Hot Girl Summer: “Believe It”

Summer 2019 is behind us and you know what, I didn’t do a darn thing. I didn’t visit one beach, pool or amusement park this year. My “Hot Girl Summer” consisted of going to work, going to church going to brunch a few times. All of my adventures and drama came from reading. That’s a good and bad thing at the same time. Ice could have been covering the ground and it would not have made much of a difference to me. I’m going to share and review what I read this summer.

My last Hot Girl Summer book review is “Believe It” by NFL quarterback Nick Foles.  I ran across this book while I was working my part time library job.  My first reaction to the book was I couldn’t imagine anything more boring than an autobiography of Nick Foles.

believe it

But then I remembered his practical and heartfelt MVP speech after winning Superbowl LII.  It touched my heart.  A lot of the victory speeches that people give at events such as the Oscars are sugary sweet nonsense that sets people up for failure.  I don’t believe that most celebrities tell the entire truth about how they become successful.

I checked “Believe It” out and indeed some parts were boring but overall I enjoyed the book.  I am not an Eagles fan so I skipped over the parts of the book where Nick Foles detailed the Playoff season.  I remember that Playoff season but I am not an Eagles fan and I was following other teams.  All of the teams that I cared about had been eliminated by the end so I gave my support to the Eagles simply because they were playing the heavily favored Patriots which get on my nerves along with most of the rest of America.

In case you don’t know here is the backstory.  Nick Foles is the NFL quarterback that led the Philadelphia Eagles to their first Superbowl victory in 2018.  Nick was a back up quarterback at the beginning of the season to Carson Wentz who was sensational.  Carson Wentz got hurt at the end of the regular season and couldn’t continue to play.  Nick had to step in at a critical juncture of the season and not let his team mates and the city of Philadelphia down.

Nick Foles is kind of like a live action version of Charlie Brown that won the Superbowl.  His life isn’t very dramatic but nothing came easy for him.  He was picked 88th in the NFL draft.  I didn’t realize the numbers went that high.  He played second string to superstar quarterbacks Mike Vick and Carson Wentz.  He also played back up to one of my favs Alex Smith.

charlie brown and lucy

He was a starting quarterback on the St. Louis Rams which was a struggling franchise at the time.  He was in that lead position briefly and was fired.  After his winning Superbowl season Nick played with the Eagles briefly and then became a free agent.  He started the current NFL season as the starting quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars but his collarbone was broken in the first game against my Kansas City Chiefs.

Nick told other anecdotes of being awkward and things just not going quite right.  I think many of us can relate to this book even if we are not athletic or particularly competitive.  Prior to the Superbowl reporters covering the event confused Nick with a different player.  That’s easy to believe because he is a pretty plain looking guy.

nick foles

He went into a restaurant in Philadelphia and went unnoticed by fans that loudly expressed their lack of faith that Nick could bring the championship home.  The woman that he fell in love with on sight and later married was dating someone else when they first met.  The proposal that he planned was a comedy of errors.  A lot of celebrities try to be relatable and it comes across as very phony and condescending.  But I think everyone can gain something from Nick’s encouraging MVP speech.  Please watch.

 

I recommend “Believe It” even if you don’t enjoy football.  I enjoy the game and I skipped parts of it because I still interested in the Eagles Superbowl run and I don’t need to read about it in detail.  But Nick is a likeable and sympathetic character.  Everyone loves an underdog and he was the lead underdog on a team of underdogs.  It would be hard not to like “Believe It”.

 

Hot Girl Summer: “Woman of Virtue”

Summer 2019 is behind us and you know what, I didn’t do a darn thing. I didn’t visit one beach, pool or amusement park this year. My “Hot Girl Summer” consisted of going to work, going to church going to brunch a few times. All of my adventures and drama came from reading. That’s a good and bad thing at the same time. Ice could have been covering the ground and it would not have made much of a difference to me. I’m going to share and review what I read this summer.

Woman of Virtue

woman of virtue

I found this book in Hoopla, my library’s digital book database.  It popped up when I put Proverbs 31 in the search engine.  The book is a Biblical guide to being a virtuous Proverbs 31 woman.  For the most part I enjoyed and I would recommend the book.

I like the perspective of the book because it is an alternate view of modern womanhood.  It challenges the influence of feminism in today’s culture and families.  The author encourages women to be modest, dutiful and virtuous which is a sharp contrast to the common messages that women get from the media.  Women and girls are socialized to be vain, self centered and promiscuous.  So the conventional thinking in this book makes it rebellious and counter culture.  I’ve always thought of myself as a rebel spirit.

