Girl, Wash Your Face is a remarkably polarizing book. That’s honestly what got me to pick it up when I saw it at Costco. I had friends who loved it and told me how amazing it was...and I knew other women who hated it with the fire of a thousand suns. So, naturally, I had to read it for myself.
First off, this book is a nonfiction, motivational book. Some people found it unmotivational and preachy, but I didn’t get that at all. One of my acquaintances who strongly disliked it felt like Ms. Hollis’ answer for everything was therapy, and she said that Ms. Hollis was telling people how to live even though she was rich and came from money and never went through any trials. As I read, I wondered if we were even reading the same book.
Ms. Hollis came from nothing, and she built a media empire. She details several traumatic experiences that led her to being who she is today. Did I agree with all of her thoughts? Of course not. Did I still enjoy the book? Yeah. I did. I felt like there were several things she said that resonated strongly with me. One of the biggest of these is breaking promises to oneself. One of my friends that recommended the book pointed this out as the part that helped her the most, and I’ve got to say that I agree. Why do we break promises to ourselves? We say that we’re going to consistently work out or save money or start looking for a new job or whatever, but often we give up on it. She likened this pattern to a really flaky friend who blows off agreements and promises with really lame excuses. Ms. Hollis phrased this section powerfully, and it made something click for me.
For the most part, I really liked this book. It is not a children’s book. It is, however, a Christian book. I liked that she based most things around her faith. She frequently quotes the Bible. There is, however, a whole section about sex. She prefaces it with that she didn’t have an older sister or anyone to have a frank discussion with her before she went off into the world and got married, and she wanted to be that person for whomever needed it. This section is one that did not particularly resonate with me...but...whatever. Maybe it helped someone. ...I just read over this paragraph again, and I realized that I made it sound like she has a chapter giving “The Talk,” which she doesn’t. It’s not graphic, but I don’t really know how else to describe it. It’s more of a pep talk for before you become sexually active. I guess. Anyway.
I don’t know why some women love this book and some hate it. I suppose that Ms. Hollis’ style isn’t for everyone. Personally, I felt that she came off as trying to be approachable and friendly and “here’s what worked for me” rather than “I know what I’m doing, so you should listen to me.” If you’re going through something in your life, or you’re wanting to make a change, I do recommend this book. It helped me feel more empowered in my decision-making, and it helped me make and stick to goals. If anything, you can read it just to see which side of the fence you sit on.