Review: Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Review: Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

There are parts of this book that I absolutely loved and parts of it that made me a little sad. Sad, not because Rachel Hollis shared some of the painful experiences she’s endured in her life, but because some of her thinking regarding diet and body image was hurtful.

Here are the important takeaways:

  • Don’t judge other people, when you do not know their story.
  • Keep going despite failure and roadblocks. I really believe this is the difference between being successful and not. Successful people keep trying.
  • It’s okay to be human. I love that she shares her personal experiences to show us that she is human. It’s easy to get lost in this idea that all media personalities are perfect and do not struggle. I really appreciate her honesty.
  • Therapy is presented as something that is good for the soul. I wholeheartedly believe this, too.
  • I love the idea of using your imagination as motivation. I often find myself daydreaming about the future and what could be accomplished. Hearing that Rachel used this little trick to push forward with her career is just what I needed to hear!
  • The strategy of making small goals within our reach is great advice. Those goals will look different for everyone. It’s good to have big goals but in order to get closer to success, we all need somewhere to start. We might all dream of being rich but what are some steps that we can take right now to do that? It could be as simple as registering your business or creating a social media account.
  • Rachel is comfortable with her success. It’s very rare to hear of successful females that are actually comfortable wearing their achievements. Society will tell us that she is narcissistic for doing so but if it were a man, they would be applauded. I applaud you, Rachel, for owning your success!

Here are the things that I found problematic:

  • While Rachel presents herself as accepting of all religions, her book has a major Christian tone to it. Lots of references to God and religion. I was not offended by this but some readers may not feel the same.
  • She believes that we shouldn’t judge others because they might have a story that explains their behavior (that you may be judging). I think this is great but some of her comments do not seem like she always practices what she preaches.
  • While she empowers her readers to not take no for an answer and to keep moving forward despite roadblocks, this cannot be applied to everything. I would have preferred if she focused on applying this towards only personal dreams and business goals.
  • Rachel talks about diet and fitness just as if it were like any other obstacle women face. It’s a whole other issue in itself and I think her opinions on this maybe should have been left out of the book (except in the case of using her own personal fitness goals as an example of what works in her life). The problem is what she considers a “healthy” lifestyle is not really a true indication of health.
  • I think that she believes diet and fitness culture is “health” culture. What works for her, does not work for everyone. She doesn’t apply that sentiment to her belief system on health because she believes people make excuses and should work past not being healthy. I don’t think she has enough knowledge to determine that. I understand her thoughts behind making time for healthy eating and fitness but it does not address all of the issues that someone may face in making that time (for example; socioeconomic status, single parenthood, convenience, genetics, intuitive eating, and self-care).
  • Just like myself, Rachel is a privileged, thin, white woman. Yes, she has worked extremely hard and has worked through quite a few obstacles and even tragedy. This does not mean she can comment on the health of other women. She simply has not been in their shoes.

Rachel Hollis is human and just like anyone of us, she’s not perfect. She never claims to be. I think her book is absolutely worth a read because there are some great topics that will help empower you and move forward in your life (especially if you are a business owner or woman with a dream!). Just be cautious of the fact that her knowledge regarding health and fitness is what I would consider lacking and closed-minded. I worry that her writing on this would be a bit triggering for someone with negative body image. It works for her and that’s all you have to remember here!

I am an advocate for any boss babe who puts her truth out there. There were some great tidbits that will keep me motivated as I move forward in the business world. I love that she wants women to follow their dreams!

Emily is the founding editor of Happy Daughter, a body positive online community for women. She is a body image expert, who is passionate about promoting positive body image, media awareness, and healthy relationships. Emily is getting ready to release her book, Body Positive: A Guide to Loving Your Body in January 2021.

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