There were parts of the book that were a bit outdated for my liking.  For instance the book discourages women not to work outside of the home.  I believe this is the ideal and I respect homemaking as a career choice but I don’t think I could ever trust any man that much.  The book also encourages women to tough it out and stay in your marriage if you find yourself married to a jerk.

Perhaps I interpreted Mrs. Brackley’s words wrong but I don’t think anyone should remain in a relationship where they are being mistreated.  I don’t for one minute believe that the Lord called anyone to be in an abusive marriage.  (I don’t specifically recall the author writing about abusive relationships.)

If a spouse is not keeping up their end of the bargain by not honoring their partner I don’t think it’s the other spouses place to try and make up for that deficit in order maintain a marriage.  Marriage just isn’t that important to me.  That’s a big part of the reason that I think that women shouldn’t stay outside of the workforce for very long unless you’re married to a millionaire that can pay a large settlement in the event of a divorce.

Overall, I enjoyed this book.  It is thought provoking and challenges the reader to rethink contemporary culture and women’s roles.  I agreed with most of what the book had to say even if I don’t think it was entirely realistic and practical.

 

 

 

Hot Girl Summer: “Perfect is Boring”

Summer 2019 is behind us and you know what, I didn’t do a darn thing. I didn’t visit one beach, pool or amusement park this year. My “Hot Girl Summer” consisted of going to work, going to church going to brunch a few times. All of my adventures and drama came from reading. That’s a good and bad thing at the same time. Ice could have been covering the ground and it would not have made much of a difference to me. I’m going to share and review what I read this summer.

Perfect is Boring

perfect is boring

I read Perfect is Boring this summer by Tyra Banks and her Mama Carolyn London.  I didn’t really like this book.  I just read it because I’m a Tyra fan.  Carolyn’s contributions are better more interesting than Tyra’s.  If you’ve followed Tyra’s career there is nothing new here.  Tyra gets on the same self righteous, slightly misguided soap boxes in this book as she did on her talk show and as she does on America’s Next Top Model.

This book follows along the same vein as Girl Wash Your Face in that a woman that doesn’t have any real challenges is telling you how to deal with challenges.  In Girl Wash Your Face an attractive woman with a successful career and happy home life is telling you how to deal with insecurities.

For decades Tyra has been telling women to embrace what they perceive to be physical imperfections meanwhile she has made millions because she is aesthetically pleasing.  It’s not her place to speak because she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

Tyra is well meaning but watching her tell women on ANTM to embrace their “flaws” is counter productive.  It’s always bothered me that on all but perhaps the first few seasons of ANTM  there has been a so called plus sized model that is perhaps a size eight.

antm

The latter cycles of ANTM have focused on the fashion model hopefuls and their insecurities.  So here we have women that had what it takes to be on a TV show about modeling being coached to be confident by an international super model.  Tyra thinks she’s being relatable but she’s nauseating.

I really am a fan though and I’ve watched every of ANTM and I watched her talk show daily when it came on.  Tyra is weird and kind of annoying but I love her and I’ve hung on her every word since the mid 90s.  But this book was still disappointing.

I was hoping for a celebrity tell all.  I wanted her to spill the beans on why she broke up with her baby daddy.  What happened between her and Chris Webber?  What went wrong between her and that Indian technology mogul.  I wanted her to admit that she is jealous of Naomi Campbell and absolutely obsessed with her. 

The book did give a bit of the behind the scenes information about America’s Next Top Model.  Tyra talked a bit about the legendary scene where she snapped on the young girl and yelled “- — ——- — —!  — —- — ——- — —!”  Some of you know what I’m talking about but if you don’t:

None of that happened in this book.  She just wrote about self esteem and self respect.  I found it to be pretty dull but if someone got something out of it that’s great.  Tyra’s mom Carolyn briefly told her life story in the book.  I’m familiar with Carolyn because she’s made appearances on ANTM.  Her story is truly inspirational.

tyra's mom

Carolyn was a young naive mother of two children.  She is a hard worker but most of all she is smart with good instincts.  Carolyn’s smarts and artistic talents are what got Tyra to where she is today.  She is a very talented photographer with an eye for fashion and style.  And she was good at strategizing.  Carolyn is a woman that got ahead by being smart and putting well thought out plans into action.  I think she could be an inspiration to a lot of women.

Fun fact.  A few years ago I read about a woman giving her young daughter a period party when she started menstruating.  She probably stole that from Carolyn.  Carolyn did that for Tyra when she began her lady’s time and she wrote about it in Perfect is Boring  Carolyn said that she was very naive about sex even after becoming pregnant and she wanted her daughter to be informed and have a good understanding of her body.

