Girl, Take A Seat: How Rachel Hollis is Spreading a Harmful Message to Women

Trigger Warning: We know some of you like this book, and that's okay. This is just one mom's opinion.

Girl, Wash Your Face is the bestselling book by blogger Rachel Hollis and, to put it plainly, it has taken the world by storm. Hollis is a self-professed Christian, and her book is considered to be a “Christian” self-help book, published by Thomas Nelson, a Christian publisher. Her message, on the surface, is one that many women, and moms especially, need to hear: Love yourself. Put yourself first. Make yourself a priority. It’s become massively successful, spending 33 weeks on Amazon’s non-fiction most-read list.

It must be said that Hollis is a fantastic writer; she writes in a conversational style that makes you feel like she’s your best friend. In many ways, she tackles issues that people might be too afraid to discuss: weight, sex, relationships. But is it really a positive message for women? Or is it just more damaging rhetoric wrapped in a pretty package?

Just be happy, mama!

Hollis repeatedly writes about how women need to understand that they are responsible for their own happiness, and that true happiness can only come about when you let go of the lies that society tells you. On its face, this may not seem bad. Her whole argument is that we’re all strong enough to overcome any obstacle, and if you can’t be happy, then just try, try again, and try harder until you are. That can certainly seem motivating — until you stop and take a second to think about it.

It’s easy for someone like Hollis (more on that later) to preach this kind of message, but for most people, it’s not as simple as pushing yourself to be happy. Not everyone led the kind of overly privileged life Hollis had. Here in the real world, where we aren’t all wealthy and entitled, we get stressed over bills. We worry about feeding our kids. We get frustrated because we can’t afford nannies to step in when we’re in over our heads or babysitters to give us a break, and our kids are wearing on our last nerves. We get lonely because we don’t have the time to see our friends as often as we’d like, and so our days are filled with little-to-no adult conversation. We have a hard time accepting our new post-baby bodies. We’re tired and stressed and frustrated, and so maybe we pick a fight with our spouse. And on and on it goes.

Is it possible to work past these things? Of course it is! But it’s also normal to be sad. Or angry. Or tired. Or stressed. Or frustrated. Sometimes people go through difficult times. Sometimes they have a mental health disorder, and can’t just make themselves be happy, no matter how hard they try. The point is, vapid encouragements to simply “be happy!” are shallow nonsense that ignores the realities of the world — that not everyone has the money or ability to change their job, change their spouse, go on a dream vacation, get therapy, or even afford decent health care.

Drop the fat friends?

One of the most offensive sections in her book involves weight. She slams women for being overweight, making a failure to lose weight, saying it’s not just a health issue, but also a moral failure. Consider how she describes a friend she asks the reader to imagine who loses weight, but then gains it back:

Y’all, would you respect her? Would you count on Pam or the friend who keeps blowing you off for stupid reasons? Would you trust them when they committed to something? Would you believe them when they committed to you? No.

Or how about when she calls being overweight equivalent to settling for a “half-lived life”?

Humans were not made to be out of shape and severely overweight. You can choose to continue to abuse your body because it’s all you know … You can choose to settle for a half-lived life because you don’t even know there’s another way … But please, please stop making excuses for the whys.

She glibly writes about how she “revokes permission” for women to lose track of a goal, a diet, anything, and even goes so far as to say that she doesn’t trust these people. What kind of friend is that?! Hollis conveniently ignores that, yet again, not everyone has led such a privileged life. Some women are mourning the life of a baby they lost before they even had the chance to hold them. Others had a child that got cancer and died. Still others are survivors of domestic abuse, cancer, sexual assault. And Hollis just hand-waves that away. You have no excuse for gaining weight after starting a diet, and if you do, you’re literally an untrustworthy human being who she would drop from her life.

Ignore my privilege

The worst part of Hollis’ book is how utterly and completely tone-deaf this woman is. Let’s be clear: This is someone who (as she repeatedly reminds us) was on the Forbes “40 Under 40” list. She runs a multi-million dollar company, she’s published numerous books, she sells weekend couples’ seminars which cost almost $2,000 (yes, really). She sells an image of authenticity that, in actuality, is very fake. (Those perfectly messy photos of her on Instagram in perfectly sloppy sweats with a perfectly messy bun is not real — it’s manufactured.) She talks about dreams like owning a vacation home in Hawaii and buying a $1,000 purse. She has a full-time nanny that allows her to travel and work and do what she pleases. And these are all perfectly fine things! It is not bad that she is wealthy and successful, has had to endure limited trauma in her life, and has accomplished all that she has.

But the problem is, that’s not attainable for most people. And it’s not an experience most people will ever be able to have. Her mantra that if you just work hard enough, hope enough, try enough, you can accomplish anything is straight out of prosperity gospel-doctrine, which I suppose is where the “Christian” part of her book comes in. But in real life, for people who aren’t white, thin, insanely wealthy, or able to afford nannies, you can’t necessarily just will things into being. You can’t always make yourself be happy. You can’t always make yourself be thin. You can’t always make yourself overcome infertility. You can’t always make your marriage happy. You can’t always make yourself become wealthy. It’s the fact that Hollis is utterly clueless to the reality that so many people live an existence so different from the life she leads that perhaps is so galling.

So really, if there’s anything Hollis needs to hear, it’s this: Girl, take a seat.

Cassy Fiano-Chesser
Cassy Fiano-Chesser is a Jacksonville native and mom to six kids. Her husband is a Marine Corps veteran and Purple Heart recipient. She works from home as a blogger and a freelance writer, and they currently live in the Argyle area of Jacksonville. Benjamin is their oldest, born in 2011, and he loves being a big brother. Wyatt was born in 2012, and he has Down syndrome. Ivy came next, in 2013, followed by Clara, born in 2015, who is a diva-with-a-capital-D. Rounding out the brood is Felicity, born in 2017, and Lilly, born in 2007. They love discovering things to do on the First Coast and going on family adventures, as well as cheering on the Jumbo Shrimp and the Icemen.


