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Things like systemic racism can wear on a person to the point that it degrades her health at the same time it restricts her access to good health care, resulting in higher rates of chronic disease and shorter life expectancies for black women than white women. Hollis doesn’t address the possibility that for some people, obstacles to happiness are outside their control.
Can you tell a woman who has lost her hoped-for child as a result of state officials turning a blind eye to a water-poisoning crisis in a predominantly black area, or a mother seeking asylum whose child was taken away from her at the border, that “you are ultimately responsible for who you become and how happy you are”? And it is proof of her hard-earned privilege that she doesn’t have to.
She writes in the book about leaving home after high school and striking out for Los Angeles, where an obsession with Matt Damon led her to apply for (and get) a job at Miramax (which had produced Good Will Hunting).
That job led to Rachel meeting her husband and eventually starting a wildly successful event-planning company, Chic Events, which morphed into a lifestyle blog called the Chic Site, which in turn has led to the creation of a nebulous, evolving business empire — first the communications and branding company Chic Media, now the Hollis Company, through which Hollis and her husband Dave (now the company’s CEO) oversee her motivational speaking circuit and podcast as well as “Rise” conferences for women and couples. At 35, now living outside of Austin, Hollis has written three novels, two cookbooks, and, as of this year, the #1 New York Times best-selling book Girl, Wash Your Face.
The book has almost 7,000 Amazon reviews, the vast majority of them five stars; as of the week of Nov. But if you aren’t already familiar with the book, or Hollis, you might be forgiven for wondering: What, exactly, is she saying that people are so eager to hear?
The internet has given rise in the last few years to a phenomenon I’ve come to call “curated imperfection,” and Hollis is one of its reigning doyens.
— which she deconstructs chapter by chapter: “I Am Bad at Sex,” “I Should Be Further Along by Now,” “I Am Defined by My Weight,” and so on.
“Recognizing the lies we’ve come to accept about ourselves is the key to growing into a better version of ourselves,” Hollis writes.
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