Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be
Author: Rachel Hollis
Genre: Motivational, Inspirational, Self-help
Okay, yes, this book is generally for younger women (I am old enough to be the author’s mother, after all), but it did seem to target an audience that makes up a large part of the demographics of Lake Nona. And when I found my daughter-in-law reading it, I decided to put it on my list. I was surprised to find that many of the author’s thoughts and insights really did resonate with me.
Girl, Wash Your Face is Rachel Hollis’ fifth book, and she has moved on from food and meal preparation books and novels about college-age girls to something more deeply personal. The stories she tells about her own life and the big and little struggles she overcame (and still overcomes in some cases) are told with honesty and occasionally a little embarrassment, which makes them seem all the more real. I listened to the audio version of the book, which is recorded by Hollis herself, so she includes joy, laughter and emphasis in all the right places.
The stories of her dating nightmares, her marriage, early motherhood struggles, balancing entrepreneurship with the rest of life, and managing a seemingly overfull schedule always convey grace. Many of her reactions to life’s issues are sprinkled with her Christian values learned as a daughter and granddaughter of preachers and practiced in her adult life. Hollis expresses gratitude for the lessons learned from her experiences rather than anger or frustration that they happened to her, which is a lesson I think we could all use from time to time.
I found two particular struggles Hollis experienced to be particularly insightful. The first was her chapter titled “I’m Not Good Enough,” in which she relays her need to prove her worth, her natural workaholic tendency and how she handled the anxiety and even a physical ailment that resulted. Another meaningful chapter, “I Need a Drink,” describes how Hollis, who grew up as a non-drinker, dealt with an increasing reliance on her evening glass(s) of wine to wind down.
The book is structured in an easy-to-access way. Each chapter is titled “The Lie” followed by a lie about our life that we shouldn’t believe. (For example: “The lie: No is the final answer” or “The lie: Other people’s kids are so much cleaner/better organized/more polite.”) In addition, Hollis gives a list of her “Things That Helped Me” at the end of each chapter so that we can learn not just how the author dealt with each issue, but also how she made changes in her life as a result. The stories are written in a conversational style that makes it seem more like your best friend talking to you, which is what made the audio version especially good.
All that said, I really did enjoy reading this book even though it is written for, and I would recommend it for, a specific group of readers. But, even outside the roughly age 18-to-40 female demographic it seems to focus on, I’d recommend it to anyone who could use a few tips on how to look at life’s struggles in a more positive, Christian or philosophical way.