By Kimberly Aguilar
With over 9.4 million women-owned business in the United States, stories of female entrepreneurs are rarely portrayed in the media. Some stories that do come to mind are depicted in recent movies such as It’s Complicated, Joy and The Intern. However, all three movies depict the female protagonists in almost the same way. While their stories show women who are self made, these films only show the White women that are successful when statistically over half of California’s women owned firms are owned by minority women.
Women are 11% less employed than men and Randijah Simmons was tired of it. In 2014 at the age of 18, Simmons started her own clothing company, Sybergurl, because she did not have a job and needed money. Being born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, starting up her own business was no piece of cake. She did not have a business plan, model to follow or any money to back it up. “Building a brand from the ground up as one person and no financial backing is definitely a challenge.”
She experienced setbacks but for some reason they have only gotten bigger the further along her success went. Some of her company’s successes include her 1,500 followers on Instagram, taking part at Amber Rose’s Slutwalk in Downtown Los Angeles and seeing paparazzi’s pictures of Amber Rose wearing her ‘Forbidden Fruit Dad Cap’ all over social media platforms. Sybergurl represents a lifestyle and Simmons shares that her art consists “controversial pieces that makes a statement.”
Simmons advices to all women who want to follow in her footsteps to be free, beautiful, and unafraid to shoot for the stars. Her go-to quote by Rupi Kaur says it all: “What’s the greatest lesson a woman should learn? That since day one she’s already had everything she needs within herself. It’s the world that convinced her she did not.”
So when media only shares stories of white women being the successful ones, what message does that give to young African American, Asian, and Latina women?
It’s Complicated shows that although Meryl Streep can be a divorced successful bakery owner, her romance only gets as good as being her ex-husband’s mistress; because being independent and a mistress is much more attractive than being the financially dependent wife. The Intern gives off the impression that if you are a married woman with children who devotes her life to her starting up her company, your marriage will fail. Joy shares the message that possibly hits closest to home, if you dream it you can achieve it.
For these stories to be told, we need more than just women behind the camera because women directors do exist—the problem is that 90% of them are white.