Publications have been trying to convince women they are incomplete without the high handed advice of their betters since the printing press started churning out its goods.
Listen, I am going to come out of the closet and admit to something no self-respecting blogger would ever allow herself to be connected to. It may come as a shock. It may make you distrust my instincts. It may put everything you know about my ability to match hue to hue in considerable doubt. But this blog is about openness, honesty and acceptance. So I am just going to put one of the truths tucked away into the darkest recesses of myself out there and hope you love me anyways.
I have never given a flying flip about Martha Stewart. (Really, replace “flip” with any four letter word and you still have it about right.) I don’t care about “good things”, homemade laundry detergent or the best method to transport foie gras out into the wilderness for an uppercrust camping experience. (Side note: I also don’t care about camping. I know. I can feel you unsubscribing en masse. No Martha Stewart OR camping? Who is this girl?)
So when I saw a link to a Bloomberg TV interview with her, I wasn’t really concerned. The headline on the video said, “Martha Stewart Speaks Out: Bloggers Not Experts.” I snorted and laughed, don’t have to tell me twice. She is preaching to the choir on that one. Unless of course, I could be considered an expert on NOT being an expert. In which case, confusing. However, I happened to see the link the video in the middle of a particularly long drive with a particularly annoying two year old. So in the pursuit of distraction I clicked on that little thumbnail ready to agree for the first time with the almighty Martha.
And then my head exploded.
What a pile of self-important, entitled, elitist, Martha’s Vineyard hogwash. This - THIS - is so much of what is wrong with our interactions with one another as women. The thing is that she could - and would - easily swap out the word “blogger” with “everday woman”. Her problem with bloggers is not the small community, the conferences or the sense of self-importance (three things I myself often have a problem with when interacting with bloggers), it is with the fact that they think they have something to add to the discussion of fashion, food and life in general.
“Who are these bloggers? They aren’t trained editors at Vogue magazine!”
What, as a woman, could I or anyone else have to add to any conversation without the proper credentials? Who cares about your style, your expression of self? The runways are where all fashion and expression originates. It cannot exist outside of the curveless world of the Lagerfelds and Laurens. Who cares about how you have perfected your grandmother’s beef bourguignon? You can’t possibly cook! Didn’t you know the editors of Martha Stewart Living INVENTED COOKING? Who cares if you have found a way of life, a method of organization, a message of hope that you would like to share with others? Your contributions aren’t worth notice because they have not been vetted by the establishment! Silly, little woman, don’t you know that only one percent of the top one percent have anything worth saying? Now, please, go back to purchasing my products so that I can tell you how to live the way a woman should live. I know best because I am a better woman than you.
Sisters, don’t listen to this nonsense. Don’t listen to it from the establishment, don’t listen to it from the media, don’t listen to it from you pinorexic* neighbor down the street. Your contributions are worth notice, worth consideration, worth our time. The only qualification necessary to enter in on the conversation of womanhood is to be a woman. That’s it. (And if you are a man that loves women, sure, you can have some input, too.) I am sick to death of the impersonal and glossed over dictating what is important.
You know what is important to you. You know what makes you happy. And for heavens sake, you are capable of making and testing a recipe if you damn well want to. You get to be the expert of your own life. I trust you. (Not that it would matter a flying flip if I did not.)
Eff Martha Stewart.
*Pinorexia - a condition caused by uncontrolled pinning and pinterest related arts and crafts. Symptoms often include hot glue gun burns, excessive quinoa consumption and a general wasting away of original self.
Note: I focused on women and women's contributions here. I do understand there are male bloggers and male readers of Martha Stewart et al. They are not the majority and these comments deal with her main audience, women. However, they could very easily be applied to men, too.