If you haven’t heard of Rachel Hollis, I know you have at least seen her books somewhere before. She’s the author of the Girl, Wash Your Face and Girl, Stop Apologizing book series. I have never been a fan of hers, but I always knew at least a little about who she was from seeing her book covers and life planners on end caps in Target. Recently, she’s gotten herself into an internet controversy after posting an insensitive TikTok to her account. Let’s take a look at why Hollis has always been controversial, from the context of her book series to her social media presence.
The TikTok Controversy
Rachel Hollis comparing herself to Harriet Tubman is WILD pic.twitter.com/62lEBmr8Iu
— Angie Treasure (@snark_tank) April 2, 2021
In a TikTok post made by Hollis at the beginning of April, she discusses how a commenter called her unrelatable. Even though the name of the social media influencer game is relatability, Hollis goes on to say that she has never tried to be relatable and that she works far too hard to be relatable. Apparently, she works her “ass off” as an influencer and self-help guru and no one could possibly understand or ever be on her level. Several times in this video, she calls her housekeeper “the woman who cleans my toilets” which is demeaning and dehumanizing. On top of all of this, the caption compared herself to women in history who she claims were just as “unrelatable” and were on her level. In this list was Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Harriet Tubman, Frida Kahlo, Malala Yousafzai, and more.
This comparison is so clearly an issue because Hollis is comparing herself to women of color who are “unrelatable” because they have fought hard to change their own lives and the lives of others. Rachel Hollis basically made the claim that she is on the same level as any of these women because she “works her ass off” to be able to have someone clean her toilet…let’s let that sink in.
The point of privilege you must be at to think that you are better than all of your followers — the ones who bought your books and made you as popular as you are — and that you’re on the same level as famous WoC who changed the world is unfathomable to me. But, Hollis has been showing off her privilege for years.
The Problem With The Girl, Wash your Face Series
For years, Rachel Hollis has spread the message that she’s super relatable to women and if you work hard enough you can be just like her. In that one-minute TikTok she made it clear she doesn’t believe any of it, and it’s all just a feel good ploy that sells well.
— Wanda 💖💜💙 (@backslidingbi) April 4, 2021
If you’ve ever picked up one of her books, they are filled to the brim with motivation about how if you work hard, you can be just like Rachel Hollis. Seems like she was trying to be relatable to me. Type in “Rachel Hollis quotes” on Pinterest and I promise you you’ll have plenty of phone wallpaper options to choose from. To me, this TikTok video showed her true opinions about her audience. Basically, you’ll never be as good as her because you don’t work as hard as she does and she was only pretending you could be because it’s a great feel-good message that sells.
In a podcast episode “Part 1: Rachel Hollis & The Rose-Colored Glass Ceiling,” by Kate Kennedy on her show “Be There In Five,” a fan wrote in to tell Kennedy about a keynote presentation they attended where Hollis spoke. Allegedly, Hollis said “Do you want to know why I’m so good at what I do? I’m so good at what I do because I own you. I own you. I could sell you dirty socks because I’ve gained your trust and your respect and you want what I have. It’s not about what I’m selling. It’s about the fact that I own you and that is why I will always be successful no matter what I do.” So, if this quote is true, Rachel Hollis knows exactly what she is doing. Kennedy in the podcast calls back to Hollis’ 2015 bikini photo that in some ways launched her career. The reason the photo of her in a bikini went viral is that she clearly wanted to be relatable to other women who may feel uncomfortable showing their bodies off, so what has changed since then? Kate Kennedy goes into a deep dive into this situation in her podcast, so give it a listen if you’re interested.
Other Controversial Aspects
5 days ago Rachel Hollis posted an incredibly tone deaf, racist, and privileged video. She referred to someone as sis (not her place), claimed she was learning from her failures but then blamed this one on her team, & said her goal was to be unrelatable, which is her whole thing.
— Erica✌🏼️🤙🏼 (@erica_cheese42) April 5, 2021
Rachel Hollis has been called out for many other controversial parts of her influencer journey. From taking on slang that feels culturally inappropriate like the use of “Girl,” and “Sis,” to being fatphobic and classist.
Rachel Hollis just announced her divorce on IG and I am FLOORED.
They’re always posting mushy pics, renewed their vows in Italy & even host a *marriage* podcast. Their entire brand was: “We’re #relationshipgoals! Have a perfect marriage like us!”
It was nauseating…and fake? pic.twitter.com/kF0SHaF4JE
— Alissa (Uh-LEASE-Ah) (@AlissaHenryTV) June 9, 2020
Hollis and her husband have also been called out for filing for divorce recently. While we all understand that divorce is tricky and a hard situation, many fans felt betrayed since they had been fed mushy photos and several episodes of a marriage podcast that made it seem like the couple was completely fine before the announcement.
Other aspects of Hollis’ content from her two self-help books that have bothered fans are her takes on adoption (she claims that birth parents who gave up their babies are all drug addicts you have to meet up with at McDonald’s), comments on how people who can’t commit to a diet are untrustworthy (apparently you can’t count on your friend if they’re fat), and the way she shares the beginning of her seemingly unhealthy relationship that became a marriage. Many readers have mentioned concern online for the messages portrayed in her books.
Personally, this outburst on TikTok was nothing new, as Rachel Hollis has always shown her true colors just in a (tiny bit) more discreet way. Girl, maybe you should start apologizing.
What are your thoughts on Rachel Hollis and her TikTok video? Let us know below!
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