  1. You clearly don’t know anything about Rachel Hollis, where she comes from or what she stands for. You are warranted to your own opinion. If you don’t like the book, great don’t read it. You don’t agree with her stand point, great don’t read it!! It’s really that simple. Rachel Hollis has helped so many woman change their live by simply changing their mindset. I really wish you luck and hope you get to the point of not having to put successful women down.

  2. She has lived a limit trauma life?!?….you may want to actually read the book or do a little research… Rach has lived thru trauma from a young age… and made all of this with a high school diploma… if you are going to throw mud at least get your facts straight… after all both are detailed throughout the book… you know the one you said you read.

    • My thoughts exactly!!!! Way to disregard the parts of her book where she discusses her childhood and how she didn’t grow up wealthy and did it all on her on by hustling and only with a hs diploma.

    • I tried to comment twice and it wouldn’t accept my comment so I’ll leave it here, sorry!

      Wow. You clearly did not fully read the book nor do any research on the author before you wrote this incredibly inaccurate, judgmental article. This author hasn’t lived a “privileged” life. She was heavily traumatized as a teenager due to a suicidal sibling. She developed an anxiety disorder over worrying about paying her rent. She has struggled heavly with her weight as well as her Bell’s Palsy condition. Not to mention the inconceivable heartache she endured through the fostering and adoption process. If that is a “privileged” life, count me out, thanks. And as for the “staged, perfectly imperfect” photos? I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you were there with her when they were taken and saw the set up and staging and know that to be a fact. (Fun actual fact: stating something in writing as fact that is actually unfactual is called libel and it’s against the law). I’ve watched her morning live streams for months and have seen those sweat pants and messy buns in real time and can assure you, there is nothing that appears staged about them whatsoever. I’ve seen them do live streams holding a crying baby (wonder where that nanny you spoke of was?), because they have an actual baby and are actual parents. So nice try, but perhaps do a little research first. That extra little bit of effort might be why Rachel is where she is and …. others …. are …. not.

      • Her brother completed suicide, was not just suicidal.

        And the privilege comes from being able to go through some of those journeys. Do you know how many woman out there would LOVE the privilege to foster and adopt but cannot because they cannot afford it. And I say that as someone who went through the adoption process on the other end, I am a birthmother. I saw how much the parents who adopted my child spent and I know the majority of woman cannot afford that because they did not marry a (now ex) Disney executive.

        • Are you seriously asserting that she is “privileged” because she went through the heartache of failed adoptions? She works her butt off, built what she has from almost nothing, and while I would say she certainly has some privileges now, it wasn’t always that way.

  3. I’m very confused by this blog because it certainly sounds like you didn’t read the book. However, I do like how you picked short excerpts out to “prove a point”, but failed to explain the context of that excerpt or the point of the chapter.
    I guess the world needs blogs telling people to whine, make excuses and settle so yours fits in nicely.

  4. Wow! I could barely make half way through your blog post. It’s nothing more than your judgemental opinion of a woman who has turned her world around and encourages women that they have the ability to do the same thing!

    Your perspective is your reality and in your case it’s judgement, hate and perpetuating women to continue to feel less, inadequate and stagnant.

    The beautiful thing about Rachel is that she preaches about how our perspective and drive can change our lives for the better.

  5. I have to say after reading this article it doesn’t seem like you read the book at all! Or just choose to ignore half of it.

  6. You should research her more before posting this article. The point of the book is be the best you can be and stop giving up on yourself. I always put others before myself and I have really taken a back seat to my life. I’m also a military spouse (as I see you have listed your husband as one of the first things about you) and this book really cleared up for me that I am just as worthy as my husbands career is. I am just as worthy as a mother. I am worthy to push myself and to seek self improvement. After reading this book, I stopped feeling sorry for myself and am enrolling in school, focusing more on my development as a person. I can’t be the best wife or mother without me also being happy. I don’t give up on my husband or children so why would I give up on myself? The point of this book is not to become some rich skinny white woman and “will” things to happen, it’s to keep going and give it all you have to reach your goals. Check out her podcasts maybe it would clear some things up.

  7. You obviously didn’t read the book and totally miss the point. Every quote is out of context and many of your so-called facts about Ms. Hollis are blatantly false. As a self-proclaimed writer, at least research your subject matter before slandering someone who is helping literally millions of people!

  8. Honestly sad that you read this through an obviously broken filter. I hope your post doesn’t deter woman who really need to read the words inside. How does tearing another woman down, lift you up? I’ll never get that. Didn’t like it, don’t recommend it. But this. This is what’s wrong with the village.

  9. Everyone is obviously allowed to have an opinion, and this is yours. In Rachel Hollis’s story she point blank tells you she did not come from money, lived paycheck to paycheck, she is where she is because she didn’t give up. That is basically her story. And to be honest with you it is one that hits close to home. My husband is the hardest working man I know, and when people see what we have they like to make comments about how “easy it is for us to say/do because of our financial situation”, well we only have that because of his hard work, Nothing was given to either of us, we were raised in families living paycheck to paycheck. So I see where she is coming from. If you don’t like her path, then it’s not for you, but it may be for others. There is room for everyone, and one of her biggest thoughts-Everyone is welcome, and there is No one right way for Everyone.

  10. You should spend some time watching her morning videos and really learning what she is all about before making judgements about her. If you read the book you know that she has worked her way up from the ashes eating food from the dollar store to where she is today. And she doesn’t promote just “willing” something to happen. She has shared how she sets her goals and works towards them by taking daily actions in the right direction. Furthermore, ask any medical or functional dr on this planet about being overweight. What she speaks is not “news”. People are just so scared of offending others that they tip to around it. And, we should be doing everything we can to be our best version of ourselves and be a model to our children for health.

  11. Umm… sounds like you know absolutely NOTHING about Rachel Hollis and didn’t even read the full book!! Wow. I’m shocked by the hate you have thrown her way. Clearly the author of this blog post is jealous of the life Rachel has CREATED for herself. Limited trauma??!! She’s been through SO much. And has chosen to rise above.

