I thought I was missing something. I thought, as usual, I was late to the party. But it seems that Ms. Hollis has a lot of haters.
Good ole Instagram. If you search the hashtag, girlgowashyourface you will probably see ridiculous amounts of posts about the book. In a good way. Audible always has that book as part of their subscription advertisement as well. So I was a little taken aback when I mentioned something in my Instagram story about not being able to wait until her new book comes out and someone said they had heard a lot of negative things about both the author and the book.
I mean, hey, to each his or her own right. I get it, those bubbly, overly positive people are not everyone’s cup of tea. I know I definitely have to be in the mood for something like that.
Then one day I got sucked down the Instagram wormhole was at least seven clicks deep on bookstagrammers and found a page I really liked. Both aesthetically and conceptually. The person seemed genuine and real. I liked it. I saw their latest post at the time was about Girl Go Wash Your Face and was saying how problematic the book AND Ms. Hollis was.
I felt like I was missing something. Like we maybe did not read the same book. So I wrote what I thought was an appropriate and respectful comment (I wish I had saved it; or could even remember who the bookstagrammer was). Saying basically, I respected her opinion and critiques of the book but that Ms. Hollis is saying something no different than any other people who write a self-help book. That I did not understand what was so problematic about she was putting out in the world. And even though on this one particular book we had different opinions I enjoyed her paged and hit that follow button real quick.
This account had many many more followers than myself so I was not expecting a response. I did not respond to her post expecting a response. But I got one. A very long one. Again, I wished I had saved it so I could quote it accurately… but she went on to again say how problematic Ms. Hollis was and how she wants everyone to live like her.
Again, I am not sure we read the same book. Maybe this person has never read a self-help book. But I was confused. Not only by what she took from the book but from the place of righteous she came from. She made her statements as if they were facts towards someone who just happened to have a different opinion. (At that time, I was the only comment on the post saying that I enjoyed the book; everyone else was praising this creator for “saying how they felt”- hey, it’s all good). She went on to mention Ms. Hollis and how “she was not acknowledging her privilege”.
What the fuck does that even mean?
That whole acknowledging your privilege thing is such a THING now.
In this case, because she is a white successful woman she is supposed to announce that BEFORE saying anything. Wait. What?
I don’t know much about Ms. Hollis’ backstory, but even if she was the daughter of the richest man on earth – does that make what she has to say LESS valuable? Personally, I might take it with a grain of salt… but that does not mean she does not have the right to say what she feels any more than it gives anyone of lesser “privilege” more of a voice.
In my humble opinion, Rachel Hollis is a woman who wants to inspire other women. I recently watched her documentary on Amazon, MADE FOR MORE.
I really did not know what to expect from it. I put it on really to just have background noise while I was folding laundry.
I went into it knowing how (quite a few) people felt about her… thinking that maybe since I had that in my head I would see/hear your words differently.
But I didn’t.
I still saw her as a woman (privilege or not; white or not; successful or not) trying to inspire women to be a better version of themselves. A version of themselves that they dreamed of but had a hard time making it a reality. A woman that was hurt to see so many women stand when asked if you have ever HATED how you looked.
Maybe she was faking it. Hopefully, she wasn’t. But the way I see it is she is selling the dream. She is selling you the fact that you can, in fact, accomplish the things you want to accomplish; you have it in you. But unlike a lot of self-help books that just tell you that “you can do it; you just have to believe”… Rachel is telling us, no you have to actually put in the work, but you can achieve your goals.
I still stand by the fact I am looking forward to her next book, Girl Stop Apologizing. I just hope it is not a regurgitated version of Girl Go Wash Your Face because that is what her documentary was and on that note, the documentary was a little disappointing.