Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Beby Rachel Hollis Published 06 Feb 2018
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With wry wit and hard-earned wisdom, popular online personality and founder of TheChicSite.com founder Rachel Hollis helps readers break free from the lies keeping them from the joy-filled and exuberant life they are meant to have.
Founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Chic Media, Rachel Hollis has created an online fan base of hundreds of thousands of fans by sharing tips for living a better life while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own. Now comes her highly anticipated first book featuring her signature combination of honesty, humor, and direct, no-nonsense advice.
Each chapter of Girl, Wash Your Face begins with a specific lie Hollis once believed that left her feeling overwhelmed, unworthy, or ready to give up. As a working mother, a former foster parent, and a woman who has dealt with insecurities about her body and relationships, she speaks with the insight and kindness of a BFF, helping women unpack the limiting mind-sets that destroy their self-confidence and keep them from moving forward.
From her temporary obsession with marrying Matt Damon to a daydream involving hypnotic iguanas to her son's request that she buy a necklace to "be like the other moms," Hollis holds nothing back. With unflinching faith and tenacity, Hollis spurs other women to live with passion and hustle and to awaken their slumbering goals.
"Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be" Reviews
There were parts of this book that were highly motivating and not too coddling, which is always appreciated. One thing that was tough was a constant thread of diet culture and weight loss talk throughout the whole book. The chapter about weight itself was...not great. There is a line where the author says (paraphrased) "science shows you need to eat less and move more, the end!" Where a lot of the other chapters examined the nuance of different issues and talked about developing an internal monologue to become more driven, the weight loss chapter felt super icky. It was basically "you shouldn't be fat, you won't be as long as you don't overeat to numb your feelings, and take better care of this body God gave you."
A lot of other chapters were motivating, but the diet talk (peppered through every chapter) would keep me from recommending this.
This book isn't written for me, but that's not why I didn't like it.
The main reasons:
1. You cannot tell that story about how awful your husband treated you when you first started dating and then, later in the book, continuously mention how you were "best friends from the beginning." You were not. He was an asshole, and her revisionist history later in the book makes me question everything she said.
2. Hollis thinks the difference between her and the people who didn't make their dreams come true is that she never gave up. Survivorship bias: plenty of people work their asses off and don't give up and things don't work out for them. She didn't mention luck or even the grace of god. Nope, she just works harder than anyone else.
3. She makes a point to say that dreams shouldn't have deadlines, and then in the very next chapter says her goal is to own a vacation home in Hawaii before she's 40.
4. She, generally, comes off as self-absorbed and with an inflated sense of the value her advice is worth.
I will say, Hollis did a great job of narrating the audiobook. Her pacing and comedic timing is good. But listening to the book did make her calling her readers "my sweet friend" more jarring.
Nope. Belittling people by saying you can pick yourself up by the boot straps and CHOOSE happiness is irresponsible and uneducated. It just isn’t that simple. Her approach to body image and dieting is downright scary. She seems very self centered and looking for her 15 minutes as opposed to ‘helping’ anyone let alone women. Throwing in a scripture here and there does not a Christian based book make. This should not be considered self help. I would not recommend this book to anyone. It’s uncomfortable, frustrating and ignorant.
Some parts of this book spoke deeply to my soul, and others made me want to punch someone in the face. I struggled with every word she said about diet and body image—what was meant to be uplifting and inspiring was preached as scientific fact from someone with no medical/dietetic credentials. She had nothing to back up her claims, but she preached it like doctrine.
I also really really really struggled with the story of how she met her husband. I realize have no business being bothered by it, but she says herself that people may have issue with her sharing it and that it isn’t meant for it to be used to condone an unhealthy relationship. But....she married the man from her super unhealthy relationship. Guys, don’t marry the guy who “brings you to bars and ignores you while he hits on other women.” Don’t marry the guy who “only calls you at night when he’s been drinking but ignores you during the day.” Don’t marry the guy who you “give your virginity to because you don’t know how else to keep him interested.” I mean, really. She gave so much time to how terrible their first year was and then gives a quick “but now everything is great!” And it just doesn’t work for me.
I think the point of the husband story was that when she told him she needed to be respected and she didn't want him calling anymore, he realized she was worth respecting. She had to respect herself to get respect, yada yada. Buuuutttt telling someone you don't want them to contact you anymore and then having them show up on your doorstep the next morning is literally the opposite of respect. I love it when I set boundaries and people totally ignore them—romance!
Edit: I have to come back and discuss more things that are not okay. The diet pills? She essentially tells everyone that she and her roommate survived off of diet pills to the point that they were hallucinating, so they stopped taking them and gained back 40 lbs. She doesn’t discourage this, if anything the quick “oh and then we gained weight and became less attractive” seems like a subtle “I can’t recommend this BUT if you want to lose weight here’s how to do it.” NOT OKAY. Additionally, when people come to her her diet advice (why is she giving diet advice? Is she a dietician? Does she have any medical knowledge) she tells them to start by drinking more water, and when they’ve mastered that start cutting out foods. Here’s an idea: listen to your body!! Thin =/= worthy/good/important.
