Is This Influencer Monetizing Her Divorce?
“Relationship guru gets divorced” is a plot fit for a romcom, but it turns out to be not quite so empowering in real life. When writer and self-help influencer Rachel Hollis announced last month that she and her husband Dave Hollis were getting divorced, one fan on Reddit said it felt like they had “bought into a lie.” After all, the couple had spent their 15-year marriage selling relationship advice through books and conferences based on the purported success of their own. Now, perhaps worse, Rachel Hollis is writing a book about the divorce.
At first glance, this isn’t all that damning. Hollis is the author behind Girl, Wash Your Face and Girl, Stop Apologizing (but not necessarily the author of all her Instagram posts, which she’s been accused of plagiarizing). It makes sense that she would follow these up with a book about the latest obstacle in her life. Still, the timing is suspect.
While Hollis announced her divorce on June 8, a post by her ex-husband reveals that she initiated the split in May. Even by quarantine standards, less than three months is a tight turnaround for an entire body of work (unless you’re Taylor Swift). Especially one that seems to be predicated on an unexpected life event. The book is literally called Didn’t See That Coming, but if Hollis asked for the divorce in May then...didn’t she?
In a video announcement, Hollis says she wrote the book during quarantine. She also offers more clarity in an excerpt published on Instagram.
“I wrote the first draft as a sort of Sherpa, believing I could help guide you over the mountain of grief,” the caption reads. “Now I find myself back inside grief and editing from an entirely different perspective than the one from which I wrote.”
Her promotion of the book doesn’t heavily reference divorce itself, and it’s unclear what other grief she could be referring to. But this segment seems to suggest she was writing about grief before actually experiencing it herself, later returning to edit the book in the throes of heartbreak.
Fans aren’t buying that. Some are even going as far as to call her marriage a “scam.”
“I genuinely don’t understand how she could write an entire book, get it reviewed and published, & finalize the design during a few months in quarantine... it does feel a little staged for profit in the midst of her divorce,” one wrote.
“After 1 month of announcing your divorce you’re a master with all the answers?” another pointed out.
Didn’t See That Coming is out September 29. Hollis did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but in a new Instagram video, she vaguely references the need to love yourself despite what other people think of you, presumably in response to the backlash.