Girl, Wash Your Face
I’ve been hearing about Girl, Wash Your Face from every corner of the internet since its release, so I knew I had to jump on the bandwagon at some point and read Rachel Hollis’s debut non-fiction-self-help-meets-memoir.
til six bookclub: vol. 3
I’m no stranger to the genre, as I usually read any memoir that a women I admire or am intrigued by writes. I first stumbled upon Rachel when she posted a photo of her un-retouched body in a bathing suit that went viral. I found a lot of her writing on social media to be inspiring at a moment when I needed it. Although I may not be her core audience, her words spoke to me, and for the most part this book was more of the same.
In a lot of ways, I think this book is a great intro to the self-help world for the every day, middle to upper class woman. I think that is exactly what Rachel’s brand is. She is trying to give women permission to not have to feel like the perfect mother while also being the perfect businesswoman. That is a very real sentiment for many women, and I think it’s important that a famous “mommy-blogger” is so real and honest about how much she cares about her kids, but also finds joy and purpose in her work. I appreciate that we are beyond the days of promoting how “women can have it all” or at least not without getting help and making some sacrifices.
The overall message of the book - you are in charge of your own life - was a good reminder for me as well. Sure, there will always be things in life that come up that are mostly out of my control, but I do have control over how I react to them and the meaning I ultimately find in them. Honestly, it made me reasses a couple of ways in which I have been behaving that I wanted to change.
I also recognize that she gives a lot of this advice from a place of privilege that she maybe doesn’t recognize as fully as she should. Additionally most of her talk about diet culture, staying healthy and body image is problematic. Also as a non-christian, I found most of her religious references off-putting, but I know it was published by a Christian publisher, and understand that is her brand’s audience.
Overall, I can appreciate some of the struggles she has had to overcome - a family suicide for example - to still succeed as a young female entrepreneur in the lifestyle sector. But I wish she gave more acknowledgement to her overall privilege (race, sexual preference, husband + his standing in this world as a white man with a prominent job, etc.) Also her general vibe of preachy christian can sometimes be a lot, so although I occasionally find her livestreams engaging, I’m glad I read the book and didn’t listen to her read the audiobook.