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Girl Wash Your Face | Book Summary

“Girl, Wash Your Face” is a self-help book authored by Rachel Hollis, originally published in 2018. The book became popular for its frank, motivational tone and for its focus on debunking the common misconceptions that women often have about themselves. 

Hollis, who is a lifestyle blogger, businesswoman, and motivational speaker, uses her personal experiences to resonate with her readers and provide practical advice.

Girl Wash Your Face Summary

The book is organized into twenty chapters, each addressing a specific lie that Hollis herself believed at one point in her life. 

These lies range from thoughts like “I’ll start tomorrow” to “I’m not good enough” to “I should be further along by now.”

Here’s a brief overview of the content:

  1. Something Else Will Make Me Happy: Hollis writes about the importance of finding happiness within oneself, rather than relying on external circumstances or people.

  2. I’ll Start Tomorrow: She emphasizes the necessity of seizing the day and not postponing actions and decisions, pushing her readers to avoid procrastination.

  3. I’m Not Good Enough: In this chapter, Hollis advises readers to embrace their self-worth and to cease comparing themselves to others.

  4. I’m Better Than You: Here, Hollis stresses on the importance of humility and not considering oneself superior to others.

  5. Loving Him Is Enough for Me: In this part, Hollis discusses the significance of self-love and not depending solely on a partner for happiness.

  6. No Is the Final Answer: This chapter encourages perseverance and teaches readers to never take no for an answer.

  7. I’m Bad at Sex: Hollis breaks the stereotype of women not enjoying or being good at sex, and emphasizes the importance of sexual health and satisfaction.

  8. I Don’t Know How to Be a Mom: She addresses the anxieties of motherhood and reassures that there’s no perfect way to be a mother.

  9. I’m Not a Good Mom: In this section, she negates the notion of an “ideal” mom and encourages readers to find confidence in their unique parenting style.

  10. I Should Be Further Along by Now: Hollis discusses the pressure of societal timelines and encourages readers to focus on personal growth.

  11. Other People’s Kids Are So Much Cleaner/Better Organized/More Polite: In this chapter, Hollis likely speaks about the unhealthy habit of comparing our lives, especially our children, with others. She probably offers advice on appreciating one’s own unique circumstances and encourages self-compassion.

  12. I Need to Make Myself Smaller: Hollis may address the societal pressure that often causes women to downplay their ambitions, desires, and personalities. She might advocate for living authentically and loudly.

  13. I’m Going to Marry Matt Damon: This chapter probably deals with unrealistic expectations and fantasies that can be detrimental to our real-life relationships and self-growth. Hollis likely emphasizes being present and finding joy in our actual lives.

  14. I’m a Terrible Writer: Here, Hollis might discuss her insecurities about her writing skills. She likely uses this as a universal example to encourage readers to overcome self-doubt in their abilities and take pride in their work.

  15. I Will Never Get Past This: Hollis likely discusses resilience and the ability to overcome difficult times. She probably shares personal experiences to show that it’s possible to navigate through hardship and come out stronger.

  16. I Can’t Tell the Truth: This chapter presumably focuses on the importance of honesty, particularly self-honesty. Hollis probably explores the reasons people hide their truths and provides strategies for living more authentically.

  17. I Am Defined by My Weight: Here, Hollis likely tackles the pervasive issue of body shaming and self-esteem. She probably encourages readers to detach their self-worth from their physical appearance and promotes body positivity.

  18. I Need a Drink: Hollis may explore dependency on substances like alcohol as a coping mechanism. She likely promotes healthier strategies for dealing with stress, anxiety, or unpleasant emotions.

  19. There’s Only One Right Way to Be: This chapter likely rejects the idea of a one-size-fits-all approach to life. Hollis probably emphasizes the importance of individuality and encourages readers to find their own path.

  20. I Need a Hero: Hollis likely encourages readers to become their own heroes. She probably discusses the importance of self-reliance and self-confidence, reminding readers that they have the power to save themselves.

Throughout the book, Hollis addresses these misconceptions with a blend of tough love and humor, aiming to encourage women to live more joyfully, confidently, and productively

Each chapter includes personal anecdotes from her own life, offering both practical and emotional advice to help women overcome the negativity that they may often internalize.

Hollis incorporates aspects from her personal life, including her experience as a mother and her struggles with past trauma, to make the book relatable for her readers. 

The book emphasizes the importance of self-love, self-care, and self-confidence, asserting that every woman is capable of living a fulfilling, happy life regardless of societal standards and expectations.

Girl Wash Your Face Summary

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What can you learn from the book?

Here are the top 4 lessons I have learnt from the book. 

1. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others and Embrace Your Individuality

Rachel Hollis emphasizes that often, we tend to compare ourselves to others and measure our worth based on their achievements. 

This leads to self-doubt, negative self-perception, and demotivation. For example, Hollis describes an instance when she became deeply insecure because she felt she didn’t measure up to her peers who were seemingly leading perfect lives. 

She later realized that these comparisons were unhelpful and even harmful.

This teaches us the crucial lesson that everyone’s journey is unique, and trying to compare our progress to others can only lead to unnecessary stress and disappointment. 

Instead, by focusing on our personal growth and celebrating our individual successes, we can cultivate a more positive and proactive mindset.

2. Overcoming Life’s Obstacles Requires Acceptance and Action

Throughout the book, Hollis shares personal experiences of obstacles she has encountered, such as adoption complications, relationship struggles, and career setbacks. 

She makes it clear that life is full of challenges, and it’s essential to accept them rather than ignore or downplay them. 

She emphasizes that once we accept these challenges, we are in a better position to take meaningful action to overcome them.

For instance, she recounts her struggle with adoption, how she initially dealt with it by denying the pain it was causing, and how acceptance finally led her to take the steps necessary to navigate the situation. 

This story serves as a reminder that acceptance is the first step towards resolution.

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3. Be Responsible for Your Happiness

Hollis argues that waiting for someone else or a particular event to make us happy often leads to disappointment. This is evident in her own experience, as she shares how she once believed that achieving career success would bring her happiness, only to find that it didn’t fulfill her in the way she’d hoped.

This underscores the lesson that we need to actively seek our own happiness rather than relying on external circumstances or people. 

That might mean cultivating healthy relationships, pursuing passions, practicing self-care, or finding contentment in our daily lives.

4. Perseverance is Key to Achieving Goals

Hollis shares various instances where she had to face failure and rejection, especially early in her event planning career. Yet, she did not give up and kept pushing until she found success.

Her experiences highlight that success often requires consistent effort and resilience, even in the face of adversity

It’s a lesson that regardless of the number of times we may fail or face setbacks, it’s important to keep going, learn from the experiences, and stay focused on our goals

As Hollis states, “Your dream is worth fighting for, and while you’re not in control of what life throws at you, you are in control of the fight”.

Final Thoughts

“Girl, Wash Your Face” is not just a book but a call to action. 

Hollis encourages readers to take control of their lives, to believe in their worth, and to pursue their dreams unapologetically. By the end of the book, you are meant to feel empowered, uplifted, and ready to wash their faces, metaphorically speaking, and tackle life’s challenges head-on.


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