Don’t These People Realize They’re Actually Making Rachel Hollis Even MORE Rich and Famous?
Recently there’ve been a bunch of stories popping up in my ‘daily reads’ and my Medium feed about Rachel Hollis and people’s opinions on her. Most of the time I don’t read too much into that sort of stuff (gossip, scandals, scuttlebutt, and the like), mainly because I really just don’t give two shits.
Sure, the cover stories can pull you in and be entertaining for a moment, but then as I spend a little time diving into the gossip rag, or whatever it is I’m looking at, I start to feel slightly ridiculous for even wading in those waters. It’s not important, nor do I take it seriously; like many things in life.
Alas, since these articles are recently being pushed my way on a continuous cycle, I begrudgingly thought to myself “Okay, okay, what the hell is this nonsense all about?” and decided to have a look-see. I ended up giving some of the better-writer-written articles a read, which gave me the common gist of what’s going on here.
Basically, the people, or ‘angries’ (as I call them), writing these articles (both in the media and here on Medium) feel they’ve been indubitably conned by this woman, Rachel Hollis, and they’re pretty bitter about it. It’s understandable, I guess. If an ‘influencer’ makes a living by profiting off of their subjects (more commonly known as their followers/fans) by selling them advice, then yes, by all means, the influencer should be able to back it up — and do so honestly.
Rachel Hollis seemingly did just that, for a while… and then her fans learned she’d been — *gasp* — lying, apparently, for the last couple of years. The ‘angries’ believe she was allowing folks to pay for her coaching and advice, all the while living a lie.
So, yes, I get it. I understand why all of these people (mostly women) are pissed off, riled up, and ready to burn some shit.
For those of you who are like me and live under a friggin’ rock, Rachel Hollis is a social media ‘star’, if that’s what you wanna call it. She became ‘internet famous’ due to an Instagram post of her stretchmarks going viral back in 2015. She’s since written a couple of books (which have done very well) and she’s also become a life coach and motivational speaker, often to sold-out crowds who pay beaucoup bucks for tickets. She does podcasts and seminars with her husband as well — and this is where the majority of the most recent controversy sets in.
From what I gather, when Rachel and her husband (Dave) do these seminars, much of what they speak about is their happily married family life, and how great this said life is. With the audience (which usually consists of women and couples in need) hanging onto their every word, Rachel and Dave inform them how they, too, can have everlasting bliss with their own respected spouses.
Apparently, A LOT of people bought into this crap, because A LOT of people are very angry and feel they’ve been completely and utterly ripped off by the Hollis couple’s whole schpeal.
Why, you ask? Well, because the good old Hollises have recently split up and filed for divorce. And not only did they split up, but they’ve apparently been having problems for a while, according to Dave’s own Instagram announcement about the split where he admits “This is a decision we have wrestled for years…”
This means, during trials and tribulations in their own soon-to-be-defunct marriage, they were all the while putting on a literal show for well-paying customers, preaching positivity to them at these seminars (and on podcasts), telling people how to have a great marriage by following the Hollis’ example.
Adding more insult to injury, Rachel Hollis recently announced she has a brand new book coming out in September (a book which, according to Rachel’s website, is about pain, heartache, and dealing with the difficult moments in life). She announced this in August, just under two months after the couple announced their split, meaning the book had to have been in the works while they were still putting on the show of an eternal lovey-dovey partnership.
On another note, Rachel has also come under fire not only in the past but more recently as well, having been accused of plagiarism on several occasions throughout her career. The most recent accusation happened just this past April when Rachel posted a quote taken from a Maya Angelou poem on her Instagram account without acknowledging where the quote actually came from. Rachel quickly rescinded the post and blamed the snafu on her social marketing team.
Okay, so I can kind of see where these folks’ anger is being derived from. Rachel and her husband are divorcing. A break-up or the end of a marriage is a devastating situation for anyone, and it’s sad these two are having to go through it.
What isn’t sad, but IS definitely shady and jacked-up, is that these two kept on giving these seminars and life-coaching advice about having a wonderful marriage well after they apparently were already having problems.
Maybe what they should have done is expressed honest concerns about their relationship with their fans, and filled them in on the duo’s marital woes and troubles (I mean, why not?— since the couple already make a living off of sharing personal shit), and it’s quite possible that any vulnerability shown would have had a positive effect on their business and seminars. As much as people like having a perfect role model to admire for what they, themselves, aspire to be… they also like and appreciate someone they can relate to, especially if that someone is already famous.
