I’ve fallen out of love recently with a woman I greatly admired. And It’s so difficult for me to admit to myself that what attracted me to her wasn’t what I thought it was.
I initially fell in love with her because she was so open and honest about her journey to adoption. A journey I have felt called to as long as I can remember thoughts of motherhood existing within me. Regardless of any genetic connection, I know my children will find their way to me. Adoption and her open discussion of the topic opened my eyes to a family that was able to grow through means not really discussed in today’s motherhood world on social media.
I bought her book, Girl, Wash Your Face thinking it would be something that tore down the structures of power and control that we as women deal with on a daily basis and empower us to seek authenticity in the face of obstacles.
I do have faith that was her goal.
But, like others before have said she really missed the mark.
And now, apparently, she’s plagiarizing.
We as white women need to do better. We as a sisterhood need to do better. Even if knowing where to start is an uncomfortable journey.
I want to come out and say that, as a consumer of what she’s selling, I won’t be buying it anymore.
I will not be purchasing her next 2-3 books in the series she planned. For me, I want an author who puts the whole story into one book and sets it out for us to devour. (Unless we’re talking fiction, then I can handle buying an entire series.)
I’m not so much into self-help books that were designed to be written and published within a certain time frame and season. Seems a little predatory, if you ask me. I mean, what’s the motivation if they already know there will be more books to be purchased when they write the first one? Seems like they would still be holding back on who they are and what information they have to share with us, don’t you think?
I wish she would have talked more about her truth. I wish she could have talked more about the work she’s done on her relationship with herself after her brother’s death. I wish she would have talked more about the development of her relationship with her husband that, as she wrote about it, really made me cringe that she didn’t explain his transformation into the man she thought deserved her virginity and marriage vows. Must be saving that for the book he’s writing though, right?
Or maybe it’s for all the additional products they’ve developed since her book has taken off. I don’t look down on a woman for being a successful powerhouse, but I do have some questions about why all this self-help material is coming out now… do they really care about helping people live their best lives, or are they profiting from the age where we all feel overwhelmed, insecure, disorganized, and uninspired?
All this to say, I lost some respect for a woman I greatly admired because it appears to me that she turned into a sellout. She had an amazing platform by which she could affect great change in the masses of women who bought her book. She was, for me, someone I looked up to so highly for the life she lived.
But I realized that’s what she was selling to me. This curated “perfectly imperfect” garbage that’s clogged up the internet so authentic people’s stories go completely unnoticed and unread. She’s perpetuated the cycle of “Buy this to learn how I got my perfect life! My books and products will completely help you as long as you spend enough money. Just buy it and find out!”
I’m done with reading the stories of white women who can’t talk about their privilege. Who dance around it like it doesn’t exist and don’t call it by its name. I don’t think it’s our job to give away all our possessions and goals for ourselves in the pursuit of dismantling all forms of oppression. But I do believe that when we are given a platform as grand as the one she has been granted, it’s our responsibility to shed some light on the areas where we know we have personally benefitted while others have struggled immensely.
I’m not claiming to be perfect at this by any means, I’m a continual work in progress and constantly need to remind myself that I have benefitted more than I am even aware because of the color of the skin I was born into and the socioeconomic status of the family I was born into, among other things. There are things that were handed to me that other people had to fight tooth and nail for.
I will never allow myself to forget that. It’s my responsibility as a full-bodied woman in today’s day and age to hold myself accountable above all else. I’m also doing what I can, little by little, to improve my education on ways to include racial inequality in all that I do. I know I’m not going to be perfect, but how will I ever grow if I never try? If I never take the chance to be uncomfortable and learn how to talk about oppression, how can I ever start?
In turn, the women I admire and place on a pedestal above myself must also reflect the values I live in my own daily life.
I will not worship the women who never take the chance to speak up. I am not asking that every moment of every day be filled with a rage to talk about your privilege. No, I am asking that you just take the chance at all. Ever.
I don’t expect my idols to be perfect. They’re flawed humans just like me. But I want to admire women who are able to learn from their mistakes, take the “naysayers” with a grain of salt and ask yourself if maybe they’re “negative” because they’re pointing out ways in which you as a person and inspirational force to others can do and be better.
I’m done giving my money to the places and people that I see as flawed. I work hard to earn the little extra spending money I have after bills are paid and necessities are cared for. I’m a working-class woman with dreams of my own and I will not allow women or men who aren’t doing anything more than just making money off my misery to prosper any longer.
What’s your opinion of Rachel Hollis? Are you interested in her upcoming books or do you feel like maybe you see behind the curtain of her perfectly orchestrated life?