Confessions of an Ex-Glossier Employee: "No, We Didn't Need the Book"
Straight from the desk of our beauty editor’s lived experience at the G.
As an ex-employee of Glossier, I was eager to read Glossy: Ambition, Beauty, and the Inside Story of Emily Weiss’s Glossier. As someone with four years of experience on the inside, I was curious to know what someone outside of the millennial pink walls had to say about the brand.
Upon completion of the book, I found myself filled with unanswered questions. As someone who saw Glossier’s struggles during the pandemic’s onset, I braced myself for a grim narrative but was relieved when it wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated. Nonetheless, I didn’t come across any novel insights from the book based on my personal and professional judgment. Marisa Meltzer, the author, expertly narrated Emily Weiss‘s and Glossier’s journey, drawing from her extensive experience as a devoted fan of the brand and a veteran in the beauty industry.
A lot of my peers and friends who knew about my stint with the G were eager to hear insider stories — a common trait among Glossier fans. For those not in the know, the book came as a surprise, a compilation of gossipy tales brought to life from the anecdotes they’d come across on social media.
To be honest, reading it made me feel awkward and embarrassed on Emily’s behalf. The book is not an attack on Emily, but when there are so many male founders committing egregious acts against their employees and families, was there really a need for a book about a woman merely pursuing her passion? I’d say no for $500 USD, Alex.
@huntrbiden i reviewed the glossier book for the new york times 📚 #booktok #booksoftiktok #glossier ♬ original sound – hunter
When chatting with a few other ex-employees, we all were searching around to see who the rat was that talked for the book and we found that some of the brand’s investors and team members, along with Emily, were interviewed. The incident that made me the most uncomfortable was Emily’s emotional breakdown during her interview. It was a meeting that took place with Meltzer at the Crosby Street Hotel in New York City. What was especially unsettling about Emily’s emotional state was the timing. Emily was in the middle of her parental leave when the interview occurred, a time typically reserved for family and introspection rather than professional stress.
Granted, did Emily make mistakes? Hell yes. Did Glossier as a brand drop the ball many times on many social and humanitarian fronts? Absolutely. However, people like myself and many others refuse to contribute to a broader story and leverage our experience for likes and clicks to dish “the tea” because it’s bigger than whatever the brand may or may not have done to us.
It’s a regrettable reality that female entrepreneurs are often subjected to harsher judgments and more public scrutiny when they err, compared to their male counterparts. The journey towards creating a better environment within the beauty industry is not a linear one, and missteps are part of the learning process. However, it seems that society has determined that women should face severe repercussions once their missteps come to light.
Furthermore, it’s mind blowing to think all of this fuss is about Glossier when they are brands that are much older and larger that have been giving the girls much chaos and fever internally and externally — but there’s no “Tell all” book about them. Emily Weiss was just a smarter and cooler target.
The price is always high for an IT-Girl.