I read Girl, Wash Your Face last year after years and years of trying to hunt the book down... and I loved it.
This post may not be about Girl, Wash Your Face (you can find the post that is about it here) but I bought and read Girl, Stop Apologizing because I desperately loved Girl, Wash Your Face.
Let me just talk about Girl, Wash Your Face for a second because that first blog post doesn't do it justice and I don't have time to go back and add in a hundred thousand words to rave about Rachel Hollis's amazing Non-Fiction book that literally makes a girl (who doesn't enjoy reading Non-Fiction) want to cry and hug the book like it's her best friend. And then give it up so that all her actual best friends can read it too.
Girl, Wash Your Face is so incredibly relatable on so many levels. Almost all f the chapters contained something that I really needed to hear at some point in my life. Some of them, unfortunately, contained something I needed to hear earlier on in my life than when I read the book. Some of them contained exactly what I needed to hear at that exact moment in time. And some of them spoke to mothers or married women. I'll read those chapters later but I suspect they'll be perfect when I reach that stage in life.
The book is written in such a beautiful way that it simply makes it easy to read. Hollis writes as if she is talking to you woman to woman rather than writing a book. She tells you all her secrets, spins stories about her past, and speaks in such a way that you literally feel as though you are in the room with her rather than reading pages. It makes the book 10x easier to read particularly if you are not much of a Non-Fiction reader.
I didn't feel quite the same way with Girl, Stop Apologizing.
I picked up the book (or rather ordered it online) from Thriftbooks to meet the $10 minimum to get free shipping. I chose it because I loved Hollis's first book and loved the idea behind the title of this book. I apologize for literally everything.
Someone else stubs their toe on a door I was nowhere near? "I'm sorry." I'm late (but still present) for a meeting I wasn't informed about? "I'm sorry." I bake cupcakes I wasn't asked to bake and they're the tiniest bit dry? "I'm sorry."
I thought I could maybe use whatever advice a book entitled Girl, Stop Apologizing would offer. But as soon as I began to read the introduction, I began to understand that the book was about something different than what I had expected.
Sure, it still told girls not to apologize. But it was centered more around getting girls not to apologize for their goals and dreams and rather to go after those goals and dreams and to develop behaviors and skills that would help get them there (and get rid of habits that would hold them back). Being a girl who already knows what she wants and goes after it with everything she has (developing a plan and achieving it), this was not really a book I needed. After all, I am the daughter of the two people who created Dream Culture and wrote a book about it (you can find that book here).
As I read, I found that the chapters were a little less story-filled and a little bit more disorienting than the last book. While I still enjoyed the book and the way that Hollis creates the illusion that you are talking to her rather than reading her book, I felt a little bit more like we were jumping around to different topics in our discussion rather than staying focused. Multiple times I was confused about what Hollis was trying to teach me and multiple times I found myself losing interest in the book in a way I did not with the first book. While I would still recommend Girl, Stop Apologizing to females everywhere, I would recommend Girl, Wash Your Face with much more vigor.
One thing I did absolutely love about this book was Hollis's chapter on confidence. Hollis starts off her chapter on confidence by talking about physical image (something that, particularly in this day and age, could be taken the wrong way). This, to me, was so good because it gives permission to women to look good for themselves (not for men or other women but particularly for themselves) and to not feel bad about it. It teaches women that while we don't have to look good for others, looking good for ourselves actually brings us confidence and actually physically changes us.
I have crazy deep feelings about this subject. You may or may not know that I have a nerve syndrome (Central Neural Sensitization Syndrome or CNSS for short). This syndrome gets worse the more stressed and emotional I feel and better when I feel emotionally better. After I was diagnosed with the syndrome (and had to fight through the worst pain I'd ever felt) I came out the other side and began to put the slightest effort into my appearance. During my medical troubles, I had worn a t-shirt and leggings most days (usually without a bra and usually without doing my hair). Often, I didn't shower for days and sometimes I simply didn't have access to a shower for days (when in the hospital). As I began to put even the tiniest bit of effort into my appearance, I began to realize that it made a huge difference. It separated the new me from the me that had been in pain. I was still in pain but when I got up, got dressed, and put on earrings, I told myself, "I am going to fight today, and I am going to win!" Putting in that little bit of effort gave me confidence and gave my body a signal that I was in control, not my pain.
I still do that every day. I don't usually wear much makeup (if any) and I don't usually do anything with my hair but put it in a ponytail. But every day I choose jeans rather than leggings. I put on earrings. I choose a necklace. And I wear a cool t-shirt (I didn't give up the t-shirts because they are cool and comfortable and I feel confident in them). It is not a ton of effort but the choice to put in even that little bit of effort makes me feel good and makes me push through the (physical) pain of each day.
Thank you Rachel Hollis for your encouraging words and your drive to push women to be their best selves, to stop apologizing, and to step out of lies.
If you are a woman, I would truly encourage you to find yourself (and maybe all your friends and family) a copy of Hollis's books to read. Check out her blog here