashtag, join Twitter chats, listen to branded podcasts, or read the books, they have access to an entire community to like-minded women. These connections are valuable because they allow women to give advice, share stories, and inspire each other. That’s when the #girlboss is at her best; when she is lifting others up. Just think- as much as we can accomplish alone, what we can achieve together as a community of empowered women is limitless.
Feminism at Work
Studies show that women, especially feminists, find solidarity in a network. Feminism promotes assertive and confident behaviors, and feminists are more likely to have positive body image, less likely to accept inequality in the workplace or at home, and feel at ease confronting or ignoring sexism and discrimination. It allows women to shatter gender-based expectations, and feel comfortable in that. Women find it difficult to lead and achieve when they aren’t comfortable in their own skin, or when they feel they are being held to the standards of particular gender norms. In order to lead, women need to be able to shed their gender-related baggage and find a support system in a like-minded community that allows them to reach their potential as a person, and not solely as a woman.
Much more than a hashtag, #girlboss and its sister communities are redefining what it means to take control of your life and change the world for women everywhere. This movement and accompanying culture are allowing women everywhere to say yes to themselves, and provide the tools to get to where they want to be. Beyoncé was right. Girls do run the world.