Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
I have been hearing rave reviews on Girl, Wash Your Face for the past few months. I was hesitant to read it because Audrey and I read a short 5-day devotional series based on the book and didn’t love it. However, I listened to a couple of chapters of it on her Rise podcast and changed my mind.
I’m glad I did. I gave the book 4 stars out of 5. It was really motivational to me as I am working toward some goals I have set for myself and my Willing Beauty business. I’ll get to that later!
The premise of the book is that we believe lots of lies that society has passed on to us. We believe that something else will make us happy. We believe we aren’t good enough. We believe that we aren’t worth keeping our own promises to ourselves (this was my favorite takeaway). Rachel breaks down why she has believed these lies and how she overcame them.
Most of the book was very relatable. However, I really struggled with her perceptions on a couple of topics. One: My life is up to me. I get that to an extent- I make my choices and I have to live with the outcome. If I want better, I have to do better. My gripe with the “it’s up to me” philosophy is that I just don’t believe that I can do it all IN MY OWN STRENGTH. It is essential that I must rely on the Holy Spirit to change me. I can not do anything on my own. Maybe I am interpreting her self-reliance incorrectly, because Rachel is a believer. However, I just can’t completely take my life and my future and my plans into my own hands like she suggests. I have to lean on God and His plans for me.
The other thing that really really bugged me about the book is her relentless body image issues. I get that she thinks that God made us all to be thin and fit. Specifically, she says, “I also believe that humans were not made to be out of shape and severely overweight.” She goes on to say that we are to love and care for our bodies. Okay. I get that. I agree. Where she loses me is when she begins talking about her own obsession with body image. There is a difference in caring for and nourishing your body and being obsessed with fitness and being, in her words from a Rise podcast episode, “in sick [extremely muscular] physical condition.” She has battled emotional eating and what I would term disordered eating. She overcame them, like she does with everything, through therapy and willpower. I’m pretty sure, based on the things she writes and says, she judges every chubby woman as someone who just makes excuses and doesn’t really try. Maybe that is true for some. Or, maybe for others, being “in sick physical condition” isn’t a priority. AND THAT’S OKAY. Her best self is not my best self.
But, Elly, you gave this book 4 stars! Your review sounds like you hated this book!
Not true at all! I just needed to disagree with her on those key points. Otherwise, the book has had a massive impact on my life and my thinking. Rachel’s advice has motivated me to keep my promises to myself. For example, I have been working with Willing Beauty as a Beauty Advisor since August. August was an amazing month for my business! September WAS NOT. The goals I had set for myself were not happening. I felt like giving up. Fortunately, this was when I was reading Girl, Wash Your Face. It encouraged me to be persistent in my business if this was what I really wanted. Well, it was, so I knew what I needed to do. Stop being so quick to give up just because a thing was hard. Stop breaking promises I made to myself. That is a mantra I have adopted and put forth in all areas of my life. If I tell myself I’m going to do it, I HAVE to do it. What a change I’ve seen as a result of that thinking!