Girl, I Use a Clarisonic Nightly

A few people recently have mentioned they thought I'd like Rachel Hollis' self-help book Girl, Wash Your Face, their thinking being that Hollis and I both share the Can'tSitDownAndDoNothingForLongPeriodsOfTime-Itis with an occasional bout of INeedToDoItAllRightNowOrElseIAmAnEpicFailure Syndrome (these are legit diseases, I swear). I was sort of hesitant, though, since I know Hollis is pretty vocally religious and I am... not. At all. I'm also pretty picky about what sort of self-help books I'll spend time with, since a lot of them are crap (but not all). I was curious, though, especially after a few other people I knew read and loved it. I checked in with them and asked about the God thing, and based on their answers, decided to give it a listen. Here's what I liked and did not:

The Good:
- I listened to this during the past week and it was perfect timing, as I'm headed back to work and know I will be half-assing pretty much all areas of my life until next June. Hollis' words gave me permission to feel a little better about myself and to ease up a bit. 
- She has stories and advice focused on so many areas of life, including work, kids, marriage, sex, personal growth, the past, goal setting, weight, etc... that I think most women will be able to identify in at least some areas. I have to admit to nodding vigorously and even saying "yes!" out loud, in my car, several times. She said a lot of things that I needed to hear that I've been trying to tell myself for years. Will this be life-changing? Probably not in the long run, but I can say that after listening to a chapter I completely changed how I handled something at home and the results were so much better than normal. 
- Her stories are interesting and she really seems like she's being honest, as often she portrays herself in a less-than-flattering light.
- I went into this thinking I'd hate her at least a little bit, but I really could probably be friends with the lady (as long as she promised to not judge my for my Diet Coke habit and maybe left the scriptures in the car). She's pretty endearing.
- She's right. So much of she says is the advice we'd give our friends, sisters, or even daughters, but she's giving it straight to us. And by listening it felt even more personal. 
- I really, really appreciated her stories about foster parenting, adoption, and her struggle with her brother who killed himself. Coincidentally, she grew up in the Central Valley a few hours away from where I did, and my dad took his own life as well, so I felt a little connection there (this may also be why people have recommended it to me, they just didn't want to actually say this to me...?). 

The Less-Than-Good
- While the religious factors weren't enough to make me quit listening or even dislike it, I could have done without the references. I think she does it well, though, and I didn't feel like she was trying convert me or shove the Bible down my throat. She offered multiple perspectives on issues, and her faith just happened to be one, and that's okay. I can respect her ability to acknowledge different ways of doing things! I have a complicated relationship with faith and I just don't want to listen or read about it at this stage of my life.
- I didn't love the multiple "girl," "sister," or "dear friend" addresses that ran rampant throughout. I've never been a "you go, girl!" kind of person, though, so that's just my cynical side coming out.
- She is a little bit repetitive at times; she shares similar versions of a few stories that made it apparent she wrote the chapters out of order and her editor didn't clean things up enough before publishing.
- I LOATHE the title and I HATE the cover. This is me being nit-picky, but it's true. 
- I felt that the part about embracing diversity at the end, when she mentions her African American best friend who is also gay, and searching for a less-white church was maybe just a last-minute appeal to those who were going to start finding ways to bring up her privilege. This of course could be the result of bad editing, like I mentioned before, but it was definitely a thought that entered my mind. 

So, really, I think if you're a woman between the ages of twenty-five and fifty-five (or whatever), I think there's something in here for you. It's not perfect, but I still respect her approach, willingness to share, and her positivity. 

1 comment:

  1. Ooof. I had quite liked the idea of this book, but I don't think I could deal with being addressed as 'girl,' or 'dear friend.' *shudders*

    I agree with your dislike of the cover, but I DO like the title. It reminds me of my Mum telling me to (gently) go get a grip after I'd being crying dramatically over something silly.

    She never called me 'girl,' though, I hasten to add...