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Boss Babe Or Traumatized? The Dangers of the Girl Boss Stereotype
All you have to do is Google the word boss babe and you’ll be bombarded by messages of toxic masculinity disguised as female empowerment. Images and quotes that encourage women to strive for perfection at all costs and set goals as high as their favorite pair of stilettos.
So, why is boss babe culture so problematic? Let’s look at the facts.
According to studies 80-85% of the world’s women population suffers from low self-esteem. When individuals suffer from low self-esteem one of the ways they tend to cope is through overachievement. Overachievement is a dysfunctional attempt to bolster low self-esteem through impressive deeds and external validation.
Put simply, overachievement is a trauma response. When the motivation to succeed is fueled by a deeply rooted sense of not being enough or not creating a life that’s perceived as successful, the only thing that can make an overachiever feel worthy or acceptable is more hard work, loftier goals, and more accomplishments.
The irony of the girl boss stereotype is that while it means well, it encourages women who already don’t feel like they are enough to pacify this void by grinding and building empires. This is not true empowerment.
True empowerment implies that you are motivated by your inner authority, which means you are the boss when you are living life on your terms. Not a life that’s motivated by the fear of not being enough.
For women who already have deep-seated feelings of insecurity and inadequacy, this popular ideology encourages them to continue to suppress their feelings of unfulfillment in work, running a small business, or making the list of Top 30 Influential women.
All of these, by the way, are worthy accomplishments when the sub-goals are self-mastery, self-improvement, and learning, not seeking self-worth through achievement and external validation.
Boss babe culture like many toxic “woke” concepts is dangerous, not because of what it encourages women to achieve, but because it is encouraging women to find fulfillment and strength through work and external validation rather than addressing the root cause — their generational and cultural trauma.
Despite being glamorized by social media, the hyper-independence, overachievement, and self-sacrifice that’s encouraged in girl boss culture are all trauma responses.
And as long as women are encouraged to disguise self-neglect, distorted expectations, and self-sacrifice as something worth looking up to, they will never be able to experience true empowerment.
Fulfillment will always feel like it’s just one degree, one promotion, one life partner away.
It’s time to give new meaning to the term boss babe. One that encourages women to be true to themselves. To prioritize their mental, emotional, and physical health in the pursuit of, well, whatever the hell it is that she wants.
Let’s try this one on for size. Boss Babe /bôs bāb/ (noun): A woman who has achieved a state of inner authority.
She’s not driven or defined by the size of her company or the amount of cash flowing through her bank account and yet, she’s the CEO of her life. She isn’t brainwashed by someone else’s definition of a successful woman which means that when it comes to her career, her body, and her life, she calls the shots.
About the Author
Name: Yamarie Negron
Title: Trauma-Informed Women’s Empowerment Coach
Bio: Yamarie Negron is a Trauma-Informed Women’s Empowerment Coach, Certified Energy Practitioner, and Canfield Success Principles Trainer. Inspired by her own healing journey, Yamarie helps smart, selfless, emotionally fed-up women identify the blocks that are holding them back from experiencing the life that they deserve.
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