  12. Did you even read the book? 🤔 I think it’s very offensive & wrong of you to say that Rachel’s success & lifestyle is UNATTAINABLE for MOST women… ANYONE and I mean ANYONE who has a dream & puts in the work CAN be just as successful maybe even more successful in most cases. If anything your blog is tearing other women down and making them believe the very thing about themselves that Mrs. Hollis is trying to change. I think YOU need to take a seat and actually read the book you’re claiming you already read.

  13. You’re an unfortunate soul. Your level of perception is way off. You may want to put the pen down and have a seat yourself.

  14. Maybe you should follow Rachel further to see what she’s really about. You clearly only have knowledge of her as a person from her book. She came from nothing and now has it all. She is a real person. And she’s trying to help women see they can have it all too, as long as they get rid of the stinkin thinkin you seem to have. Prayers to you friend!

  15. Wow. You clearly did not fully read the book nor do any research on the author before you wrote this incredibly inaccurate, judgmental article. This author hasn’t lived a “privileged” life. She was heavily traumatized as a teenager due to a suicidal sibling. She developed an anxiety disorder over worrying about paying her rent. She has struggled heavly with her weight as well as her Bell’s Palsy condition. Not to mention the inconceivable heartache she endured through the fostering and adoption process. If that is a “privileged” life, count me out, thanks. And as for the “staged, perfectly imperfect” photos? I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you were there with her when they were taken and saw the set up and staging and know that to be a fact. (Fun actual fact: stating something in writing as fact that is actually unfactual is called libel and it’s against the law). I’ve watched her morning live streams for months and have seen those sweat pants and messy buns in real time and can assure you, there is nothing that appears staged about them whatsoever. I’ve seen them do live streams holding a crying baby (wonder where that nanny you spoke of was?), because they have an actual baby and are actual parents. So nice try, but perhaps do a little research first. That extra little bit of effort might be why Rachel is where she is and …. others …. are …. not.

    • I researched the author, read the book, and feel the same way as this blog author. Different perspectives – not lack of being informed.

  16. I’m going to say this as someone that suffers from mental illness and spent the majority of my 20’s in a pharmaceutical blur. Long before Rachael was a thing a very very wise person told me just that Get Happy. I was like WTF, go F’ yourself, you have no clue what I’m going through. Well over a 5 year timespan I went through therapy, cut toxic people out of my life, including my father, and spent most every day working on getting happy. It’s nit easy but I’m a much better version of myself. So yes, her words are true. In regards to the weight, if some of the most moribidly obese people on this planet can loose weight then Sally that stress eats or Susan that refuses to take the stairs can get up and do something. It’s about accountability, honoring yourself and not breaking promises to the most important person in the world, you. So I’d suggest getting passed your own doubts and excuses of why you can’t get happy or run a mile and make the change. You’ll and everyone of your readers will be better for it!

  17. Another person taking pieces of something instead of the whole thing. Rachel Hollis May not be for everyone and that is ok. But to say that she is doing something wrong by empowering women and MEN to change their lives for the better is unheard of. Read the book. Read the comments. It is real stories from real people that are doing incredible things! #madeformore

  18. The fact that you left out MAJOR traumas she has been through: her brother committing suicide when she was 14, the resulting impact on her family/parents, having to work multiple jobs just to afford to eat top ramen for dinner while working in LA, having twin girls go from on track to be adopted to pulled out of her home, etc., tells me that you wrote this for attention. Attention you’ll probably get, but attention nonetheless. Your distaste at being told to stop making excuses tells me that you probably have a lot of things that you’re making excuses for. Own that & move on. We all have our things in life. At least she’s trying to make a positive impact. You posted this in an attempt to put down someone who is dedicating her life to helping others. Is she making money? Heck ya. And she should.

  19. It feels like you have not read the whole book. Also, you picked specific parts of the book to make a bias opinion. When reading this “criticism” I got the vibe you got challenge in areas of your life that made you defensive to her practice. Because someone else teaches women to be the better version of themselves you have to criticize that? What kind of blog do you run?

  20. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate. I get it- we’ve all been there. I’m not mitigating or dismissing that you struggle with real hurts, real disappointments, real frustrations, real traumas. It’s important to acknowledge losses and give yourself permission to grieve.

    HOWEVER, as someone who has struggled with depression, anxiety, childhood trauma and has worked in mental health as a professional, your message is dangerous. Circumstances don’t make you happy, your perspective does. At its very core, Hollis’ book is akin to CBT therapy. It tackles the heart of learned helplessness and challenges people to replace deeply ingrained over generalizations, self prophecy and confirmation bias, and Beck’s cognitive triad with something truthful. I found it refreshing and accessible for the layman.

    I have worked with victims of sex trafficking, abused and neglected foster children, battered women, vets with PTSD, and I can tell you that there’s enough, “My life sucks and nothing is going to change because people were evil to me and there’s nothing I can do about it”. The HAPPIEST, most well adjusted clients have been those whose circumstances were literally dire, and decided that feeling sorry for themselves only continued their victimization and gave power to perpetrators. The bravest thing you can do is to recognize that your mindset is one of the only things you have control of in this life, and then TAKE CONTROL. Whether that means seeking help from a professional (always recommended!), getting any necessary medications so your neurological processes are working for you instead of against you, or starting by reading a book like this- taking responsibility for your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors is empowering and effective.

    Hollis is not a psychologist- this is not a book to treat the exception (those who are severely affected by mental illnesses). There are better, more qualified people and resources for that. But her principals apply to the masses who are stuck in a cycle of self victimization and defeat. If I can use these principles to help empower and begin the healing process for my clients, how well do you think that works for the average person who wasn’t abused/kidnapped/in a war zone/peddled for sex?

  21. I can respect if you don’t like the book, but I think you might’ve missed the point. She comes from a hard background and has made a success of herself. Please don’t slam the book. She is the voice of 2018, speaking up for a new generation of a women’s movement, in my opinion. Her focus on a growth mindset is well in line with cognitive behavioral therapy. While I agree that issues of privilege are worth looking at for her, I don’t know that we need to judge her for that, I think she speaks to many people as a motivator. As a clinical psychologist, I sometimes recommend her book to patients because I think it speaks to them directly in a way that many people can hear and gravitate to. There’s no need to be a hater. If you don’t like the book, simply move on. There’s over 2 million sold and plenty of us think she’s amazing and enjoy writing and her messages well.

