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Who is Rachel Hollis and why did she apologize?

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RACHEL Hollis has built her empire off of giving people advice to “choose positivity” but some people are not so positive about her.

The 38-year-old influencer has received criticism from the beginning of her career but a recent video she posted has brought on a new wave of backlash.

Rachel Hollis speaks onstage during the 2019 SXSW Conference and Festivals.

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Rachel Hollis speaks onstage during the 2019 SXSW Conference and Festivals.Credit: Getty

Who is Rachel Hollis?

Rachel is an author, motivational speaker, and blogger who has established herself as a self-help guru.

Her book Girl, Wash Your Face became an instant bestseller after its release in early 2018 and catapulted Rachel’s brand.

She has since amassed millions of followers, launched podcasts and conferences, and landed high-profile speaking engagements.

However, from the beginning, she also attracted criticism for her belief that only you are responsible for your happiness which has been called out by some as “toxic positivity”, tone-deaf, and ignoring systematic oppression.

Why did she apologize?

Rachel posted a video on social media talking about a woman who cleans her house saying, “Yesterday, I was doing a live stream and I mentioned that there’s this sweet woman who comes to my house twice a week and cleans. She’s my house cleaner. She cleans the toilets.”

“Someone commented and said, ‘You’re privileged AF’ and I was like, ‘You’re right. I’m super freaking privileged, but also I worked my ass off to have the money to have someone come twice a week and clean my toilets’ and I told her that. And then she said, ‘Well, you’re unrelatable.'”

Rachel continued, “What is it about me that made you think I want to be relatable?” 

“No, sis, literally everything I do in my life is to live a life that most people can’t relate to. Most people won’t work this hard. Most people won’t get up at 4 a.m. Most people won’t fail publicly again and again just to reach the top of the mountain. Literally, every woman I admire in history was unrelatable. If my life is relatable to most people, I’m doing it wrong.”

In the caption of the post, she referred to Harriet Tubman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Marie Curie, Oprah Winfrey, Amelia Earhart, Frida Kahlo, Malala Yousafzai, and Wu Zetian as “all unrelatable AF” ending with “Happy Women’s History Month.”

What did she say in her apology?

The video has since been deleted but it didn’t take long for her followers to take issue with her post.

On April 6, she posted an apology on Instagram saying, “I’m not going to do this perfectly but I’m going to speak from my heart.”

“I’m so deeply sorry for the things I said in my recent posts and the hurt I have caused in the past few days. I know I’ve caused tremendous pain in mentioning prominent women—including several women of color—whose struggles and achievements I can’t possibly understand. By talking about my own success, I diminished the struggles and hard work of many people who work tirelessly every day.”

She continued, “I disregarded the people whose hard work doesn’t afford them financial security, often due to inherently racist and biased systems. I did not allow a space for people to voice their anger, hurt and disappointment, which caused even more pain. I acknowledge my privilege and the advantage I have as a white woman, no matter how I grew up.” 

Rachel ended by saying, “There are many things I would like to say to reiterate how sorry I am, but the important thing for me to do now, something I should have already done, is honestly, be quiet and listen,” she concluded. “I know I have disappointed so many people, myself included, and I take full accountability. I am so sorry.”



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