Rachel Finley’s memoir Nobody Told Me Nothing

“I am not a victim. Please don’t call me strong.”

If you visit Rachael Finley’s Instagram, you might think she has the perfect life by 2022 standards, and in some ways, you’d be wrong. The statuesque blonde owns her successful clothing line, Hot Lava, and Steakworld, home to 11 other brands — and is an OG internet celebrity who got her start on Tumblr with her much-loved bad advice. Now she’s adding “writer” to her resume, continuing her tradition of being unflinchingly open and honest in her debut memoir, Nobody Told Me Nothing.

Whether you’ve met Steak online, as he’s affectionately called because of the Omaha steaks his family would give him, or you’ve had the chance to meet him in real life, you’re instantly smitten with the desire to come up and drink. everything he said. With her doll-like features and eclectic style, everything about the Florida native looks cool. While her social circle may have a few famous faces scattered here and there, her ability to shake off the sticky grip of fame adds to the fact that she will never pretend to be an It girl.

At 36, he’s had more than his fingers as he’s been on a bit of a US tour, managing and living with an all-male band. She was an MTV reporter with Lizzo, she had her own show on Vice, and she was a fit model for back in the day. In an era where people just don’t “want to work anymore” and fame and success are significantly separated from talent, no one comes with more integrity or works harder than Steak.

In many ways, the entrepreneur and mother of two created a blueprint for many young women by simply opening her inbox and being herself. Her 100,000 Instagram followers regularly flood their DMs with relationship questions or share their personal tragedies, asking Rachael to make room for them.

So it is hard to believe that he was never allowed to occupy the place. It hurts to know that your role model didn’t really grow up with one.

At age 11, Rachael Finley stayed at home for a full year. A self-made woman in almost every sense of the word, Rachael was forced to come of age at an early age as her mother’s bipolar disorder and father’s absence colored her childhood with instability. Learning how to forge her mother’s signature when she can’t pay, or picking up the pieces after manic hallucinations, Rachael struggles to survive from the start. It’s as if Finley’s astonishing resilience stems from the turbulent environment in which he grew up. Married to a childhood spent cleaning up other people’s mess, the chaotic Florida swamp instilled in Steak an unyielding will to persevere.

Maybe it’s the gum she grows in the swamp, but Rachael isn’t afraid to get in the mud. After all, she started Tumblr while going through chemotherapy as an outlet. Although Rachael has made a career of opening up to others and exposing parts of herself through the screen or through her designs, “No One Told Me Nothing” reveals the truths she never shared. Steaks’ first book delves into the gray, hidden areas of her life, offering a rulebook for her two daughters that she doesn’t have, revealing her harrowing yet relatable experiences as cautionary tales.

A cancer survivor with eating disorders and relationship control, Finley breaks the cycle by doing what we wish our parents would do for us – be honest. For hundreds and thousands of people, Steak is the “cool mom” or big sister they never had. “The consequences of navigating oneself out of necessity in response to the lack of real, clean, effective leadership can be devastating. If we don’t say anything to our children, we leave it to the world to tell them in the most difficult, sometimes easy way.”

Hypebae sits down with Rachael to discuss her debut memoir, “No One Told Me Anything..” Keep scrolling for more.

You discuss your marriage to Blake Anderson and your shared and different views on fame. As someone who has been online for years, how do you manage to stay true to yourself while doing your job and maintaining your online presence?

I think there are parts of me that I love to share, even the messy stuff, but there are parts that have to remain sacred to me because it’s not personally safe for me to post all of it. I experimented with what my audience could handle and what made me feel good for strangers to know and changed from time to time. I like to save my pieces for the people I eat with – I like to give them my all. Nothing against my followers, I just like the intimacy of a small group. It’s not that I’m two different people in these spaces – it’s just that if it makes sense, there’s a strict rule of thumb not to assign people or places that have proven to be “safe” to keep you safe.

At NETMA, you delve into your relationships with men as well as your female friendships throughout your journey. Can you talk about the importance of the chosen family? Given your childhood experiences, do you think it’s easier or more attractive to make a home than others, especially when it comes to romantic relationships?

Making a home out of others is definitely something I have to struggle with as it is in my nature. I think we also need to overcome the fear of addiction. I think people throw this word around and demonize it without realizing it. I like to be with the people I choose. I also have to protect the hypothetical house I built just for myself, not just to make the house I built healthy with them. I’m learning this as I grow up and get older.

Often people feel guilty for having difficult relationships with their families, especially their mothers. While you personally have good reason to have complicated feelings about your family, how did you deal with guilt and shame when you started telling your story?

I remember the day I realized my mom had bad hair. She was very irritated with the world and was angry at the traffic jam and while she was fiddling with her hair in the rear view mirror. I was in high school when I tried a few new looks like white eyeliner and it wasn’t like what I’d seen in a teen magazine, and I was equally pissed off. It was at that moment that I realized he was not a god or a perfect being. She was human like me and something as small and silly as bad hair or smudged eyeliner could affect her. Seeing your family as flawed, fearful people helps you deal with the events that occur because of those fears or flaws.

Were you afraid of becoming a mother because of your relationship, as well as your family’s history of mental illness?

Absolutely, and I don’t think I’m over that piece yet. Some days my anxiety gets the best of me and turns into paranoia. I get upset and see my therapist and friends. I think there’s always going to be a lingering thought that I might end up in a situation that my mom is in, so I struggle with stabilizing myself in ways that she can’t – with a support system in place and therapy, abs through sobriety, it’s just that the chips aren’t stacked against me like they are for her. .

Throughout your life, you’ve had to belittle yourself in some way, shape, or form. How have you learned to hold space over the years? Is Hot Lava an extension of your healing process?

Hot Lava is for my followers – who have spent ten years telling me what they love. I love making clothes for them. It is a tribute to this community, a work of art and a business. The pieces that reflect me take these aggressive themes and imagery and make them hot pink or lavender—deliberately and loudly “feminine.” I just didn’t have the clothes when I wanted them. They are designed to take up space and are designed to be worn in places where many “others” are told to make themselves smaller.

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