On My Shelf: Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis


If When God Doesn’t Fix It started me on a journey of discovering lies, Girl, Wash Your Face met me right in the middle of that journey. As I read this book, I found myself laughing and fighting back tears in the same chapter, each one  Rachel Hollis connects with her audience in a way that’s transparent and relatable. She lets you know it’s okay if you have toe hair. It’s normal!

Each chapter of Girl, Wash Your Face is dedicated to exposing a common lie that women believe. As Hollis writes, her personality shines through each chapter. She is unapolagetically herself and encourages her readers to embrace the same lifestyle.

While reading this one, I took notes on my phone. Since then, my phone crashed (Thanks, Apple) and my notes hadn’t been backed up. That being said, I’ll do my best to highlight my favorite parts of this book as well as an area of concern.

My Favorite Chapter – The Lie: Loving Him Is Enough for Me

As women, we hear time and again that we don’t need men (or anyone, for that matter) to give us value. Most of us know this to be true. Sometimes we believe it more than others. Hollis highlights the importance of knowing what you deserve in a relationship and not settling for mediocre just because you love a person.

What I loved most about this chapter (and the whole book, actually!) is that it made me think about my own choices. It made me realize that so much of my own happiness is my responsibility. This includes my happiness in romantic and platonic relationships. I need to be aware of the respect that I deserve, but I also need to be aware of my responsibility to respect those around me.

Vulnerability Moment: I’m a people pleaser. I think Rachel Hollis is (or was) too. In reading Girl, Wash Your Face I realized. that my people pleasing tendencies don’t just hurt me. They hurt my friends and family too.

As a people pleaser, I hesitate to voice my opinions and preferences so as not to step on toes. Flexibility and understanding are great traits to have in moderation. But I complicate things unnecessarily in personal relationships if I don’t voice my expectations. I’ve come to realize that my expectations still exist even when I don’t voice them. When these unvoiced expectations go unmet, I can start to harbor bitterness toward those who don’t fulfill the roles they don’t even realize I’ve created for them. In doing this, I virtually set them up for failure. This starts a vicious cycle of hiding expectations and the disappointment that follows.

Girl, Wash Your Face and this chapter in particular opened my eyes to my own responsibility and potential. So often we just need to get out of our own way.

One Concern – Self-Sufficiency

Although Rachel Hollis is a Christian, her target audience extends past the Christian sphere. Her media company The Chic Site is for all women. And I love that. I appreciate that she makes her religious views known while maintaining an attitude of acceptance.

My only concern was that in an attempt to inspire a secular audience, she seems to glorify herself and her own work. Occasionally and especially near the end of the book, she mentions that the glory goes to God and she would be nowhere without Him. I just wish she had done this earlier or allowed it to become a more constant theme to work in tandem with the theme of pride in one’s own work.

That being said, I totally understand her desire to reach a broader audience and focus on personal responsibility. And honestly, I don’t think God wants us to just sit around and wait for things to happen to us. He wants us to use the gifts He gives us to their full potential and to glorify Him.

Rachel Hollis,

Thank you for opening my eyes to the lies that hold me back. Thank you for reminding me that people can only make me feel small if I allow them to do so. Thank you for using your gifts to touch the lives of so many women of so many different backgrounds, creating a ‘tribe’ that uplifts and encourages and absolutely kills it.

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