Girl Wash Your Face
Rachel Hollis

by

Nina Calhoun

Context

Historical Context

The book, Girl wash your face: Stop believing the lies about who you are so you can become who you were meant to be, was authored by a Rachel Hollis. It is based on the life of Hollis, especially her struggle with life, and how she recovered from that struggle. For instance, Hollis’s struggle with bad beliefs about herself, and her workaholic habit, and how she dealt with this is narrated to provide advice to women in the contemporary society on how they can overcome bad feelings they have about themselves (Nelson, 2018). When she was young she felt good when, for example, she received applause from an audience after succeeding but immediately the applause ended she felt less motivated as she was before the applause, insinuating that in her mind she felt the external pressures to produce something so as to receive acceptance in return (Hollis, 2018).

Historically, therefore, she grew with a mindset that she is less valid, and unacceptable, and that she must always do something so that the society may validate her, and this forms the foundation of this book, which she later wrote after she grew up. Historically Hollis always felt the urge to make things happen even under the conditions of impossibility (Nelson, 2018). It is these external pressures that also made her grow into a workaholic that she later elucidates in her book to advice young women.

In this book, Hollis tries to empower women to take control of their lives by understanding that what becomes of their lives is ultimately upon them. This is to mean that they have the power to dictate some of the outcomes of their lives. As such, she chooses to teach women how to overcome this false information by sharing some of her personal experiences. Thus, each chapter in this book begins with her narrating an experience she once had, and how she improved herself from the experience. In the end, she provides a couple of tips on how she was able to overcome these lies.

Hollis received her undergraduate degree from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts-Los Angeles. She went ahead to form her event planning company called the Chick Event in 2004, and later founded the Chic Media Company.  In 2009, Inc Magazine named her as “Top 20 Entrepreneurs under 30” (Hollis, 2018). Her desire to help women get over some of the situations they are in led her to write Girl, Wash Your Face. She has also been seen on several platforms as a motivation speaker with her talks targeting women, and young girls. Currently, Hollis is one of the best New York Times bestselling authors. In addition to this book, she has also written other books such as Party Girls, Sweet Girl, Smart Girl, and Upscale Downhome (The Chic Site, 2108).

Current Context

The book is divided into 20 chapters, and begins with an orientation of the readers on the life of the author, and what is to be expected from the chapters of the book. The book is based on one truth that ‘people have control over who they become’, and 20 lies, and misconceptions about one’s life. Every chapter, therefore, begins with one lie that the author once believed about her life (such as ‘I am not good enough’), which she confronted with the truth, and how she reformed from the bad feeling she had through believing the lie (Abounding Grace, 2018). In the current context, therefore, the book addresses an audience of people who might not necessarily have gone through the same life as Hollis but who are struggling with beliefs about themselves, that hold them back from living a successful, fulfilling, and productive life. For example, a woman who feels she is not a good mother today is encouraged to believe the truth that it is up to her to become the good mother she would want to be by taking steps such as joining groups where she can learn best practices from. Hollis (2018) categorically says that it is not necessary for a mother to buy children’s love with food, and gifts simply because it is easier than parenting. 

Inspiration

The book is inspired by Hollis’s past experience as she grew up, struggling with lies, and misconceptions about herself. Based on her real-life experience of how she confronted these misconceptions, Hollis authored the book to motivate women of today to discover these lies, and better their lives. Recognition of these lies perpetuated by the society is the key to becoming a better version of ourselves (Hollis, 2018), and this is the message that the book passes across to the readers. It seeks to help young women develop, and realize their potential by informing them not to bow to the external pressures (Hollis, 2018) but to reflect upon their lives, and take conscious steps to realize a better version of themselves. The book encourages women not to feel defeated, ashamed nor give up (Hollis, 2018), but to put effort, and patience as ingredients for becoming better upon recognizing the misconceptions, and realizing the truth.

Hollis (2018) argues that one’s life does not have to look like someone else’s’ but should be her own creation. This is an encouragement for those women who may consider themselves failures on the basis that their lives are not as good as those of other women in the society. The women readers are challenged to evaluate their own lives based on their visions, and goals. Taking control of one’s life is not easy, and one cannot think of their life as being a predetermined plan that they have no control over (Hollis, 2018). In this way, while the author recognizes the spiritual importance of the development of people, she warns them that becoming better requires their effort, and it is in their control, thus fate, or a spiritual being is not entirely to blame for who one becomes (Abounding Grace, 2018).

Information on The Author

The Author’s life, and career are comprised of success laced with struggles. Hollis is a bestselling author, who has written many materials of different kinds including fiction books (for example ‘the girl’), and nonfiction (Hollis, 2018). She also works with Chic media, and is a motivational speaker. Due to her popularity in the media, and among the people she offers motivational talks to, Hollis has an internet following of people who email her with different questions (Abounding Grace, 2018). Hollis then offers advice to these online women, especially on how to achieve better living. She is known for quality work, especially when she founded Chic media, and produced a women’s blog that won Chic media’s award (Hollis 2018). Despite her abilities, and success, she has struggled with the workaholic habit which she has recovered from, and learned her lessons which she shares with women around the world.

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