Girl Stop, Apologizing by Rachel Hollis | Harper Collins Leadership | Book Review

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Girl, Stop Apologizing Book Summary:

“Rachel Hollis has seen it too often: women not living into their full potential. They feel a tugging on their hearts for something more, but they’re afraid of embarrassment, of falling short of perfection, of not being enough.

In Girl, Stop Apologizing, #1 New York Times bestselling author and founder of a multimillion-dollar media company, Rachel Hollis sounds a wake-up call. She knows that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people—whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee—instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself.”

My history with Rachel Hollis & Girl Wash Your Face:

I’ll admit it, I fell down the Rachel Hollis rabbit hole last winter. I read Girl, Wash Your Face in February 2018 and found many parts of it inspiring. As with most self-help or personal growth books, I did not connect with every section but did find some of it to be relatable and helpful and there was a quirky and funny side of Rachel that made her writing feel approachable.

At the time, I found some of it to be very relatable and I still think about the chapter about not breaking a promise to yourself when it comes to goals and things that are important to you. I had no idea who Rachel Hollis was at the time but I happily followed along on her social media accounts, listened to her podcasts and even went to the Made For More screening at the movie theater this summer which now makes me cringe a little.

My experience with her content over the last year:

Slowly, something started changing. I get that it must be a total mind twister to have your social media following grow so exponentially like it did during this past year, but any humility or relatability has gone right out the window. I think if I read Girl, Wash Your Face again now, I would struggle like I did reading this one. At the time the cutesy phrases seemed like a way to connect with other women who are just trying to reach her goals while also balancing the everyday juggling of having a young family, And I feel naive saying that.

I think much of that was a marketing tactic to connect because all of that is gone and Girl, Stop Apologizing is one big humblebrag that lacks so much self-awareness and empathy for other’s situations it is astonishing.

My thoughts on Girl, Stop Apologizing:

I tried going into her new release with an open mind but I most certainly had a different take on it from the experiences and things I have seen over the last year. I talked more about that HERE if you are interested…

Her section about the darkest time of her childhood being when her mom left an unhealthy marriage and she was “forced” to live in a “crappy” apartment left my mouth hanging open. Saying her mom shouldn’t have left an unhealthy marriage if she didn’t have the financial resources to do so was the nail in the coffin for me. As a woman who supposedly wants to “support other women,” this is frightening information to be passing along to someone who might be in the same situation. There is little to no perspective in her storytelling and some of it is downright harmful.

I don’t even want to get started on her chapters about her previously (also postpartum) being “overweight” at a size 12-14…or her E for elephant-sized breastfeeding breasts because it was so insulting and out of touch. The average American woman is a size 16-18 and talking about how terrible she looked at the size of 12 is wrong on so many levels.

Her chapter about volunteering at her children’s school became a “do you know how many requests I get as a social media empire, do you think I want to use my time doing a mind-numbing task such as stuffing 1st-grade classroom envelopes?”

Listen, if she doesn’t want to volunteer all the time, I don’t think there is any shame in that but talking about it like this is flat out disrespectful. Let’s be real, I don’t think the teachers or other volunteers enjoy it every second either and it still needs to get done and maybe let’s just appreciate that without talking about the millions of other things you would rather be doing instead?

There is an undercurrent during this book that feels like Hollis is talking down to you as the reader, and we can’t even imagine how busy and demanding her life is. I would imagine a vast majority of people reading this book are juggling many balls too…

She then went on and on about how much shame other moms gave her if she didn’t volunteer. I don’t live where she lives, but for someone who talks about not caring what other people think, this entire book was filled with all the things people gave her grief about but she was so BRAVE not to do them, such as volunteering at school, or gasp, NOT staying home with her kids.

Maybe she is trying to speak to a different audience but never in my life has someone made me feel badly about working or not doing “all the things” at our children’s school. We live in a liberal state (and one that for many families needs two working parents because of the cost of living)and I have never felt the idea that women needed to stay home with their kids and were shamed if they didn’t…or vice versa!

Everyone is allowed to make their own choices, and maybe Hollis should follow her own advice and surround herself with people that support her dreams because she sure does a lot of contradicting herself in this book. 

I am not saying you have to do it all, and I certainly think it is okay to ask for help, but many of the messages I received from this book were alarming. There are many parts of being an adult, parenting, and working that you might not enjoy every second of the time. The idea that if you don’t LOVE something, don’t do it, just put such a bad taste in my mouth. 

In summary why I WOULD NOT recommend this book:

All in all, this book, was not for me. I don’t think I have ever struggled so much with writing a book review as I have with Girl, Stop Apologizing. There were some messages about goal setting and following your own path that I do think could be helpful but they were so far overshadowed by the other content in this book. I never want to put someone else down, but as a woman, this book has so many dark and unhealthy messages, not just for women but for our society as a whole. I thought it was important to share this review as I have recommended her content in the past and will no longer do so.


If you have read her books I would love to know your reaction in the comments below! And thank you for taking the time to read this (longer) review. <3

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