Here is the biggest problem with Rachel Hollis: Her entire brand, from her self-help books emphasizing self-care and self-love, to her merchandise, to her videos, to her public speeches, is built on self-congratulatory screeds with the message “you control your life” mingled with a Joel Osteen-eque prosperity gospel. “I absolutely refuse to watch you wallow,” Hollis writes at the beginning of “Girl, Wash Your Face.” “I want to shout at the top of my lungs until you know this one great truth: you are in control of your own life.”
Self-help author, self-described media mogul, and self-proclaimed Christian Rachel Hollis is in a bit of a PR mess this week after wading into some bad social media optics and then doubling down, but contrary to what the race-baiters and even Hollis herself think, racial insensitivity isn’t her biggest problem.
Things went south when the New York Times stepped in to smear her as a privileged racist and say, “Girl, Wash Your Timeline,” a twist on the title of Hollis’s best-selling book “Girl, Wash Your Face.” Specifically, the Times highlighted a TikTok the 38-year-old writer had posted. In the video, Hollis conveyed how, in a recent live stream, she had mentioned her housekeeper who comes twice a week and “cleans the toilets,” which resulted in one commenter saying Hollis was “unrelatable” and “privileged AF.”
“You’re right. I’m super freaking privileged, but also, I worked my ass off to have the money to have someone come twice a week and clean my toilets,” Hollis said to her TikTok followers. “What is it about me that made you think I want to be relatable? No, sis, literally everything I do in my life is to live a life that most people can’t relate to. … Literally, every woman I admire in history was unrelatable,” she continued, invoking the names of Harriet Tubman, Oprah Winfrey, and others in her caption. “If my life is relatable to most people, I’m doing it wrong.”
Critics described the video as a “disgusting capitalistic, privileged flex” and called Hollis a “tone-deaf, disillusioned mean girl” and a narcissistic racist. The race point became the thrust of the New York Times article as well.
“I should pull myself up by my bootstraps?” the Times quoted Vivian Kaye’s response. Kaye, who owns KinkyCurlyYaki, which sells hair extensions for black women, was once given a free ticket by Hollis’s company to attend one of the author’s women’s conferences. “Do you not know the system is rigged against me? That’s not feminism. That’s just putting lipstick on the patriarchy,” said Kaye, who had a problem with Hollis even before the TikTok fiasco for ostensibly appropriating “black vernacular” words such as “sis” and “girl.”
For her allegedly racist rant, Hollis has lost about 100,000 Instagram followers, according to the Times. And she’s had to rethink and reschedule some of her upcoming events, even issuing an apology online after first reportedly blaming her “team” for taking so long to address the issue.
“I’m so deeply sorry for the things I said in my recent posts and the hurt I have caused in the past few days,” Hollis announced in her self-flogging Instagram post, confessing her racism and privilege. But while Hollis tries to recover from the charges of co-opting black terms, when is she going to apologize for co-opting Christianity?
‘You Are In Control’
Here is the biggest problem with Rachel Hollis: Her entire brand, from her self-help books emphasizing self-care and self-love, to her merchandise, to her videos, to her public speeches, is built on self-congratulatory screeds with the message “you control your life” mingled with a Joel Osteen-eque prosperity gospel.
“I absolutely refuse to watch you wallow,” Hollis writes at the beginning of “Girl, Wash Your Face.” “I want to shout at the top of my lungs until you know this one great truth: you are in control of your own life.”
Parts of Hollis’s advice seem to have worked out for her so far. In never giving up on her own dreams, she’s achieved quite a measure of fame and fortune. Her goal is to build a “media empire,” and she desires so badly to be powerful and important that she even has the word “mogul” tattooed on her wrist.
Hollis frequently boasts about her work ethic and achievements, saying, “I work 10 times harder today than I have ever in my life, I just sit in a better seat on the plane,” and this pursuit of material success and a luxurious lifestyle is a pattern. In addition to working her “ass off” to have a woman come clean her toilets, Hollis writes in her book about her craving for a thousand-dollar Louis Vuitton bag and brags about driving to the Beverly Hills Louis Vuitton store to buy one of the purses the day she made her first $10,000 consulting.