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Welcome To The Bitchery

Apparently, Martha Stewart, the original Queen of all that is Domestic Perfection, has been throwing some shade at Blake Lively and her recently released website Preserve. Quoth Martha, "[I]t's stupid, she should be an actress!" She went on (presumably) amicably, "Why would you want to be me if you could be an actress?"

I seriously doubt Stewart was trying to disparage Lively's "curated life" site to be mean, but rather to point out the "been there, done that" feeling we're all experiencing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Martha fan (I will never iron or fold my fitted sheets and you can take that to the bank), but I also don't think she's mean spirited in that particular way. Ultimately, she knows that the Preserves and the GOOPs of the world are not really a threat to her homemaker-turned-magnate empire.


I will readily admit that I have participated in GOOP-bashing and Preserve mocking. We can perseverate over why so many of us take some pleasure in poking holes in the entrepreneurial pursuits of these women, but the fact is that they're doing what they want to do, so the more power to them. Ultimately, however, I take less issue with the fact that GOOP wants us to indulge in $300 socks or that Lively seems to think we'd be interested in her latest culinary adventures, than I do with the fact that these women are, for all intents and purposes, carbon copies of one another. Sure, Martha comes across as frosty, Paltrow is so tone deaf as to be a satire of herself, and Lively seems to think that "to curate" is something that people who don't actually have museum careers should explore, but they are cookie-cutter templates of what our society expects from women.

White? Check. Blonde? Check. Domestic? Check. Wealthy? Check.

And I think these facts are, in part, a contributing factor in our collective fatigue toward these Lifestyle Advisors. The Eyeroll Turned 'Round the Internet when Lively spoke about her pet project wasn't just because we don't really care what she likes to bake, but because we already know what thin, traditionally attractive, blonde, wealthy, white women think. It is the definitive Women's Template in American culture. And yes, it is a pet project, regardless of how much she may love her new echo chamber site. Because unlike so many American women, if this job doesn't work out, she has the means to continue on in her lifestyle - curated* or otherwise - without batting an eyelash.

There are so many more options, there are so many more opinions, there are so many more ways of living. We don't need another aspirational myth telling us how to live. We all know exactly what our world demands of us, even if we don't really know how to select the correct Ball jar for canning artisanal Roma tomatoes (or just plain don't give a fuck).

*After perusing her site, I've decided that "curated" is slang for "the world according to Instagram filters"

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