Girl, Wash You Face by Rachel Hollis
Genre: “Self-Help” (My review should clear up the reasoning for the quotation marks…)
Release Date: February 6, 2018
My Rating: 🍪🍪
I wanted to like this book so badly. It was recommended to me by a coworker, and after waiting months (yes, MONTHS!) to receive it off the hold list at the library, I was pumped to have some no-nonsense, motivational sense knocked into me. As soon as I started, I knew that wasn’t what was going to happen.
In retrospect, I really should have looked into what this book was about before I picked it up. Despite its catchy, empowering title, it is not a book that generally offers advice to women, and I for sure felt like I was not a part of the demographic the author was targeting. For one, I am not a mom. There were a lot of chapters dedicated to the idea that no one really knows how to be a mom, and everyone thinks they’re doing parenting wrong (spoiler alert, you’re not!), but as someone who is not a parent, I got no real value out of these sections. I did, however, like her pointed conversation about working moms, and the fact that they all tout their careers as a “hobby” or a side project even when they are really, really successful professionals. That needs to change! (And I know that is not just specific to mothers, many women tend to downplay their success to try to avoid seeming like they’re bragging. Ugh. Let’s all work on that, we’re awesome).
Anyway, I also had trouble relating to this narrative because I do not share the author’s faith. I found the (fairly consistent) references to God, and his plan for her life kind of jarring. She would offer an offhand comment for how those who aren’t religious might interpret whatever she was talking about, but the message of empowering yourself and creating a meaningful life for yourself was kind of lost on me when it was outlined as something God had planned out. If we all just sit around waiting for God’s plan for us to come into effect, isn’t that kind of negating the entire point of her book? I don’t really think that’s what she was going for, but it sure seemed like it. I have nothing against reading Christian writing, it was just hard for me to connect with as it was written. Like I said, a quick skim before I read this could’ve helped me avoid some disappointment.
There were a few sections of this book I liked or related to. The chapter about cardio fantasies in particular was refreshing (I knew I wasn’t alone). For the most part, however, this seemed like Hollis just kind of talking about how great she’s doing without offering much concrete motivation on how others should go about trying to make changes in their lives. The book was very short, which is the only reason I actually finished it, but I would advise others (at least of my age and demographic) to pass this one by. I hope the 80 other people waiting for it on hold at the library after me have a more positive reading experience.