I can’t say that I would recommend this book even if you are in middle school.  I’m sure there are better literary choices you can make.  But if you do decided to read it save time and skim past Tyra’s parts and jump to Carolyn’s passages.  If you’re a die hard Tyra fan you may enjoy this book.  It’s kind of like calling an old friend.

 

Hot Girl Summer: “Girl Wash Your Face”

Summer 2019 is behind us and you know what, I didn’t do a darn thing. I didn’t visit one beach, pool or amusement park this year. My “Hot Girl Summer” consisted of going to work, going to church going to brunch a few times. All of my adventures and drama came from reading. That’s a good and bad thing at the same time. Ice could have been covering the ground and it would not have made much of a difference to me. I’m going to share and review what I read this summer.

girl wash your face

I hate read this book.  I read it expecting not to like it so I could shake my head with disapproval as I read.  Girl Wash Your Face did not disappoint.  I think it’s important to consider the intended audience when consuming entertainment.  I don’t think I’m the intended audience for the work of Rachel Hollis.

Rachel Hollis is a social media influencer and event planner that wrote a book to inspire her fans.  She has 1.5 million followers on Instagram that reach out to Rachel for advice with self esteem and parenting matters.  Her followers sound like they are White housewives from upper middle class backgrounds that drive themselves insane by comparing themselves to images and narratives on social media.

So Mrs. Hollis wrote a book advising suburban soccer moms to feel good about themselves and not to tear themselves apart.  Who told these women not to feel good about themselves in the first place?  She used anecdotes about her life as inspiration.  The problem is her life isn’t very interesting and you can tell she was grasping at straws while putting that book together.

There wasn’t a single idea or story that lead the reader through Girl Wash Your Face.  The book is all over the place and didn’t stay on a linear path.  The choppy path didn’t tie together very well.  It’s as if she was told she had to write a certain amount of words but she didn’t have much to say.

She talked about her courtship with her husband, her start as an event planner in LA and her experiences as a mother.  All of her experiences are fairly common and there isn’t a lot of drama to her life, at least not that she shared.  There wasn’t a universal experience that she shared that really captured my experience to endear her to me.  I would bet money that if you had a middle aged cashier working at Dollar General or serving tables at Denny’s or something to write a similar book it would be %1000 more captivating.

The best portion of the book is about her adopted daughter and the struggles she had trying to adopt.  If she focused on that it would have been a far better book.  I also enjoy when she said that she was from a small, conservative town in California and her family has roots in the Midwest.  Hollis said that her family was like the people in The Grapes of Wrath.  Now those people were interesting.  I would have liked to hear more about those people and the people from her home town and the current culture.

I’m not trying to diminish what a White, affluent housewife goes through.  I’m just not a part of that culture and I don’t relate to it.  Just like I don’t relate to standing in long lines to get into Build a Bear or for Beanie Babies at McDonald’s.  I also don’t understand the fascination with pumpkin spiced beverages and food.  I’m just not a part of that culture.

The most insightful thing I’ve ever experience about White, suburban housewife culture is a short You Tube documentary about the clothing company Lu La Roe.  The women in that documentary are probably the same type of women that follow Rachel Hollis on IG

The documentary was engaging because there was something in those women that I didn’t recognize in women that I grew up around.  When Black women have tortured souls the outward manifestation is different.  There was a sadness about all of the women in this film that I don’t think came from a failed business venture.

The women in this short film were non assuming with soft spirits.  All of them were likeable even if you liked them out of sympathy.  There was a loneliness and quiet desperation about them.  I’m curious as to what made them so vulnerable to the scam.  I understand why a lot of people in the world fall into predatory traps but these women’s material needs were being met, they have a family network and they fit into what global society upholds as it’s standards.  I wish this documentary could become a reality show.  I have questions that need answers.

They weren’t drug addicted, abused as far as we were told but they still have self image problems that lead them to be a part of a leggins selling cult and it’s hard but interesting to understand why.  It’s almost like reading A Doll’s House when I was a student.  I barely remember what this was about but I know it was about a traditional and her quiet suffering.  It was kind of like a 19th century version of Desperate Housewives.

Anyhow, I didn’t enjoy Girl Wash Your Face.  I’m even a bit put off by the title.  I think that Rachel Hollis is a nice woman, a smart woman and is probably well intentioned but once again I’m not a part of Hollis’ target demographic.  Rachel has built a huge fan base as a lifestyle influencer.  I don’t understand what a lifestyle influencer does.  She is an unaccredited mental health and relationship guru that is selling millions of books so she has clearly tapped into something that I don’t understand.  Perhaps some of you will enjoy this book but it’s just not for me.