A wonderful friend shared this YouTube video earlier this week on her Facebook page: Everything Wrong with Rachel Hollis (Deep-Dive)
I’ll admit, I was originally intrigued by Rachel Hollis. See the bikini photo above. Several authors I follow on social media, and a few bloggers, have lauded her personality and her business, among other things. One author in particular has mentioned Hollis and her self-help books – Girl, Wash Your Face, and Girl, Stop Apologizing – on her podcast multiple times.
I almost bought both books.
But, I’m so glad I didn’t.
Granted, this is only one video that’s an hour and 33 minutes long. However, within minutes of the opening commentary, I felt so relieved that I haven’t bought into Hollis, her books, or her influence.
Even putting the words “everything wrong with rachel hollis” into Google brings up a slew of articles and videos about how harmful Rachel Hollis’s message is!
- From Indie Books to MLMs & Cults: Rachel Hollis | AntiMLM Video Essay (April 2020)
- Girl, Get Some Footnotes: Rachel Hollis, Hustle, and Plagiarism Problems | Christianity Today (2019)
- Self-help author guru Rachel Hollis is accidentally exposing the limits of introspection | Quartz (February 2019)
- Girl, Take a Seat: How Rachel Hollis is Spreading a Harmful Message to Women | Jacksonville Mom (December 2018)
- “Girl, Wash Your Face” Is A Massive Best-Seller With A Dark Message | BuzzFeed News (November 2018)
I almost feel bad for Rachel. The daughter of a Pentecostal preacher, she has said in multiple interviews and videos to her fans about how awful her family life was and how her childhood was so terrible.
She moved to Los Angeles at age 17. She worked as a production assistant at Miramax for a while, and then she started her own party-planning business. When she was 19, she met Dave Hollis, who was a Disney executive. He was eight years older – 27.
The age difference doesn’t matter, but the way they have treated each other does. Listening to the excerpts of videos during this hour and 33 minutes made me cringe. First of all, Dave looks like and sounds like a creep and an asshole. I feel terrible for their four children. I stopped the video multiple times, and reflected on how much of their relationship sounded like the abusive relationship I was in from 2006-2010.
Aside from all the narcissism and veiled abuse, Rachel’s messages to her fans are full of, absolutely dripping, food issues, hypocrisy, and toxic positivity.
To add to it all, Rachel has been a guest speaker at multiple conferences and retreats for multi-level marketing (MLM) companies! There’s excerpts of her speeches at events for LuLaRoe (LLR), BeachBody, Arbonne, and doTERRA. These companies have already ensnared vulnerable women, and Rachel appears to be a role model! She’s a woman, a wife, a mother, a Christian. All valuable, desired, normal things.
So much of her message is hypocrisy and surface-level bullshit. She gives the barest bones of “advice,” but a lot of it is toxic.
The RISE conferences that she and Dave have hosted cost up to $1,795! And that doesn’t include airfare, hotel, and other things.
In addition, she doesn’t realize when she’s causing harm. Actually, she likely doesn’t care when she’s doing it. And that’s the worst thing.
After getting just one negative / critical book review on one of her fiction books, she hasn’t read or looked at any other reviews of her books. Not one.
And, get this, her fiction books – Party Girl (2014), Sweet Girl (2015), and Smart Girl (2016) – have been lauded and praised. They’re much better than the self-help ones, from what I’ve heard.
She immediately blocks people who even breathe a word or shadow of negativity or criticism. She ignores it all. And that’s so sad.
I immediately picked up on the passive-aggressive stance. It has to be exhausting to be that way ALL THE FUCKING TIME.
So, I wasn’t surprised when I saw the news yesterday that she and Dave are headed toward divorce. I should be thrilled for her. But, all I could think about was her having to deal with such a toxic relationship for the last 18+ years. I was relieved for their kids, but only briefly. I think all four will need major therapy.
I feel sorry for Rachel Hollis. But, at the same time. I’m really glad I didn’t buy into her influence. I’m just sad for the countless wives, moms, military spouses, and those who have joined MLMs who have been swept up under her spell.
I hope, for her sake, that Rachel Hollis will be able to raise her children to be better than her and her soon-to-be ex-husband.
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂
I don’t know much about Rachel Hollis, but considering that most people I know who are into her are the kind of Christian women who care more about being trendy than they should, none of this really surprises me. It’s sad, though.
And there was also this “article” from the Babylon Bee a while back:
(The point of the joke is that Rachel Hollis books are billed as Christian books but they are more like self-help books in that they apparently are not based on the message of the Gospel about us all being sinners in need of a savior. It’s pretty much the same thing the Babylon Bee writers say about Joel Osteen. I can’t say whether or not that’s an accurate assessment of either of them, though.)
You’re correct. I’ve read several books by Joel Osteen. That was years ago, when I was entrenched in my abusive relationship and seeking guidance. I’ve gotten the same impression from Hollis, although I haven’t read her books.
Thank you! I enjoy the Babylon Bee.
Okay… I read a few of the articles you linked to… Rachel Hollis seriously needs help. Girl, go see a therapist.
And a real pastor.
I spent much of my 20s following the world of Christian music and Christian pop culture, and I have a lot of friends who are still today much more into all that stuff than I am (to clarify, I still identify as a Christian and I still go to church, but I don’t listen to Christian pop and rock music nearly as much as I used to). I don’t like those labels in the first place. I’ve known a few “secular” musicians perform songs with a very Christian message (“Everything” by Lifehouse, or “I’ve Got Friends That Do” by Tim McGraw, for example), and I’ve seen “Christian” musicians perform music that isn’t much different from stuff that would be on pop stations (like when a Christian singer does a love song written to his wife, for example). But that said, I’ve also seen over the years a lot of “Christian” celebrities come out and say that they don’t believe in God or don’t call themselves Christians anymore. I think the major takeaway from all that isn’t so much that these people were lying, or manipulating Christians to get famous, but more so that Christians should be looking to Jesus Christ and the Bible for inspiration, not fads and trends and celebrities. There is nothing wrong with Christian music and books inherently, but they shouldn’t be elevated to the level of Scripture.
That’s so fascinating. Thanks for sharing! I recently read an article about the lead singer of Hawk Nelson and how he considers himself to be an atheist now. Like you, I still identify as a Christian, go to church, and am involved with a handful of church teams and programs. But I don’t listen to a lot of the music, aside from the songs I hear in the services. I used to be a huge fan of Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, Jeremy Camp, Hillsong, Relient K, and Hawk Nelson.
Hawk Nelson… that’s who it was… as I was writing that, I was thinking I saw just recently someone from a Christian band who had publicly left the faith, but I was drawing a blank who it was. I remember the existence of Hawk Nelson, but I was never really into them. Joshua Harris last year was the one I noticed the most… let’s just say I was never a fan of Josh, and this will come up a lot in DLTDGB eventually. The Babylon Bee had a good article about that too. I totally feel this: https://babylonbee.com/news/christians-demand-reparations-from-joshua-harris-for-all-the-hot-dates-they-missed-out-on
Interesting! Thanks for the link!
Yes, exactly. She needs therapy. So do all of her kids.