I recently picked this book up after I saw quotes from it blow by my Facebook feed for the fifth or sixth time. Read my review of Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis.
Book Review: Girl, Wash Your Face
I want to start out by saying that I think this review is the unpopular opinion. Many of the women I’ve spoken to about this book seem to have skipped right over the hard truths and just pulled out the big quotes that sound good when posted on their Facebook or Instagram.
I had a super hard time getting through this book even from the opening chapters. In just a few sentences of the introduction, Hollis had already irritated me enough that I nearly put the book down.
This sentence right here is the first lie this book will tell you –
“You, and only you, are ultimately responsible for who you become and how happy you are.”
As a Christian, this is totally against my personal beliefs.
I know from my own personal experience that when I depend on myself to make me happy or believe that I am in total control of who I become, that’s when I’m miserable and I make a mess of my life. In her book, she proclaims herself a Christian but it’s really hard to line her words up with the behavior of a Christian.
Girl, Don’t Believe the Lies
And the un-Christianlike behavior doesn’t end there. It goes on for chapter after chapter. This book gave me at the least a case of the eye-rolls and at times I was sad. I was sad because an entire nation of women are picking this book up and reading it hoping to find an answer to their sadness, an inspiration for their dreams, or relief from their loss. And this book is not that answer.
I’m all for taking hold of your dreams and turning them into a reality. I’m right there with the next woman trying to feel beautiful no matter what the mirror tells me. But the negativity in this book is damaging more women then it’s helping.
Hollis’ book is filled with judgmental behavior not designed to build other women up but to tear them down. Honestly, the hardest chapter for me to read was the chapter on weight. Read what she wrote –
This is where I should tell you that I am worthy and loved as I am….
That isn’t the kind of book I want to write….
You have so many wonderful qualities to offer the world, and they are uniquely yours….
I also believe that humans were not made to be out of shape and severly overweight….
You can choose to settle for a half-lived life because you don’t even know there’s another way….
She’s right in one thing here, she should have told every woman reading the book that they are worthy and loved as they are. That they are enough. That God made them and that no matter their weight or age or skin color God loves them with a love that they can’t even imagine.
Girl, Stop Reading This Book
I have this rule where I finish every book. It’s a personal thing. I do it with TV shows too. I just can’t stop without finishing it. But I will say, I wish I’d stopped reading this one. The chapter on drinking literally had me in a rage. This chapter went well beyond judgemental.
In one breath, Hollis says, “Vodka was my copilot, and I was deeply grateful for its presence in my life.” This is after detailing her addictive behavior with wine. And then in the next breath, she says, “How do you give up half a Saturday to wait in a McDonald’s playland for addicts who may or may not show up, then hand over an innocent baby and watch them erase whatever progress you’ve made with their daughter.” And then she’s back to “But at night, when no one is looking, you drink and when it gets really bad, you take a Xanax too.”
She judges the parents who are addicts while she’s yet an addict herself. But beyond that, she makes it sound like these parents are to blame for her own behavior.
Girl, Dream On
I wasn’t going to write this review. I was going to mark the book as read and move on. And then I realized, I didn’t want my daughter to read this book. And I don’t mean just because it’s inappropriate for my teenager.
I don’t want her to read it because I want to her know a God that loves her no matter what. I want her to follow her dreams but I want her dreams to be so much more than a $1,000 purse and a vacation home in Hawaii. Her dreams should be in line with God’s dream for her life and I’m pretty sure God doesn’t care about her purse. I want her to love everyone no matter their weight and to see the person beyond the addiction.