‘Girl, Wash Your Face’ By Rachel Hollis Book Review

Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be, By Rachel Hollis

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I haven’t read a book since 2013. Let’s get that admission out of the way. I haven’t even wanted to read a book, no shame. I have a 45 minuet drive to and from  work and I’m sick of hearing the same songs on repeat, and sick of wasting the time driving when I could be at home with my family. I want to do something productive with my time, so I’m giving Audible a try. I’ve been struggling lately with lack of confidence and lets be honest, I’ve been lazy as well. I’m happy, but I could use some inspiration and direction. For my first free credit I went to the self-help section. This book popped up right away and as soon as I saw it I remembered, “That’s that one book that what’s her name suggested a while ago. She may have even took a pic of it and posted about it in Instagram with her fancy hashtag.” So here we are.

Let’s preface this review. I’m a believer, but I do not go to church regularly. I’m a mom of two. I’m divorced and living with my boyfriend. I have a college degree, associates, hey it counts! I’ve worked the same job for almost 11 years, and still somehow enjoy it, usually.  I’m what we would consider middle-class and I’ve lived in the Midwest my entire life. I’ve experienced more then I let on sometimes, maybe I’ll talk about that a bit in this review…eh.

Each chapter is based around a lie we tell ourselves. Many focus on motherhood, relationships, and goals. I feel like many of the chapters I connected with the messages, and I could relate. There were a few however, where I felt Rachel was ‘reaching’ a bit to prove her point. Like she got to the ‘lesson’ a little too easily in her own life, whereas some people would take YEARS to get to that point. Years to finally identify and confront their issue and then break the cycle. I normally don’t point out the negative first but this stuck out especially in her chapter about her husband. I had to talk about this first because it was the ONE and only chapter I really did not care for.

The chapter is all about how she went from a ‘booty call’, to break-up, to WIFE? I’ll give you the quick and dirty. The guy, doesn’t treat her how she deserves, we’ve all been there. He is done with her, moves away, breaks up with her. She is sad FOR LITERALLY A DAY. He calls her later that day or the next to check on her as a ‘friend’, really it doesn’t matter because the time is so short, she tells him she doesn’t deserve the treatment and she is done,. Turns off her phone, WASHES HER FACE, and goes to bed “dry eyed”. After ONE YEAR of this treatment and a day or so of being sad about the breakup she suddenly figures it all out, stands her ground, tells him her feelings and goes to bed “dry eyed”!? I’ve cried DAYS, hell weeks over IDIOTS who move right along to the next.  The icing on top, HE comes crawling back, realizing she is the one and he was wrong. They are back together and eventually marry. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! This is the one chapter I was so let down by. Not because I was upset that her story had a happy ending, that’s great, but there are so many women who are hurt once, twice, always. So many women never get their happily ever after, so many women never stand their ground and never figure out that they deserve more and for her to realize this in like a day after her FIRST relationship? I just can’t relate to this at all and I feel like she should have left this one out. She did warn readers that it’s not like this for everyone, and she understands that. She reminds us to not allow this treatment and hold on to it expecting this change. But for me, as a person who has been hurt by MANY past relationships gone bad and the fact that I was well into my thirties before I knew what  I deserved and was strong enough to say it……. Her story makes me want to scream: BULLSHIT. One YEAR of being a booty call at the age of 19, a quick break-up, and a guy that comes crawling back and then BAM happily ever after?! I just can’t. I’m incredibly happy that she is one of the few who hasn’t had to go through, what felt like, an endless cycle of bad relationships, but I can not relate to this story AT ALL. Nope not that one.

There were a few messages that were very expected, because we hear them all the time on repeat. That’s not exactly a bad thing, but I was waiting for this big event, this big “ah-ha” moment in a few chapters, and it never really came. That doesn’t mean I didn’t get something positive out of those chapters. Many times her lesson or message was great, the story that went along with it was good, but didn’t come full circle. It really goes to show how each of us has such a different life and a different outlook on our life. Things that were her “ah-ha” moment would not be mine. I think overall this book is great. It will be very relatable for many women and has some fantastic messages, but a few misses. The author wants us to feel like she has been there, she’s been in the trenches, she’s felt the pain, but in reality she’s had a pretty great life. She has had some bumps, some trauma, and some pain, but it sounds like she’s had some pretty great support along the way. Many women don’t have that support.  Her childhood may not have been sunshine and rainbows but she had two parents in the picture who loved her even in their imperfections. That’s just one example and there is zero judgement when I say any of that. Her story feels innocent and a bit naive, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s refreshing to hear that there are women like her in the world. Women who worked hard, set goals, and achieve them.

Her chapters on motherhood, spot on, very relatable especially the ones about self-care and first time mothers. Her chapter on being a writer, very real, keeping your opinion of yourself first is perfection. The chapter about weight loss versus health is something many need to hear . Your health is everything. The chapter about her brother was the point where she seems most real and raw. And finally the chapter about adoption and fostering, the best part for me. The one chapter I was needing to hear most. I think I connected most to this chapter and her drive to protect the vulnerable.

Her story is just that, her story, I applaud her advice, and achievements, but I found a few topics hard to connect to. A few chapters I was left wondering how the chapter title even related to the story that was told. I was still able to relate to most of the ‘lies’ and apply them to my life and I think that was really her goal. She doesn’t sound like a know-it-all, buy my book, influencer. She sounds like an intelligent, genuine, loving person. The chapters get better as they progress thankfully.

Over-all this book gave me a boost of inspiration, a refreshed mindset about my goals, and a few laughs. There were many great examples of how we are all imperfect, we all fall short, but that’s not what matters. As long as we are trying and working toward who we are meant to be rather than believing the self doubt, that’s what matters. Being real with yourself, loving yourself, and valuing yourself.  I can look past that one chapter and her “epic” heart break (for a DAY!). For the chapters that fell a little short, there was still a valuable lesson, as long as you don’t focus on her story and instead apply it to your life.

I think if you can take away even one positive from a book, it’s worth the read. This book is worth the read. Even if her life is a little ‘sunnier’ than yours, she still offers some great advice and has a fun, light, genuine personality.

I plan to read ‘Girl, Stop Apologizing’ next. After reading a few reviews, I think it’s more of what I need to hear right now.

-Lindsay

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