Is Rachel Hollis My New Guru?
If you are online, and if you’re reading this you obviously are, you’ve heard of Rachel Hollis. She is THE hottest thing around at the moment…and pretty much every online book club I’ve come across has read or is reading her most recent book Girl Wash Your Face. She’d previously written a few fiction books and cookbooks, but this one…her first foray into self-help/memoir/personal development…has taken the world by storm. She is an incredibly high-paid motivational speaker (she says), and if you’ve been reading me for a while, you know I’m a sucker for all that jazz…so I needed to fall down the rabbit hole and decide if I’d found a new guru.
As it turns out, I was already following her on Instagram…I just obviously wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention to what she was doing, probably because I follow WAY too many people, and haven’t figured out how to “manage” my time on that app. But after I downloaded her book, I decided to actively start paying attention to what she put out there, and my general consensus is that I like bits and pieces.
Let me see if I can elaborate.
Every weekday morning she goes live with her husband, and they discuss some form of motivational topic…along with whatever else is floating through their minds. Yes, there’s a healthy dose of promo for her books, their conference, etc…but this girl’s hustle is STRONG, so I respect the many pots she has on her proverbial stove, and how she seamlessly promotes what she has going on with her many sites and businesses. I’m not exactly in her demographic, being in my 40’s, so I’m comfortable skipping crap I don’t like, and focusing on the things I do. Her original online platform, The Chic Site, is still going strong and a great one stop shop if you’re interested in seeing what all she’s got going on, and would REALLY be an asset for those who have littles at home still.
I feel like this blog post is a mess, which could be because I’m out of practice, or because this woman has SO much going on…and I have so many things I’d like to touch on, that I’m having trouble organizing all of it in a manner that’s easy to read!
Let’s circle back to the book then.
Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be might be the best place to illustrate my conflicting opinions about Rachel Hollis. This book was all over the place. But once again, I think I might be a smidge too old for her, even though she’s in her 30’s.
Each chapter of Girl, Wash Your Face targets a lie she one believed, such as I’ll Start Tomorrow, I’m Better Than You or I’m Bad at Sex. She tells an anecdotal story about her life that illustrates how she once believed this lie, and then how she got over it. The chapter is then tidied up with three little tidbits of advice regarding this lie.
Now, there is a lot of stuff in here that is actually good. The lies she speaks of are things that I feel a lot of women struggle with. I could write blog posts discussing each of these things, and my own personal challenges, and I would say…you’re right Rachel Hollis…these are things that a lot of women have a problem with. But some of her delivery method, stories, and how she comes off in telling these truths? Oh man, I’m not even an overly sensitive politically correct person…but I can see why there are so many one star reviews on Goodreads. People either LOVE this book, or absolutely hate it. I’m somewhere in the middle.
I found passages inspiring. I highlighted.
I read her chapter about this first relationship she was in, and how destructive it was. When it ends and you realize that she’s talking about the marriage she is still in, my mind was blown! I listen to their joint podcast, and really like it. So to read what their relationship started like was crazy to me. For most people that was a deal breaker. I thought…wow, Dave Hollis talks a lot in podcasts about how much he has worked on himself, and he clearly has. But a lot of folks stopped reading the book right there.
The book was marketed as Christian, and I’d say it’s Christian-lite. She throws a few passages in there, and talks about being a pastor’s daughter, but it’s not heavily God-centric…which put a lot of folks off since it had a Christian publisher.
The biggest turn-off from this book for me is the fact that the author comes off as…more than a little full of herself. And I almost hate putting that out there. As I’ve said before, I don’t think I’m her demographic. She writes a lot for women with kids at home still, and mine are grown. But some of her stories don’t paint her in a good light. They are things like feeling bad about showing up to help at school in heels instead of yoga pants like the other moms. Or an entire chapter devoted to seeing a gay person at Disneyland for the first time, and hip-hop dance class…that sounds like her writing about an attempt to be around African Americans. And there is also some seriously iffy stuff in here about diet. Which is a whole other can of worms.
Plus a whole lot of discussion about how damn great she is.
Now, I am a BIG proponent of women raising women up. We should all be supporting each other. And I will go out of my way to support you. I will buy your stuff. I will follow your site. I will answer you when you send me a random message to join your group on Instagram. I am all about women supporting women, or people supporting people in general really. And I really don’t like the culture of catty women. It bothers me.
But I’m not a huge fan of braggadocio. Your works should show me how well you’re doing. I’m not saying we should be diminishing our glow. I mean, you have worked your ass off to become this big thing? That is amazing!! I am so proud of you, lady!! But there’s a way to own it that isn’t so in your face. You only need to mention maybe once in your book that you’re getting paid a ton to speak to people now. I was going to put something in here about being humble, but then I started singing Kendrick Lamar…and this is SO not that kind-of blog. I don’t know, I think it has something to do with her delivery??
But the funny thing is, I LOVE her podcasts…and I really do love watching her on Instagram. I think that for some reason, the delivery in hearing her as opposed to her writing, it all comes off differently. The jokes land better.
I was laying in bed with my husband last night, when I rolled over and said “You know this couple that whose podcast I listen to had sex EVERY DAY in September to try and spice up their sex life. They called it Sexy September, um…and I don’t know why I’m telling you this.” He looked at me, and my steri-stripped stomach, with my legs propped up on a wedge to keep me from rolling over and hurting myself in the middle of the night and said “Yeah, I don’t know why you’re telling me this.” LOL But I really do like listening to their podcast, Rise Together. They make me laugh, and they are incredibly honest about what they have gone through in their marriage. Does it all apply to me? No. But clearly I’m making note of what they’re saying.
So, is she my new guru? Maybe not. But I am going to try her #last90days challenge, which I’ll probably write about in another blog post because this one has got SUPER LONG already. And I’m going to keep listening to her podcasts, and watching her on Instagram. Will I buy her new book next year? Maybe. But instead I’ll probably fight the waitlist at the Library.
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