  22. It’s a shame that you don’t see how negative you are in your views. Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right. You clearly missed Rachel’s message and quite obviously know nothing about her. You are selling your own story, based on the judgement of another, perhaps without all of the facts. A shame really.

  23. Why can’t mothers let other mothers ever just be successful?
    We wonder why our children bully so much, it’s taught through parenting.

  24. Ridiculous!! You CLEARLY took nothing from the book by listening OR reading. Stop writing such nonsense and stop picking apart someone who is doing good in the world. ALSO- stop being so OFFENDABLE! It’s people like YOU that are what’s wrong with this society!

  25. This article has no depth or truth. Do your research before slandering another human being. Rachel came from an underprivileged background and has fought her way up being humble and authentic about every mistake she ever mad eonlt to hope to reach someone else and help them. She built her life on helping others dream bigger and giving them free tools and advice to use the strengths and talents they were given. Pairing with an LMFT and dealing for years with her own trauma and mental illnesses, she pushes other women to do the work and move forward towards happier times. She gives women hope, the tools to make their dreams come true, the courage to stand up for themselves, the awareness to make better choices and the authenticity to reach inside and be the best person that you can be. God bless you, because after reading this article I am truly concerned for where you are in your journey to have such a viewpoint. How have you shown up for others? How have you spent your free time trying to lift up people you have never met? It’s time to make some changes and get some perspective on your own journey. Life is larger than the hole we sometimes fall into. God Bless.

  26. It’s is funny how only women tear down other women. You don’t have to read the book or agree with it. But putting this out there in the world sends a message to your children that it is ok to slam other people who do work their butts off to have everything she has. You clearly miss a lot of points in this book. I’ll pray for you.

  27. Honestly Rachel Hollis changed my mindset and my life with her book. She made everything out of nothing — she worked HARD. It wasn’t because she was priveleged. The girl doesn’t even have a college degree. Reading her book I knew I wasn’t just going to be like bam I’m happy I’m creating a company I can do anything, but she helped me realize I don’t have to stay in this place of self pity and despair. I get to choose how I react to situations and live my life. Which has been life changing.
    Read the book from a different perspective girl, maybe you’ll find something that helps you too!

  28. You CLEARLY did not read the book. She never said she wouldn’t trust an overweight friend. She said you wouldn’t trust someone to show up that always skips out on you-THEREFORE, do not skip out on yourself. Make yourself a priority. Reading your bio makes it clear that you need to wash your face, Girl! Stop being jealous of those that have worked harder and hung longer than you and get to work on building the version of your life that you can be proud of.

  29. I think everyone should be entitled to their opinion. When you write an article, the research and facts should be credible and not fallacies. Rachel grew up greatly impoverished in a large family. At times, they did not have food to eat. Her brother committed suicide and she found him. She moved to LA with no money and worked three jobs to try and make something of herself. Now when she is successful she becomes entitled because she has resources that she earned. I think you would be a strong writer if you take the time to research before you write

  30. Girl, buckle up. If anyone needs this book it’s you sister. Maybe actually read it for real this time. We all have hardships, we all have trauma, life hands us shit day in and day out. It’s about WHAT YOU DO with that shit. It’s more convenient for you to slam her book than it is to look in the mirror and see if you can use it to change yourself. We are in control of our own lives. Some of us have to start farther from the finish line than others. Some have to overcome more obstacles than others. But it is entirely up to us to get to that finish line. Blame it on where you started, blame it on the extraordinary amount of obstacles that were thrown at you, blame it on whatever if you fail. But that’s just a coping mechanism. Our life is what WE make it. Maybe read David Goggins book next if you think only “priveledged” people can succeed in this world.

  31. I’ve read this article and the individual is saying that Hollis implies it’s easy and that she never felt the struggles, that’s not true. She never says it’s easy. Also, he/she is allowing folks to sit in the comfort zone and not do something better for themselves, Hollis says, do what you need to do to grieve or heal but don’t let it own you, make the best of your circumstances and serve others with it. Being healthy promotes happiness. You cannot help others until you help yourself first. This is a sorry excuse of an article, you’re avoiding your own insecurities and need to actually read the book.

  32. “Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.” – Rachel Hollis

    This quote, and so many other determinedly positive things in Girl, Wash Your Face, have had an awesome and welcome impact on my productivity and attitude in my life and my business. So what is my opinion of this post? Fortunately, that’s none of your business.

  33. Shame on you! Because obviously you read the cliff notes and not the book… Rachel talks about hardships and Rachel talks about her life before fame and fortune… she talks about sadness and grief and depression.. what girl wash your face represents is getting back up when u fail and trying again.. it’s about committing to yourself for a better you and a better you to show up every day because honestly if you can’t show up for you then who can you show up for? I don’t see you encouraging people every morning on Instagram.. in a world full of negativity the Hollis’s are definitely not what is wrong with this world… so maybe you need to take a seat and actually read the book 📚

  34. WOW! This makes me sad. This post was clearly written by someone who 1. did not read her book and 2. knows nothing about Rachel Hollis and her journey. It really is sad to think that this post is out there. Jax Moms Blog I get it… lets give everyone’s opinions BUT you have allowed someone to write such negative things about another person who is trying to HELP women!

    To the author. I am terrible sorry that you cannot see the good in what she is putting out into the world. It is clear that you are willing to make excuses for where you are in life. EVERYTHING is possible. EVERYTHING! It doesn’t matter where you come from or what hand you are dealt. If you are willing to put in the work day after day after day. If you are willing to not take no for an answer and if you are willing to stop throwing out the excuses you CAN succeed! You CAN be HAPPY!

    Rachel lost her brother to suicide at a young age… she was the one who found him. She moved out of her parents home and moved to CA when she was 17. She wasn’t even able to sign her own lease. She put in the work. THAT is what qualifies her to write this book.

    Try reading it. You might feel the need to change your post.