Personally, I can’t really identify with how the influencees, or followers, can become so enamored with an influencer in the first place. It’s basically hero worship… and it’s something usually set aside for kids, tweens, and teens. It reminds me of the ‘Twilighters’, or the Beatle Mania screamers — but in this case, there’s no discernible talent for the person deemed ‘famous’.
It baffles me how folks can put so much admiration and worship into some influencers, such as the Hollises, who have no apparent credentials or certification behind what they’re teaching and preaching. They aren’t licensed counselors or therapists. They’re married — and apparently being married automatically makes them marriage counselors?
I guess my question is: Why would anyone listen to or take advice and counsel from these two in the first place?
I suppose therein somewhere lies the concept of the new age title of ‘follower’. It’s pretty literal when you think about it. Everyone follows everyone nowadays. Everyone wants more followers. I don’t love that word. To be a follower means that something or someone is leading you.
Thanks, but I prefer marching to the beat of my own drum, down my own path, rather than follow someone else’s. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need a(nother) bullshit leader. Pfft.
I really wish social media would change that word. If I like someone’s writing style or artistic talents, I’d consider myself a fan of their work, not their follower. But, whatev— can’t win em’ all.
The whole influencer thing, in general, can sometimes be a bit eye-rolling. It’s often (not always, but often) someone who did something pretty basic in life and gained notoriety for it in some lame way, instantly making them a self-appointed ‘expert’.
Enter Rachel Hollis. She got married, had some kids, gained some stretch marks, and took some pictures of the stretch marks. Thanks to social media, those pictures made her famous, and people decided they liked this woman. BOOM! — suddenly she’s famous… and an author.
As I said already, I grasp why these folks are mad at Rachel. But, here’s the thing:
With all of the ranting and raving being done about how ‘terrible’ this Hollis woman is… they don’t seem to realize that what they’re actually doing is making her even more famous. And rich.
No, seriously though. I didn’t even know who Rachel Hollis was — literally had NEVER HEARD OF THE WOMAN — that is, until I read about her in all of the Rachel-bashing posts by peeved ex-Hollis fans and followers right here on Medium. Now look, here I am, looking up a bunch of stupid crap about her to write this very article.
I now know about her new book and her prior books. I now know she was an event planner-turned-mommy blogger-turned influencer. I now know how she became a household known name (excluding my completely-in-the-dark household), and how her writing career began. I’ve even learned she sells clothes on QVC and Amazon, such as the Rachel Hollis Ltd. casual vest w/pockets, denim jacket, peasant dress, and flannel peplum top (which are all now clearance discounted). I know how many kids she has, how long she’s been married, and I even know about this woman’s past stretch marks. I didn’t know any of this before.
My household now knows who she is as well, after reading this draft. ;)
These ticked-off Hollis Co. consumers may think they’re doing the world a favor by trashing this gal, but I’m not so sure. If it’s just a subject they enjoy and get off on writing about, great. Have at it. If they’re super emotional about the whole thing because it affected them personally in some way, and they just need somewhere to release and write out their frustrations on the matter — that’s awesome. Do it. You’re seething and seeing red. Vent your ducts. Let yourself be cooled. Folks should write about whatever they want.
But, if they’re trying to ‘warn’ everyone else to stay away from anything Hollis-related by writing these anti-love letters, I don’t think it’s working. It may just have the opposite effect. Going back to the old quote “There’s no such thing as bad press”… the huffers and puffers are probably gonna send folks straight to Amazon to buy Rachel’s new book — just to see what all the ruckus is about.
So really, the anti-Rachel crew might just be putting even more moolah in her flannel-lined, denim, peasant-dress pockets.
If you want some real heroes to fawn over or some actual couples’ advice, look no further than your grandparents, if they’re still around; or pay attention to the next hunched over, frail elderly couple you see who, after 60+ years together, are still holding each other’s hand while holding their walking canes in the other. Even the next middle-aged married couple you notice while at the market who still do their grocery shopping together. These are the real love and marriage influencers, and I’m sure they would definitely have some words of wisdom from which we could all learn a thing or two.