Review: Girl, Wash Your Face | Rachel Hollis

“Comparison is the death of joy, and the only person you need to be better than is the one you were yesterday.”

Book Info

Genre: Self-Help + Motivation
Number of Pages: 220
Perspective: First
Location: Los Angeles, CA

The lifestyle blogger and entrepreneur Rachel Harris shares lies that she once believed and the experiences that have changed her perception in order to live a more successful and happy life. For a complete summary, you can go here.

Book Review

TL;DR: This controversial self-help book has divided a lot of people, but I'm right in the middle.

Rating: 3/5

Full Review: I actually received this book in a white elephant exchange. I don’t normally read non-fiction--especially self-help--but it was popular enough, so I figured why not give it a chance.

I’ve seen two very different reactions to this book. The first set of people are obsessed with this book and recommend it to everyone they know. The second set of people trash Hollis for her white privilege and shameless self-advertising. I’m somewhere in the middle. I can understand the boasting and plugs for her website because, ultimately, books are marketing tools for entrepreneurs. But I can see how it would be obnoxious to most readers.

I have a hard time with self-help books in general because I always question the credibility of the author. What entitles someone else to be the Grand Poobah of life advice? Is it being successful? Okay, she has that. Is it having a popular lifestyle blog? Ok, cool, but what makes her qualified to write that? Going through difficult situations and come out the other side? Okay, yes she did. Her experience is also just her experience. What works for one person, isn’t going to work for everyone. And, most importantly, why do I care about your “problems”? Besides the two very horrible events she experienced, most of her complaints seem very trivial to most people. I think that’s where the entitlement and privilege critiques come from.

The message is conflicting. On one hand, she says if you want it bad enough you can make anything happen. She is a self-proclaimed workaholic. But on the other hand, she talks about how it’s important to not compare yourself to others and avoid trying to be perfect.

With all that said, it was a quick read and it was like a little pep talk from an overly-enthusiastic friend to get me refocused on some of my goals, especially in my own writing. So I did appreciate her chapter about her own experience writing novels and not taking no for an answer.

Overall, this was all stuff that I knew, just crammed into one shiny book. As some people have said, it was like a culmination of all the advice you can find on lifestyle blogs and Pinterest, with her own personal experience thrown in as anecdotal evidence.

I teach a class about goal setting, motivation, and self-care, so I suppose this was just a refresher for me. I could see how this would be beneficial to people who don’t set goals and who aren’t naturally self-motivated. I would definitely recommend this book to some of my students. I should add that this book is 100% marketed to women in their teens or early twenties—people who don’t have their lives together yet. C’mon, it even has “girl” in the title. If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think!

My Rating

3 star

“You, and only you, are ultimately responsible for who you become and how happy you are.”

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