  35. Jealous much?? She didn’t start out as a millionaire! Her book GWYF is to the point for those that are looking to make a change! A little tip, if you’re looking to make a name for yourself don’t do it by slamming another author!!

  36. Wow, I cant believe someone actually turned the message of this book into a negative thing. This article represents the negative messages we don’t need in our world. So sad.

  37. I really think you should read this book again. Maybe 4-5 more times because Rachel Hollis is not saying that our dreams or goals have to be like hers. She came from a very hard situation and reached her goals, she is helping empower other women to do the same. There may be things she says or does that I don’t completely agree with, but that is ok! We are all different and that is part of her message. You do you! Her goals have changed and grown over the years into what she wants for her life. She deserves everything she has and more and talks about all of the sacrifices she made along the way. As far as the weight/health situation. It’s hard to hear but she is right. She not saying hey you need to be a size 2, she is saying you need to take care of your body and be healthy. I hope you take a second look at her and her message because it may really help you, I know it has REALLY helped me. Best of luck

  38. This is a poorly written opinion of a great book. While it doesn’t need to be defended, the sales alone defends it’s worth…the book is nothing like a prosperity gospel, and your examples are misrepresenting the context. She doesn’t say dump your fat friends…it’s within a story about someone breaking commitments to themselves may not be trustworthy. And that’s a fact, an it’s humbling, because most of use make promises and break them. Encouraging people to stick to their word shouldn’t be an issue.

    This review feels as though it is written purely for attention. Or you didn’t even read the book.

  39. Clearly you don’t know anything about Law of Attraction or even trying to maintain a positive attitude. I have bipolar disorder, and while it is a medical condition that requires therapy and medications, choosing to be happy really does help make things easier and ever since I started living my life this way without making excuses, I’ve had a better quality of life.

    From reading your bio, it’s apparent that you rely more on the titles of others more than your own merit or abilities. So of course you were unable to read this book and hear the wake up call that was inside.

    Keep making excuses and living a sad life, just be aware that it’s your own fault.

  40. Casey it is so so sad to see such a talented blogger and writer as yourself, bash a fellow blogger/writer and woman.

    Clearly you did not “research” enough on Rachel Hollis or read through her whole book for that matter, or surely you would know what childhood tragedies she lived and the to struggle she went through to overcome.

    As far as the weight comments…her comments aren’t just based on her opinion, they are based on national health facts! (I am an RN and a certified nutritional Health Coach)! Being an active participant in your own wellness and health should be the forefront of any human being.

    The days of saying “oh love your self the way you are” when you are overweight or over your BMI and deemed unhealthy, are over.

    Especially now a days when there are literally no excuses because all the knowledge needed to take the steps to be the healthiest version of you, are right on the internet and basically at your fingertips! It’s important to be the best version of your healthy self, not only for your own well being but for your children and for all of the people that love you.

    Yes, there are those that take medications that make them gain weight, have thyroid issues or going through menopause….she isn’t talking to those people, she is talking to the people that have made excuse after excuse to lose weight and have failed.

    The difference in all this is…the people ready for change…. swallowed what she said, pulled up their boot straps, looked themselves in the mirror and literally “washed their faces”……and embraced moving on…

    Those not ready for change… offended….found fault with her writings and blame others for their circumstances….they will be the ones who will “take a seat”…..

    So I challenge you…are you gonna be the kind of person to “wash your face” or “take a seat” ???????


    Patti Sisto, RN
    Certified Nutrional Health Coach

    • Statistically speaking, social science research has shown people that are 5%-10% overweight are the happiest people.

      As a health provider you know the multiple issues facing individuals trying to seek GOOD mental health care in this country. It’s not a quick or easy fix. Its expensive. Not everyone has access. Quality care is difficult to find.

      Gender biases exist in medical research, diagnosis and treatment of female conditions. Perhaps if medical doctors would listen to their female patients and give proper diagnosis and treatment a lot of women would be healthier and happier. None of these obstacles are addressed in the book. NONE. Hollis puts responsibility on the patient even if the patient is desperately trying to improve their health and happiness and no one will listen. No one gives a damn.

    • I would never, EVER recommend you as a coach. Health “professionals” like you is why women like me are afraid of doctors. Take a seat and listen to your patients.

  41. I’m sorry, but please don’t bash someone unless you do you research! “Not everyone led the kind of overly privileged life Hollis had” That right there tells me you know nothing about this women, which means you aren’t qualified to write this blog post. I found Rachel through a bad blog post like this and her message changed my life. None of what you have written is true…

    Shame on you

  42. I actually appreciate your comments regarding weight and Hollis’ ignorance of her harmful words. She claims to encourage women to ignore the “myths of womanhood and media generated gender roles” yet slams overweight people claiming it’s all personal responsibility…or lack thereof for being overweight. MANY truly obese people eat LESS than thin people. Is there obese people that eat the wrong things, eat due to stress, loneliness, etc? Absolutely, but if you actually researched the disease of obesity you will find that many people cannot eat the same calories as others and stay thin. That’s why people that go through weight loss surgery are instructed to consume 800-1000 calories per day when the skinny gal next door can consume 2500 calories per day. To claim you understand because you had to diet once or twice in your life is simply ignorant and quite judgmental. Furthermore, Hollis questions this person’s ability to be a good friend? Girl, sit down and shut up.
    Additionally, she sells herself and her message to many Multi-level Marketing companies and the women being taken advantage of by these pyramid schemes that prey on women. Take a stand for Women Hollis and refuse to sell yourself to these companies that leave so many women in debt, facing bankruptcy, divorced, etc. Due to these MLM’s like Lularoe. But, you won’t. You’ll gladly take their money, and help LLR spread their BS message that of you fail in their business as a consultant its because you didn’t work hard enough, its because you didn’t want it bad enough. No, these consultants failed due to the company’s fraudulent business plan. Hollis, I would respect you a lot more if you stopped your nationwide MLM convention speaking engagement that’s just a supplemental publicity tour and help the thousands of women that need help finding themselves again after failing at a “business ” that statistically 99% of people fail at. Oh, but I forgot your message, Hollis…its your fault if you fail.

