"Welcome to the Nasty Galaxy"
Preface: This is going to be a biased review, as all reviews are. There are also spoilers, like all reviews have.
“Nasty Galaxy represents infinite possibility --- a place in time and space where anything can happen.”
Nasty Galaxy is not just a book. This is a carefully curated selection of quotes, inspirational women, images, and music. It’s a window into Sophia Amoruso’s preferences, style, and role models. #Girlboss was the book that told her story, the one that we all read to get to know what was really behind the fashion powerhouse of Nasty Gal. It regaled us with tales of how she grew up, of how Nasty Gal became the brand and Sophia the woman they are today. Nasty Galaxy is the universe which encompasses the world of a #Girlboss. It’s a book of inspiration in many different forms. To me, Nasty Galaxy is a work of art, but in Sophia’s own words, “Nasty Galaxy represents infinite possibility --- a place in time and space where anything can happen.”
In the introduction, Sophia talks about how she never wanted to give us a style manual, but that’s just what this is. It’s a conceptual guide to Sophia’s style. Let me clarify, this is not a bad thing, it’s actually everything I could have hoped for. Sophia states that this book was made, “to trace the influences of both myself, of Nasty Gal, and of #Girlboss, and to serve it all up in a stream of consciousness realness, not unlike your instagram feed. It’s a deep dive into my brain and my home.” With the square book design containing such powerful and startling imagery and full-page quotes, Nasty Galaxy easily achieves her desired results.
Sophia’s musical influences are front and center in Nasty Galaxy. Music has played such a heavy role in her life (if you’ve read any of her interviews or either of her two books, you know this) that it directs the design, tone, and acts as a guide for Nasty Galaxy as a whole. Each new chapter is introduced with a specific artist and album, lending an impression about what the chapter will hold. Though Sohpia’s music taste is eclectic, as seen through her chapter titles and Bad Bitches of Music, I would have been disappointed if she didn’t provide us with some musical guidance. Along with some influential classics like David Bowie, Betty Davis, and Patti Smith, Sophia enlightened me on some artists that I should know and be listening to (Insert prayer emoji here), like The Cramps.
In the pages of Nasty Galaxy, we get to see just how full of love Sophia’s life is. She surrounds herself with people, things, and work that she loves. She has a couple of pages “On Love” in her book, where she has an incredibly down to earth view of what love is. In her words, “Real love, is marked by affection, and companionship, respect, and most of all, a shared vision.” This is what we get to see when we take a peek into the home Sophia shares with her husband Joel and their three poodles, Cosi, Gino, and Donna Summer. They married 2014 and have just renovated their LA home. Sophia’s home, her place of peace, is just as much a reflection of her style as this book or Nasty Gal is. Letting us peek into her private space, is a very vulnerable thing to do, and I am so glad she did. We get see how her travels, love of thrifting, and friends have influenced the making of her and her home space.
In addition to images of Sophia’s belongings, abode, and wardrobe, every few pages there are notes scribbled in what we can only assume to be Sophia’s handwriting. This adds an intimacy that makes Nasty Galaxy special from every other style guide you’ve ever seen. Intentionally raw, these notes make me feel like she was writing them just for me, a little tidbit of info that I might like to know. And yes, I do want to know. Sophia also writes essays from the heart and shows us that she isn’t always superwoman. On a section about confidence, Sophia keeps it real by telling us that she too has bad days where she feels like a loser. She also let’s us know her thoughts on revenge, and I quote, “Tit for tat is not the tits.”
In it’s entirety, Nasty Galaxy is a celebration of women. With lists and lists of women who have inspired Sophia, along with interviews with those she deems Girlbosses (“Someone in control of her own narrative, who makes the impossible possible and who pays it forward to other women every chance she gets,” according to Audrey Gelman), the recipients of the Girlboss Foundation’s award (Roseli Ilano and Deena Drewis), and random quotes scattered throughout the book, Nasty Galaxy is a girl power anthem if I ever saw one, and Sophia knows it. She says, “I’ve been overly celebrated because I’m a girl…The day that accomplishments like mine are no longer headline news is a day I hope I’m alive.” Sohpia is inspired by the women in these pages, like Courtney Love, Audrey Gelman, and Eleanor Roosevelt, and has chosen to share their stories in the pages of Nasty Galaxy along with her own.
Nasty Galaxy ends with a perfectly placed quote by David Bowie. “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” I can’t wait to see what Sophia does next.
Here is a list of my favorite things about Nasty Galaxy.
The pages for “On Being Wrong” and “On Being Right”. Even her page design is clever!
Sophia’s formula for humility: “confidence + self-doubt + capability + self reflection = humility”
The advice from Girlbosses Sophia interviewed, like this quote from Girlboss Foundation award winner Roseli Ilano, “Take time everyday to look in the mirror and recognize your power, creativity, and talent.”
Sophia’s trick to taking a secret poop (put some toilet paper in before you poo!)
My only complaint? I’m going to have to lint-roll the cover to keep it pristine.