What’s the age-old phrase? Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me? When it comes to Ms. Rachel Hollis and her shenanigans, I don’t even know where to start.
When I first discovered Hollis’s brand, I was all there for the message:
You can come from humble beginnings with no connections, and you can live your dream. When you live into your purpose, you can serve others.
She’s done, or at least she should be.
Here’s the thing about apologies and mistakes.
When you’re repeatedly apologizing for making the same [or similar] mistakes, again and again, it’s not a mistake. It’s a choice.
Ms. Hollis has chosen to show us who she is time and again, and at this point, it’s up to us to send a clear and resounding message.
Girl, sit down, support, and make space for people who lead by example.
Give a platform to people fostering community instead of ‘building their following’ and empower communities by having genuine interactions.
She doesn’t want to be relatable
I don’t for a moment understand why you would not want to be relatable to your community. She’s since backtracked this statement, but we all heard it, and it’s not something we should just forget about. Why?
Because even though it’s the first time she’s been caught actually saying it, it’s not the first time other words [and actions] have sent out the same message.
The first red flag should have come from her most popular books, Girl, Wash Your Face. She doesn’t come straight out and shame anyone, but she does it in a weird, sort of, read-between-the-lines kind of way.
She talks about a hypothetical friend from work and how this friend is always starting new diets but never following through.
“Y’all, would you respect her? This woman who starts and stops over and over again? … “No. No way.” — Girl, Wash Your Face [Ch. 2, Page 13]
No one should be surprised by this answer. Why? Because it isn’t relatable.
At least not to someone who has struggled with body image and a poor relationship with food all their life. Regardless if you’ve struggled or not, everyone… I repeat EVERYONE, is deserving of respect.
A struggle with weight loss does not mean you are not deserving of respect. If anything, I respect you more. It takes a lot more courage and strength to openly discuss your vulnerabilities and struggles than it does to cast judgment on people’s struggles that you may not relate to.
Is Ms. Hollis is truly that tone-deaf? Probably not.
Her ‘tough love approach is the perfect guise allowing her to say she’s giving her following advice that they need but might not want.
It’s her way of saying, I don’t relate to your struggle, and I’m not going to because no one works as hard as I do. But if you want to get close, this is what you should do instead.
Questionable ethics are a key value
The most blatant example of this was in June of 2020, when she and her husband announced their split.
So many people [who follow them] were disappointed, shocked, and quite frankly felt hoodwinked that the carefully curated façade they had been sold since 2018 quickly came crumbling down.
And I don’t mean sold, as in, she just convinced and encouraged her following to adopt certain practices for a healthy marriage. I mean sold, as in, people spending hundreds or thousands of dollars of their hard-earned money to go to couples retreats hosted by Rachel and Dave [her husband].
What’s the problem with this, you may ask? So. Many. Things.
In short, while the Hollis’s weren’t doing anything illegal, it certainly was unethical. It’s not the first time people of influence have given bad advice, but to give marriage advice while your own marriage is crumbling and then charge money for access to that advice… Need I say more?
Gillian Sisley has an incredible article covering the debacle, ‘Rachel Hollis is a Fraudulent Example of Influencing Gone Wrong’.
The icing on top of the cake came three months later, when Ms. Hollis dropped a book titled Didn’t See That Coming. I must admit, it’s poetically ironic that this is her most recent title.
Did she see her fall from grace coming back in September?
I bet you she didn’t, and what’s worse, she wouldn’t have cared even if she did. Because what does a controversy like this stir up? More clicks, more searches, more engagement… even when it’s bad press.
She doesn’t want to be relatable — so why would she care if people [her followers] were disappointed, hurt, and offended by her rant on Tik-Tok?
She’s built an empire on questionable ethical practices — what would lead her to believe this latest ‘mistake’ would be the beginning of the end?
What I hope she considers is finally taking her own advice:
“…but the important thing for me to do now, something I should have already done, is honestly, be quiet, and listen.” — msrachelhollis Instagram post
Girl, Just Stop and Sit Down
I won’t lie to you. I absolutely bought into her message about humble beginnings-community is Queen-chase your dreams, and you can have it all mentality.
While the questionable ethics [or rather, lack of any ethics] bothered me, I still passively engaged with her brand from time to time [before the shenanigans of this past week ensued].
I enjoy Trent Shelton’s ‘Straight Up’ podcast and ‘Talking Body’ with Amy Porterfield. Neither of these individuals would I would have found without Hollis’s promotion.
They have important messages for their communities with a relatable and realistic vibe.
All I ask from Hollis, and other influencers in the personal development realm, is stop and think about why you are in this space.
Are you wanting to build a following, or are you investing in building a community? When it’s done with good, selfless intention, it literally has the ability to change people’s lives. We need more change-makers.
Are you here to empower and serve your community, or is it about your own agenda? There are plenty of other ways to earn a dollar besides preying on people who are looking for authenticity and genuine interactions.
Last year challenged humanity in ways we never could have anticipated. We saw the true colors of people we thought we knew and just how broken all the systems are upon which we’ve built our society.
This isn’t new news, and it shouldn’t have come to this for people to advocate for change, but this is where we are.
We owe it to ourselves, our children, and future generations to makes these changes now.
To be relentless in our pursuit of community, equality, empathy, justice, and so much more.
So Ms. Hollis, and any other influencer, self-help-guru, or person claiming to be building a community for themselves, and not for the people in it…
Move aside, sit down, and listen. We’ve got this.
If this made sense, maybe this will too —