  43. Thank you for writing this. The part that gets me the most is how she’s like “just be happy, duh” and that’s just such a f*ed uonthing to say to someone with a mental health condition. It makes me pretty angry and pretty sick. Keep doing you 😘

  44. I downloaded her book on audible. I listened to a couple of chapters. Then one morning I was listening to Rachel and her husband in their daily Instagram live. She absolutely shredded Jessica Simpson. She ripped into her so much even her husband looked embarrassed and uncomfortable. Am I a big fan of Jessica Simpson? Not really. But I am really not a fan of women judging and criticizing others women. Especially when you make millions of dollars pretending to support and empower women. She is not genuine. I deleted her book immediately.

  45. It’s not just your opinion. Many hold the same opinion. I could do a lot more “for me” if I had someone on call to care for my children and someone cleaning my house.

    But it’s cool. Cause my now adult daughters don’t have an unrealistic idea of how life really is.

  46. I just want to say the book was dripping in priviledge and utter nonsense. Thank you for this blog. May God have mercy on these trolls souls. I’m going to will millions of monies into my account and will away my diseases to be skinny again. *insert hard eyeroll* *insert palm to face*

  47. When I first started this book I thought “you know Rachel Hollis has some good things to say.” Then I had to check my privilege at the door. I think Rachel Hollis has a community and that is great for her and them! But I agree with you on so many points. As a social worker and therapist a lot of what she says is just dreadful- minus the everyone should go to therapy, that was really awesome. Her shaming me for not being able to “eat less and burn more calories” hurt. When Brene Brown on the other hand says I should stop emotional eating and instead find what brings me true joy, that I can get behind. I think everyone is allowed to take what they want from a book, but I agree I see a lot of harm in her message (hello?! I just married the guy that treated me like garbage and was emotionally abusive).

  48. Thank you Cassy, for standing up for us! There are many of us out here in agreement. I’m truly sorry for all the people on here defending this icon they worship… its truly frightening and sad that others would attack you over this – and be so vile! I feel like sharing this everywhere, in hopes that someone other than pretentious Stepford wives will reply in support of NOT TEARING DOWN OTHER WOMEN, especially to make millions of dollars off a self-help audience. Detestable and disgraceful!

  49. I absolutely loved this book. Rachel Hollis has has significant tragedy and trauma in her life. And she put herself out there in this book. You clearly did not read the full book. She may have money now but she busted her butt to earn that money and become successful. It wasnt just handed to her. As far as happiness, we are responsible for creating our own happiness. Money does not buy happiness. I’m a mom of a special needs child. I was a single mom for the first 2 years of his life. I could have chosen to be miserable in the struggles I faced, but instead I learned to overcome the heartbreak, and hurt, and find beauty, joy, and happiness in the small things. Read a book before you give a review. You want instant gratification and this review makes you sound like all you care about is money, and you believe only money can make you happy. Know the facts! Understand reality!

  50. Spot on. All of it. This insanely privileged person who steals quotes and preaches like a holy roller for every MLM, is no one to look up to.

  51. Keep up the good fight. She seems disingenuous to me as well, and doesn’t acknowledge the systems of privilege that have accelerated her career, lifestyle, and opinions. And I have read tbe book. It’s also ok for you to feel this way, and write a concise and clear review that indicates that, while also not being malicious. Thanks for your writing.

  52. I can’t believe how mean people are being in their comments to this blog author. It seems so cult-like to be so defensive of a complete stranger who does not even know you.

    I agree with this blog post. The judgement of overweight people in the book is sickening. Many overweight people work their asses off and are still overweight. There are many many many reasons why someone might be struggling. There are a myriad of human problems and we can’t magically fix them all simultaneously.

    • This. The HollisHuns are out in force here, lol. And I notice, none of them refute a single actual point made in the blog post. They assume the blog author didn’t read the book, has her own personal issues, is jealous, or some other crap…but conveniently ignore the very valid and very true points in the actual article. Interesting. I mean, that’s what I do when I don’t have an actual argument…I find fault with the arguer, of course! Oh, wait! No, I don’t- I have integrity.

  53. She’s a plagiarizer too. She has an Instagram page called @motivationsformamas and she has literally stolen tons of quotes and out her motivations for mamas branding on them. The authors she stole from have contacted her, asked for credit or removal of their copyrighted material and she’s ignored it. You can see the compilation I put together by looking on my IG @digitalcontentpolice it shows all the quotes she has plagiarized with their originals.
    Girl… stop plagiarizing.

  54. You had me interested until you had to throw in being white with all your other adjectives. What does race have to do with any of your points? At all?

  55. Thanks so much for this post – you are spot on and I couldn’t agree more! I can’t believe how many people she has brainwashed based on some of these awful comments people have left.

    • I’d have been surprised not to see the mentality here since RH is big in the MLM world. It fits right in with the you can hustle and be a boss babe mantra.

  56. Honestly, I haven’t read the book nor do I care to. What worries me are these Hollis cult followers. All these “You don’t know Rachel” posts are creepy. You all act like she does no wrong and you are all in a best friends club or something. News flash, she could care less about you, she just wants your $$$, duh! Also, true happiness is found in Christ and making something of yourself has nothing to do with money, things, or status…this is a bunch of prosperity gospel and self adulation. That is what is sad.

  57. Great article! Rachel Hollis is the trope of the Wealthy White Wellness Women. Her stance on weight is disgusting, and completely ruins any other nuggets of “wisdom”. That and her involvement with LuLaRoe, the leggings pyramid scheme.

  58. Ummm…if you’re the writer of this article why does it matter that your husband is a Marine Corps Vet and Purple Heart recipient? I. Am. Not. Saying. What. He. Earned. Isn’t. Honorable. but you’re totally selling yourself as a Dependa by adding your husbands honors to your byline. Girl, Stand on Your Own.

    • hahahaha very superficial, Jessica. Are you able to stay on topic? Or only attack people over their husbands veteran-status? Girl, back the f*** up and take a look in the mirror. Trash-talking other women without actually discussing the article is LOW.

