I am going to give you tips on how to be a Bawse.
Okay. Before you start judging, thinking “Who does she think she i-” let me stop you there Taylor and tell you what it is.
This post is really about Lilly Singh’s (aka Superwoman’s) book How to be a bawse.
For anyone not aware, Lily is a Youtuber who became popular through her comedic content and has since launched and been a part of major initiatives, collaborated with major influencers and organisations, as well as featured in some movies amongst other things.
I was super excited for her book because I’ve occasionally followed her content for years and witnessed her phenomenal growth as a creator. She is also super relatable and really doesn’t come across as a celebrity even if she is one, in her own right.
I would go straight into dissecting written material, but I have to start by praising the aesthetic of this book. Bold colours danced across and within this book, from the book cover to the pages.
There’s a picture of Lily representing the theme of each chapter just before the chapter begins and the colour quality of the photos and text within each chapter is top notch. I loved the feel of the pages and how the information on the front and back covers are directly printed onto the book’s hard cover, as opposed to having them on a book jacket. The look and feel of the book definitely added to the excitement of reading it. I recommend getting a physical copy over an ebook.
The name of the book; ‘How to be a bawse‘, is a reflection of Lily’s very comical, I-don’t-take-myself-too-seriously persona. The tone of the book and writing style is completely conversational and comical with a healthy dose of pop culture references, analogies and anecdotes to express certain themes. There’s a chapter called ‘Shake what your mama gave ya’. That’s how demotic Lilly’s writing style is.
The book’s tagline is ‘A guide to
surviving conquering life‘. There’s a chapter directly speaking to this tagline titled ‘Don’t survive’ and it is probably one of my favourite chapters in the book. In each chapter, Lily discusses lessons learned that she believes to have shaped success and happiness in her life. The book is split into four parts and after each part, she includes some before and after essays which reveal her thoughts during and after a period of depression.
How to be a bawse further reinforced and brought to the forefront of my mind that conquering life is not just about a person’s passions, job or whatever it is they spend most of their time doing. It’s also about their wellbeing and relationships formed with others. Lilly covers themes around career development, health, play, relationships, exes, behaviours, mythical creatures – You name it!
On the surface, the book could be viewed by some as overly simplistic but actually I found it difficult to read at times because despite the light-hearted tone, there were some chapters that really challenged me personally. One of such chapters was one titled ‘Conquer your thoughts’. It impacted me so much that’s it’s part of my inspiration for a post I hope to put up soon.
Some of the book’s themes are similar to content from other influencers but a significant chunk, are quite unconventional; especially because of Lilly’s industry, background and unconventional journey. It’s almost like Lily’s trying to teach the reader how to ‘act’. This resonates with the book’s title as she is in fact dishing out behavioural tips on ‘How to be a bawse’.
Despite all the great things about this book, I do think there are some things to note if you are thinking about reading it. The writing style of this book is unconventional and a more mature audience might struggle. This is not a generalisation. It depends on the reader’s preferences and if they are aware of pop culture. Many of Lily’s fans are teenagers and the written language definitely caters a lot to that demographic.
In addition to the writing style, some readers could find this a difficult read if they aren’t privy to Lilly’s journey or aware of her content. There isn’t a whole lot of personal information on Lilly’s growth story. It is obvious that a lot has been kept private and the personal anecdotes used are very superficial.
Hence, a reader could read the book and not really relate to the content if they didn’t follow Lilly’s content or any news about her in the media prior to reading. To be honest, even as a follower of her content, I questioned one or two themes because I had no information about how she had personally dealt with situations around those themes.
Personally, I did find one or two themes to be over simplified as in real life things are rarely black or white and cannot be navigated with a few simple recommendations. That being said, Lilly does address this a little bit in the book’s introduction by stating that chapters should be used as guidelines to be adapted to the reader’s situation as opposed to treating them like a rule.
These are not reasons not to read the book but merely an honest opinion of things you might want to consider if you’re looking to read it. I am very respectful and appreciative of the fact that things speak to people in different ways, so you might just be shocked by what you discover.
Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and extracted so many gems from the information despite the very informal writing style. I would recommend this book particularly to Young people (especially teenagers), creatives and any of Lilly’s followers that haven’t read the book.
If you are confused about your path or future, I strongly recommend you follow Lilly’s story through her content and interviews in the media and then read her book. She has come out from a dark uncertain place and has not only been successful personally, but has been able to inspire a lot of young people and use her success as a platform for campaigning for very noble causes.
I am definitely #teamsuper and I encourage you to be too.
5000 Bonus points for you Lilly on ‘How to be a bawse’! #teamsuperreference
On a more random note, do you know who I really want to write a book in the creative industry? DJ Khaled.
Click on the links below to follow Lilly on the following platforms:
Photos: Lily Singh and Random House Books