On today's episode of BuzzFeed Daily, we broke down the top pop culture headlines AND discussed Rachel and Dave Hollis's fall from influencer grace. You can listen below or scroll down to read more about the interview!
BuzzFeed Daily: You wrote a very interesting piece for BuzzFeed News detailing the rise and fall of formerly married influencers Rachel and Dave Hollis. Would you mind giving our listeners just a little bit of background on who Rachel and Dave are and how they rose to prominence?
BuzzFeed Daily: The reason we're talking about them today is that this past Saturday, Dave went on Instagram Live to promote his new book, Built Through Courage. It started out OK, but then the tone quickly changed when he started demanding his followers spend "18 stinking dollars" to purchase his book, which he claimed would change their lives. When one commenter said they had no job or money, Dave replied by saying, "This 18 dollars would be the fastest route to getting paid." I mean, it's kind of ironic that someone claiming to have all the answers is visibly so unnerved by his fans not supporting him in the way he wants. Where do you think this disconnect comes from?
BuzzFeed Daily: One of the many things that struck me about that Instagram Live, you know, is that Dave and Rachel constantly preach about the importance of hard work and humility and family. And yet, when his daughter asks him to make her breakfast during the video, he like sarcastically tells her to get a life and to take it down a notch. I mean, this is a man who historically has been a real master at curating a very pristine image of himself. And then it all just sort of crumbled in that moment. Do you think that was intentional? Do you think he's pivoting his brand in that way? Or do you think he was just sort of caught with his pants down in that moment?
BuzzFeed Daily: So the main reason that Rachel and Dave have been provoking so much outrage is the fact that they're getting divorced. Like you said, even though they sold themselves as a happy and well-adjusted couple and not just rhetorically, they literally created a couples workshop that costs $1,795 to attend. What was the reaction from the public and their fans when they announced their divorce?
BuzzFeed Daily: I want to dive into more specifics about Rachel. In the opening chapter of her highly successful 2018 book Girl, Wash Your Face, which you mentioned earlier, she wrote "You and only you are ultimately responsible for who you become and how happy you are." I mean, I'm just going to say it — she's an attractive white woman who's basically saying only you are to blame if you're not happy, while basically ignoring every single societal factor that may have benefited her and helped make her happy. Do you think her waning success has to do with people starting to see all of the ways that this message is actually very privileged?
BuzzFeed Daily: Then there was Rachel's now-deleted TikTok rant, in which she started by defending herself for having a house cleaner twice a week, but ended with her comparing herself to Harriet Tubman, RBG, Oprah Winfrey, Frida Kahlo, and Malala, to name a few. What the hell happened there?
BuzzFeed Daily: It seems like overall, this is really a story of two privileged white, wealthy people who made a name for themselves profiting off of a self-help, self-care narrative that they weren't actually practicing themselves. Do you see them being able to reinvent themselves from here? Do you think they have the possibility of pivoting their brand into a more authentic, real 2021 place? Or do you think it really just goes all downhill from here for them?
We also talked about the “terrifying” moment Will Smith realized he might be going about parenting his kids Willow and Jaden all wrong.