      • Go girl!! I want to say I want to know about the blogger and a little about her life to know if I can find them relatable and if they may have a message for me. Also why in the world would someone say anything about her mentioning her husband and his military service in a negative tone, how about we offer up the most THANKS and endless gratitude for fighting so honorably for out country to give everyone the right to have their freedom of speech protected in cases like these! To the Blogger please know I am extremely grateful for your husband’s service and the family that was his strong support system at home!!

    • Jessica are you aware that the term Dependa is fat shaming? Go figure, you think Rachel Hollis is a pillar of good advice, of course you’re on board with fat shaming. Girl, shut the fck up ❤️

  59. Unlike many of the comments here, I whole-heartedly agree with you. I couldn’t put it quite into words what rubbed me the wrong way about this book. I hear people disagreeing with you in the comments- yes Rachel did have struggles but something about the way she just dismisses them and talks about “just try harder” didn’t resonate with me. Its not even that all of her message is wrong its just that others have articulated it WAY better and I didn’t relate to her at all. Don’t get me started on the part about her husband. The facts are -there was real privilege and luck at play and she hardly acknowledges it. And you are absolutely right that in life there are real challenges we can’t always “try harder” out of and she dismisses that entirely. I’m not implying we should just sulk but I’ve read other books that better described how to integrate or rise above certain challenges- not just try out of them. I also couldn’t get past all her talk in the beginning about peeing her pants or cellulite or whatever. I have bigger fish to fry. In general I felt like her book was meant for a narrow audience. I certainly wouldnt recommend it to my friends dealing with issues of weight. To really feel inspired- read Michelle Obama’s book Becoming.
    As far as people saying “if you don’t like it just don’t read it”- I appreciate your honest review of this book because people have been so fanatical about it and its refreshing to see someone who felt the same way I did. You are certainly not wrong for stating an opposing opinion on your blog. Might lose some readers but you’re gaining some too.

  60. Personally I have been through many of these things. If we judge women or anyone for that matter by their body type, emotional status, marriage equality or financial statue with vapid advice are the ones who are lacking.

  61. My only thought when reading this and the comments, is when did it become okay to judge the “level” of someone’s trauma? Some one can find a dead relative and be okay, others still cry over a goldfish they had to flush. Some come out of abuse ready to fight for and free others, some walk around in pulled up hoodies for years. Each person’s trauma is their own. We can’t judge it to be “limited” from the outside of their mind. So to see a non-medical professional quantifying someone else’s trauma, not only turned me off from your blog; it disturbed me enough to leave my 2 cents before leaving this blog for good.

  62. I was mostly on board with this until the assumptions about the amount of trauma in her life. The article turned nasty at the end. Hate when women put together successful women down like that without facts. As a writing major, this is poor journalism/blogging. Id recommend some more research on the future.

  63. I love that so many of us feel the need to stand up for Mrs Rachel Hollis! I love that woman like a big sister! My 18 year old baby brother committed suicide 3 years ago, finding someone that has experienced that same pain, but same drive for life is what my soul needed. I’m beyond thankful for The Hollis, their openness, their love for people, and for sharing their wisdom.

    Anywho.. to me it sounds like the woman writing this blog is JEALOUS, miserable, typing away at her greasy keyboard, attempting to bring her readers down to her miserable level. The woman writing this blog clearly has that dark mindset that Rachel teaches her readers to not fall into / how to come out of… homegurl, do your mind a favor and reread “girl wash your face” again, but this time with a open mind. You need it more than you know.

    Ps – girl wash your face 😉

  64. You sound bitter and to be honest I feel like you just wrote this to take some of Rachel’s fame. Smh you take a sit hun and find your own way to be successful like Rachel did. NEXT!

  65. I checked her out. Ya well when you are speaking to people who are used to giving up their power to someone else, it’s easy to make an audience of sheep. Superficial ignorant white privilege stuff, but I can’t judge, that’s just what it sounds like to me.

  66. Wow. Clearly you hit a sore spot because someone set the Hollis horde on you. Fortunately they are hopped up on diet pills and the glue fumes from their vision boards, so I don’t think they pose too much danger.

    Your review (note to horde: an opinion about a thing that is meant to be consumed—such as a book—is called a”review”), is hilarious. And accurate. And reflects an opinion shared by many people. If only the people lambasting you for you lack of “research” would research other reviews of this book!

    Sadly, like their idol (wait, doesn’t the Bible say something about idols?), they horde lacks enough self awareness to recognize the hypocrisy of raking a woman over the coals for the sin of…writing a funny, scathing, and sharp review.

    Can’t help but wonder exactly who these ranting girls think they are impressing. Our Girl of The Clean Face doesn’t read reviews, after all. Which surely they know, having done their research.


  67. 1)is that trigger warning for real or sarcastic?
    2) research and read the book next time

    Summary: You sound petty and jealous of her success

  68. AMEN. I read this whole damn book & wanted to barf or smack her, like, every step of the way. This book is trash, Rachel Hollis’s :advice” is trash, & that fat-shaming, nasty chapter about ditching fat friends is, lemme say it loud this time, TOTAL TRASH. I read it because I wanted to see the hype, & I get the hype – for women with very, very different views than mine. For me, nearly every other sentence in this book was a hard no, & for all the reasons you express here.

  69. I’m am not some hella crazy Rachel Hollis groupie – but I did read the book and it was great. Did you read the book at all? She certainly did not live a life of privelage. She worked *very hard* for what she did. Just because she is at a point in her life where she has a successful business, nannies, trips – doesn’t mean she can’t help regular people or talk about how she got there. All your quotes are completely taken out of context. I am overweight and not once did I even remotely feel like she was fat shaming anyone. And no where in the book is she suggesting “be happy, just choose happy” like you are indicating. She is saying being happy is a mindset and something you have to work for. And if you read/watch/listen any other self help, growth, Ted talk, motivational speaker, podcast, Netflix doc – they will all say the exact thing.

