It’s been awhile since I’ve written a Title Talk book review post. Going to give it a try today with a review of 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. And I thought my titles were long. What does the SEO look like on that bad boy?
About 6 months ago, I began reading reviews and comments about this book on many of the blogs I follow. Decided to buy myself a copy to read on my Nook via my Kindle reader app. Mentioned the book to our virtual book club and several of the members were interested in reading it, too. We dived in. Or they dived and I waded. And finally 2 months and one dead Nook later, I am writing my thoughts on the book to share with you.
One of my blogger pals, Donna at Retirement_Reflections, joined me in reading Girl, Wash Your Face. We shared our thoughts through an email discussion of the book. Donna expressed her thoughts in concise, well-written points. It took me a month of Sundays to get the book read (Donna was beyond patient with me), and my comments were kind of all over the place. Like a big spaghetti. Hope you will join me in reading Donna’s review, here.
Girl, Wash Your Face
First off, let me say that I am pretty sure this book was written for women younger, wealthier or more self-absorbed than I. Based this opinion on:
- Hollis’s writing style. Her use of hip-hop urban slang.
- The titles of some of the chapters in the book. “The Lie: I’m Not a Good Mom.” “The Lie: Other People’s Kids Are So Much Cleaner/Better Organized/More Polite.” And one about marrying Matt Damon.
- Hollis’s slight air of superiority or at the very least, boastfulness.
- How, in one chapter, Hollis suggests we all adopt a willingness to offend (uhh, rude).
- Her suggestion we all afford ourselves an encounter with a guru (uhh, out of touch with the disposable income of most young women and old ones, too).
That being said, Hollis did make points that resonated with me.
So many of Hollis’s nuggets of ‘wisdom’ were so simple.
- I figured out what makes me happy and I do those things. (p. 8) Going to the beach makes me happy. But I can’t afford to go to the beach. Seeing my granddaughters and daughters makes me happy…but guess what? Yup. So, figuring out what makes me happy is easy…making it happen, not always so much.
- Starting with one small goal. (p. 18) I like. Baby steps. Accomplishing one goal clears the way for tackling a second one, and doing so with more confidence.
- Women actually putting themselves on their own priority list. (p. 31) A lot of mommies struggle with this. I sure did. But it is important to take care of yourself for YOU, and then for everyone else in your life. And a gentle voice reminded me, Rachel, you don’t know their story. (p. 36) Indeed. With all our talk about finding our tribe; fierce revolution; me, too; supporting one another…women can be just plain mean and hurtful to one another.
- Friends, it’s not about the goal or the dream you have. It’s about who you become on your way to that goal. (p. 69) Often times, PC asks me if I would like to go back to being 25 again. My answer is always no. Not just no, but NO! I wouldn’t live through all that junk again for all the tea in Boston. This is kind of like saying it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. Amen! I like where I am now much better than where I was at 25. I like who I’ve become.
- Getting out of the house. (p. 88) Yes. My dad used to suggest I go for a walk when I was at my wit’s end. A change of scenery, a breath of fresh air, some exercise can make a huge difference on your outlook.
- Making a list. Seriously. And setting goals, not time limits. (p. 110) This has taken me a long time to learn. I have always loved a good list but these days I am making them and remembering to consult them! Bonus. We need to allow ourselves some grace in realizing our goals. It’s about forward progress.
- You need to be healthy. You don’t need to be thin. You don’t need to be a certain size or shape or look good in a bikini. You need to be able to run without feeling like you’re going to puke. You need to be able to walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded. You need to drink half your body weight in ounces of water every single day. You need to stretch and get good sleep and stop medicating every ache and pain. You need to stop filling your body with garbage like Diet Coke and fast food and lattes that are a million and a half calories. You need to take in fuel for your body that hasn’t been processed and fuel for your mind that is positive and encouraging. You need to get up off the sofa or out of the bed and move around. Get out of the fog that you have been living in and see your life for what it is. Does your Creator love you as you are? Yes! But he gave you a body with all of its strength, and even its weaknesses, as a gift. It is an offense to your soul to continue to treat yourself so badly. (p. 183) Yes! Good stuff with the exception of the word ‘puke’. I have never said that word.
Toward the middle of the book, it began reading like a broken record…set goals, be good to yourself and others, make a list, talk to someone, set goals.
Some of Hollis’s advice seemed idealistic and over-simplified.
- A new mother’s daily list of goals should boil down to 1. Take care of the baby. 2. Take care of yourself. (p. 86) Yeah, right. Not in my world. Who was going to take care of Brennyn when I had Lauren? Oh, and the laundry, who was going to wash that? The dishes didn’t wash themselves. And we couldn’t just not eat for the first six weeks that new baby Buffy was home. Unrealistic. Idealistic. Might work for the rich and famous.
- Staying away from Pinterest. (p. 88) I had my daughters long before Pinterest but because I am some what of a perfectionist raised by two perfectionists, I had a pre-conceived idea of what the perfect mom should look like. Not that my mom was necessarily perfect but she knew perfect and expected close to that from herself and her oldest daughter…at least from my perception. Even in the 1960s, not long after I was born, there were the Leave-to-Beaver June Cleavers in dresses and pearls, aprons about their waists, preparing a from-scratch home cooked meal in heels. There was already or has always been this expectation, these rules for women. Look at Barbie! She was ‘conceived’ a year after I was born. Good grief, we are the same age! Look at that waist of hers. Those feet. I knew my parents should have bound my feet.
- I get to decide who I am. (p. 133) Kinda. But I also have a dozen other folks chiming in on who I should be. My PC likes my hair long and doesn’t like red nail polish. My daughters, too, like my hair longer. And yet, whose hair is it? Nobody liked that I was working my little job. But whose job was it. I get to decide who I am but it seems everyone has an opinion about who that is. And wants a vote.
Rachel Hollis has been identified as an Influencer. But who gets to decide that about her? Is there a panel of people sitting about a round table who knight certain others as Influencers? Who are they influencing and about what do they influence? What makes Hollis, in her mid-30s, the ages of my daughters, an authority on anything? She is an ultra-competitive, self-proclaimed work-aholic who comes off more than a little self-absorbed and conceited, IMO.
But maybe I am just jealous because she’s made a fortune telling women to find their tribe, to talk to someone when life gets crazy, to set goals and write lists. And now she can afford to do what makes her happy. While I dream of the beach. I need to write my book.
Have you read Girl, Wash Your Face? If so, I would enjoy reading what you thought about it. Won’t you share your mini-review in a comment below? If you haven’t read Girl and would like to, there is a free online version available at parable.com.
The book concludes with this thought.
Girl, get ahold of your life. Stop medicating, stop hiding out, stop being afraid, stop giving away pieces of yourself, stop saying you can’t do it. Stop the negative self-talk, stop abusing your body, stop putting it off for tomorrow or Monday or next year. Stop crying about what happened and take control of what happens next. Get up, right now. Rise up from where you’ve been, scrub away the tears and the pain of yesterday, and start again . . . Girl, wash your face! (p. 213)
Going to go wash my face. Brush my teeth. And get ready for bed.
Thank you for visiting today. It’s already mid-week! My PC will be home on Friday, Hurray!
Hugs and kisses,