Three terms truly get under my skin when I see them in an Instagram bio: Wifey, Dog/Cat Mom, and Boss Babe. The last term, the one I find utterly abhorrent, also encompasses Girl Boss, Boss Lady, and the like.
I equate these hashtags and labels to the female who tries too hard. The one who wants to appear more important and higher up in the business hierarchy than she is. Much like the couples who post “happy” pictures nonstop versus the ones in fulfilling relationships who don’t have to shove their love in everyone’s faces, Boss Babe or #BossBabe can be a slippery slope of trying to convey something different than what’s actually there. Those who are honestly content and/or succeeding in their career don’t need to convince everyone else — they just are.
No shade to those who work for MLMs (especially if you’re making a decent living out of it), but are you really an “Entrepreneur #BossBabe” if you are selling products you bought from a company you were never a founder of? It’s a bit of a stretch — admit it.
Let’s also state the obvious: no matter how educated a woman is, the number of certifications she obtains, or the depth of her skill set, she will always get paid less than her male counterparts. If we as women are advocating not only for equal pay but for respect and advancement in our careers, why are we demeaning ourselves by labeling what we do for a living with a cutesy, frivolous hashtag?
Are we going to be taken seriously in the corporate environment by using a sparkly pink planner with a gold, cursive “Boss Babe” smack in the middle? (Don’t get me started on the mugs and nameplates). Are these Instagram accounts with pastel posts and perfectly curated grids providing valuable insight and progression advice for your career growth?
If we want to be on equal grounds with men, we need to stop categorizing ourselves as #BossBabe, #GirlBoss, and #BossLady.
Slapping a gender pronoun in a title further negates the level playing field women are striving for. It’s comparable to asking someone who their favorite female athlete is: just ask who their favorite athlete, no gender pronoun, is. Why feminize it?
Examining this #BossBabe trend further, men don’t label themselves as #BossDude or #BossGents. They also don’t include “Hubby” or “Dog/Cat Dad” in their Instagram bio. So why are women narrowly categorizing themselves as such?
We’re better than this. We are women. Unless you’re a 9-year-old girl selling baked goods out of her Easy Oven, you’re not a #GirlBoss. Besides, do you really want to be regarded as a lady, girl, or babe by people in your office? Didn’t think so.
Stop buying into marketing’s “shrink it and pink it” mentality and start taking yourself seriously. Because if you don’t, no one will.