  70. I don’t care about Rachel Hollis. What I do care about is a woman sitting down to write horrible catty nasty lies about another woman. What a disgusting thing to see in 2019. Seriously? Are women STILL doing this to each other? Why? We should be supporting each other even if we dont have anything in common. This article says zero about Rachel and everything about Cassy. Also when someone downplays another persons trauma it is difficult to read. Please do not ever tell another person that their trauma is limited. (Especially considering her trauma was horrific) would you look at a little girl square in the face and say finding your brother DEAD from suicide is nothing? We can’t keep doing this to each other.

  71. We as women don’t have the luxury of tearing each other down; there are enough barriers out there.

    “There are enough people out there ready to tear us down. Our job is to lift each other up, so we have to start practising now. There is no room for mean girls and cliques and social complications that naturally come at your age. I want you to be mindful of that.”

    ~Michelle Obama
    Read it and do it

  72. Cassy,

    I think you are so brave from writing this article. I did read the book. I went to see her documentary halfway through and as I finished her book the more I was able to identify with exactly what you are saying in your piece. Can I appreciate that Hollis made herself vulnerable by sharing her past trauma and shortcomings – of course. Absolutely. That’s one of the elements of her book I really give her credit for. But on a grander scale, much of her messaging comes from a completely unrealistic privileged filter as you highlight in your blog piece.

    Please know that your efforts in writing this piece are appreciated!!!

  73. Thanks for this thoughtful post! While I am a Hollis lover I do love to hear other points of view. I disagree that the excerpt about Pam was fat shaming, though admittedly read the book 6 months ago and may be mis-remembering. I remember it being more about getting real about only making promises we are committed to keeping.

    I find Rache;s work very inspiring, though it sometimes feels cheer-leader-esque. Her work is helping me get clearer on my values, honoring my accomplishments and think “well heck, maybe I DO deserve happiness”. She isn’t perfect, nor am I, and I appreciate this thoughtful piece. I hate the idea of anyones work in the world hurting others without any recognition or thoughtful conversationg about it <3

    much love

  74. Rachel Hollis suffered tremendously after finding her brother dead after he committed suicide and she was only 14 years old. For you to minimize what she’s been through and act like she’s had a silver spoon in her mouth is amazing to me. She worked very hard to get over the trauma and become successful. Everything she says may not be agreeable but no one is agreeable to everything anybody says. Stop hating on her and be happy for her. If you do that you’ll have more success of your own!

  75. Rachel Hollis is the blind leading the blind.

    Systems of privlege need to be part of the discussion. The contents of this book is palatable to a very specific audience.

    Bring back Oprah, someone to truly be inspired by and look upto!

  76. Cassy,

    I hear you and applaude you for stating your truth in the face of popular opinion.

    I think people taking her books and improving their lives is wonderful.

    However, my impressions of it left me with similar conclusions. I just found her unrelatable and unrealistic. A friend just gifted me the second book so maybe there’s character development to be had yet.

    I hope you’ll do another review for the second book, I’m interested in your continued opinion.

    • I agree. Several things were taken very far out of context – so far out of context I’m curious if the author read the book or is purposely taking them out of context.

  77. Thank you for offering some points for debate. It is difficult for those who have privilege to recognize it in themselves and I wonder if this is what is those who are putting out so much negative toward your point of view are experiencing–the inability to recognize the privilege they enjoy. It is important to be able to look at and consider other points of view–otherwise, yes, as someone said earlier, we become blind followers, like sheep. I doubt Rachel Hollis would advocate we do that, except in support of her views and profit margins. Thanks for sticking your neck out.

  78. Oh my gawd.

    I 100% agree with this post. Despise what Hollis is doing. The message she is selling is garbage, harmful and reeks of privilege. She has zero integrity. Sorry you got an onslaught… it was undeserved.

  79. Girl get a clue! She earned all she has and worked for it! So oh yes your right just wallow don’t strive! I don’t know about you but I was MADE FOR MORE!

  80. To the writer of this post: we should be friends, for real! 100% agree with this.

    To people who disagree: We are entitled to our opinions, it may work for you, may not. Not every single book written is will speak to everyone. Regardless everyone is allowed our own opinion, but respecting a difference of opinion is what makes you more authentic as a person. As a society, we have gotten away from the comment of “I respectfully disagree, because of xyz” and start accusing and at time verbally attacking. Go look in the mirror and enlighten yourselves on how to be a better human. Rachel Hollis fan or not.

    My opinion: I borrowed a copy from a friend. Bluntly, I stopped pretty early on because it sounded like a dumpster fire of a 2 am pinterest self help quote bender. Just my two cents. I mean it’s a self help book so people who read it are either seeking self help advice or are just jumping on the bandwagon of the hype. I personally didn’t care for it but other people loved it. If it speaks to you, by all means run with it. For me, I wouldn’t have sought it out personally.

  81. I’m sorry, but her father was a pastor at a church… not someone wealthy. She was not born into wealth, she created her wealth- which she explains in the very beginning of her book (when she was 17 and moved to LA, dropped out of college, and got a job). Later in her book she explains that she was so broke that she was surviving off of the 99 cent store because she could barely afford rent.

    Also, the quote that you mentioned “Y’all, would you trust her?… No.” That wasn’t about weight. It was about someone who repeatedly broke promises and blew off their friends.. someone who was unreliable. Not someone who’s overweight. And she wasn’t actually talking about another person; She was saying don’t break promises to yourself.. you wouldn’t have a friend that repeatedly broke promises to you…

    You are totally entitled to your opinion. However, I think that you should be more informed before the next time you decide to share said opinion with the public.

  82. You are the exact example of why other people’s opinions of you DON’T MATTER. I have read both her books and I can promise you that if she read this article she has enough self confidence that your opinion doesn’t matter. The refreshing thing that I LEARNED from Rachel Hollis is that you are entitled to your OPINION, bless you, from which I (or anyone else who supports her or has their own opinion about her) can comfortably move on without your words having any impact on their mind, goals, etc…

    I do believe that you exhibit the exact type of person that loves to pick apart something that is obviously doing something good form millions, YES MILLIONS, of women and turn it into a judgement fest to possibly make your own self feel better. But hey, that’s none of my business! You do you! I think your opinions would have been more well-received if they came from a place of your heartfelt advice rather than a place of pushing your believes by demeaning someone else! Stay positive!! 😉


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