Another edit: I was on a plane with my young exhausted kids today and was thinking how an outsider would totally judge my parenting skills, but I gotta do what I gotta do and my in-flight parenting techniques are totally different from day-to-day. Then I remembered how Rachel went off on the totally exhausted mom for giving her kid candy on a plane. Maybe there was more to it that I’m not remembering? But honestly, anyone who has flown with their kids knows the struggle is real.
Girl, shut your face.
This book is a winner in one sense - it takes top marks for the worst book in this genre that I have ever read. This book is epically bad. I understand false five-star reviews, but I chose this book partially because a FB friend of mine heartily urged everyone to read it and partially because I was honestly a bit drunk-browsing on Amazon and I impulsively downloaded it to Kindle.
I knew this book was bad before I got to Chapter 3, but felt compelled to hate-read (thank you, GRer Marin for that excellent descriptor) the rest in order to critically annotate it throughout and on hopes it would redeem itself somehow. What follows is full of spoilers, but believe me, you want to read them to spare yourself from the waste of time that is this book. Let me enumerate just some of the many ways I hated this book:
1. The humble-brags and the outright brags. You can barely turn a page without being reminded how incredibly successful her businesses have been. Pg. 21, “But being at work? Oh man, I have that in the bag! I excel at being at work! I am the Babe Ruth of knocking it out of the park in the lifestyle media sector!”
2. Her perception of hardship. Towards the back of the book, there were two glimpses where she almost revealed some suffering of substance in her life: her brother’s suicide and the adoptions that fell through and the simultaneous investigation by CPS. These two chapters almost made me think she had more depth than a soupbowl. But it was buried in so much priviledged moaning (she realized once that she had worked for three whole years without taking a two-week getaway to Europe).
3. Contradictory advice. Set goals! Never break a promise to yourself! Get up early! Run a marathon! -But also - Be lazy sometimes! Give yourself a break! Let go of perfection!
4. Vanity. It’s everywhere.
5. Her divulgences are so childish. Shaving her toes. A little stress incontinence after having three babies. And one time, when she was in high school, she made a mean comment about hairy toes behind a girl’s back! Shocker!
6. The “love” story. Interestingly, I also met my husband when I was a naive 19yo and he was eight years older. But her husband was just a dick. And, whatever she claims to the contrary, I don’t think leopards change their spots all that much. I’m just saying.
7. The Chapter that says it is a lie that “no is the final answer.” #metoo has been made possible by generations of men who believe that no is not the final answer. I think this is dreadfully bad advice. Maturity is found in learning that sometimes, no IS the final answer. People who have gone through deaths and disease and poverty and loss often do find that there are big, fat, ugly Nos that cannot be fixed. They can only be eventually, maybe, accepted.
8. There was also some grammar and editing that drove me nuts like the constantly incorrect word breaks and capitalizing the word “dumpster.”
9. Chapter 7 - instructions on marital sex. NOOOOO! Just noooooo! Plus, just wait until andropause and menopause become part of your vernacular, Rachel.
10. Priviledge. She pops off options many people will never have. Her constant recommendations of therapy got on my damn last nerve.
11. Unlucky Chapter 13 is where she really burned down the house with the story of coveting that Louis Vuitton purse. She spends countless hours fantasizing about that purse and made a specific goal as to what parameters would allow her to buy the purse. I was seriously holding out hope that she was going to finally have the thousand dollars for the purse, but would realize that this symbol does not define her and she would drive down the street to a mission and donate the money for good. But alas. She is just as shallow as it sounded like she was going to be. She “walked out of that store the proudest I’d ever been in my whole life.” P.138 Proudest moment of her life: buying a ridiculously overpriced purse.
12. Chapter 14. After she got her very first mean ol’ one-star review she decided that her therapist was right and, “someone else’s opinion of me is none of my business.” Ummm...it is if you create media which you intend for people to pay you for! She could learn so much about where she’s hitting sour notes if she would read one tenth of the low reviews on GRs or Amazon. But she doesn’t want the buzzkill, girlfriend!
Believe it or not, this is not an exhaustive list of the defects in this book, but I’m tired and I think the case has been pretty well-made now. One thing that is sort of positive about having read this book is that I have made a decision about all books I choose for the future: I will read or buy not a single book produced by bloggers or people who claim to be “lifestyle media experts” unless I read or hear from numerous, disparate friends whom I personally know that it is a great book. Even then, I’m not sure. I have a list of to-reads more than sixty books long, so I have decided today that I will not waste one more minute on this type of trite, immature drivel.
I’m too tired to proof this longest-ever review.
This book is for privileged white women with no real problems but the ones they make up for themselves. I was told this book was “inspiring”. But let’s be real, it’s easy for a rich lady to tell me (or anyone) that I’m “in control of my own life”. Any woman with a husband who makes enough money that you find yourself on the red carpet can say that. I found this book to be very unrelatable and full of humble brags. It was like social media in book form.
Also, if I hear one more white woman call other white women her “tribe” I’m going to throw up.
This book ended up in the trash after reading 50 pages and countless eye rolls.