Girl, Bye, You’re Just Toxic White Feminism (Rachel Hollis)
Rachel Hollis is problematic AF. If you don’t know, according to Wikipedia: “Rachel Hollis is an American author, motivational speaker and blogger. Her first self-help book Girl, Wash Your Face — since its release in February 2018 — has maintained a spot in the top 10 best-selling books in the country for seven months, held the top spot for 12 of those weeks and has sold more than 880,000 copies in the United States. It was the second-most popular book of 2018 on Amazon.”
In a short video, Hollis refers to a livestream were she mentioned a “sweet woman” who comes to her house to “clean the toilets.” Many commenters reacted and told Hollis she was “privileged AF” and “unrelatable.”
Perhaps taking her own advice and not apologizing, Rachel acknowledged her privilege, but Hollis made the situation worse by not only calling herself “unrelatable,” but also mentioned the names of other women (mostly women of color) she found “unrelatable” just like her, including Harriet Tubman, RGB, Oprah, and Frida Kahlo. And, blaming her team for her various blunders.
“Don’t let Rachel Hollis fool you with ‘I’m not trying to be relatable.’ After a year of intense public discourse on race, privilege, and systemic oppression, she chose to use her platform to peddle the myth of meritocracy and pander to her target market: whiteness and privilege,” wrote writer and podcaster Jen Kinney.
I can thank both my parents for the fact that I don’t look down on other people. My dad introduced me to a lady in poverty with AIDS in the 80s who was patient of his and it profoundly changed my life to see the obstacles she had to go through. My mom always talked to everyone as they were equals from attorneys to the cleaning lady at the mall.
Various members of my family have had a housekeeper on occasion, but we’ve always thought of it as a convenience thing and not “we work harder than you”. I hope Rachel’s housekeeper quits.
“Rachel Hollis might be able to afford a housekeeper bc she ‘gets up at 4am and works her ass off every day’, but I can almost guarantee that housekeeper does the same thing — but for multiple houses a day and they’ll never become a CEO,” Carly Button shared on Twitter.
If I could talk about this comment and the intersection of class and race, I would be here for days. Rachel is definitely the type who would own slaves if she could.
Most of my success is in large part of my parents’ success and less to do with “working harder”. Because of them, I could afford a good education because they had the money to do so. If my life had been different, my path would have been different. It is not to say people can’t work hard to achieve their dreams, but if you are privileged, it’s easier. I hate toxic “hustle culture”.
Her first book, Girl, Wash Your Face, has been criticized for glorifying “hustle culture”, which illustrates a lack of understanding systemic oppression. “Working harder” is a myth and only could be true in a world where everyone was coming in at the same footing. It needs to be noted that marginalized individuals have to work even harder to achieve success. Many people of color are in situations beyond their control and can’t even afford the $1800+ to attend one of Rachel’s personal development seminars, so the words and thoughts are hollow.
The same book shares harmful content such as fat-shaming and the general idea that you can simply choose to be happy, without any acknowledgment of mental and physical health issues causing those effected believe that anyone who is “unhappy” or “unsuccessful” is this way because of lack of personal responsibility. That is the lie.
Rachel was born in the one of the poorest communities in Kern County, California and has described her childhood as traumatic, including a brother who took his own life. As it seems, Rachel may not have been born into wealth, but by merely being a white, heterosexual, able-bodied, cis-gendered woman she is affordable privilege many people will never have. She moved to Los Angeles after graduating high school and got a job at Miramax where she met her soon-to-be ex-husband Dave Hollis. Dave was working as director of new business development for The Walt Disney Company. My guess is Rachel wasn’t pulling herself up by the bootstraps.
Rachel is the epitome of toxic white feminism and white supremacy tied in a pretty bow — it praises the liberation of middle-class cishet white women, while never taking in account the rights and needs of marginalized communities.
When Rachel says she’s unrelatable, perhaps she’s telling us who she is.