Thursday, October 17, 2013

Caring for Myself Body and Soul 18:
Reflecting on life and lifestyle (Poor Martha)


Perhaps you've heard about Martha Stewart's recent interview on Bloomberg TV.  If not, you might enjoy watching this little snippet.




When asked about social media, here's what she had to say about bloggers:

"Who are these bloggers? They’re not trained editors at Vogue magazine (sic). I mean there are bloggers writing recipes that aren’t tested, that aren’t necessarily very good, or are copies of everything that really good editors have created and done. So bloggers create a kind of popularity, but they are not the experts. And we have to understand that."

Many bloggers are understandably miffed by Ms. Stewart's comments, stating that they would have expected a little more respect from her.   I was a little miffed myself when I first watched the interview.  Since I've had time to think about it, I've realized that the very thing Ms. Stewart denigrates about bloggers is the attribute that attracts me to them.

Bloggers may not be "the experts," but that's precisely why I like to read what they write.  Bloggers are like neighbors.  They're ordinary people leading extraordinary lives.  Actually, many of them have become experts in the subjects about which they're passionate, but that doesn't change the fact that they're genuine, sincere, and approachable.  I want to know what they have to say.

In another part of the same interview, Ms. Stewart stated, "I think I started this whole category of 'lifestyle.'"  Perhaps that's true.  I probably should know more about the history of the lifestyle category, since that's how my blog is usually classified.

Clearly, I'm not an expert.  But I would have thought that an enviable lifestyle would include a good portion of humility and graciousness.  I suppose I'm more interested in life than lifestyle.

What do you think?



This post is the eighteenth entry in a 31-day series: Caring for Myself Body and Soul.  
Click here for a list of all the posts in this series.


26 comments:

Susan said...

I liked "old" Martha, when her show was new and it was just her in her home doing crafts and cooking. THEN, she went to prison and she got a new show with an audience with whom she couldn't relate. It was so uncomfortable to watch. Martha has always had an enormous ego and I laugh every time she takes credit for "homekeeping".
The reason I love blogs is for the same reason you stated. Regular people who have talents and advice to share and are relatable.
Keep on keeping on, Sister. I love your blog.

Debby Ray said...

I agree with what Susan said above...I certainly don't feel like the Martha that I have seen on TV would be very approachable. I do like to watch her sometimes but if you have eve seen her with guests on her show, it seems to me she is somewhat condescending to them....just my opinion. Oh well, I will never even close to Martha's standards so I won't even try :)

Vicki Winters said...

Dear Martha Stewart,

I, as many, many, many, bloggers are, in fact am disgusted by comments you made in your recent interview on Bloomberg TV.
You said, and I quote, "I have a minor gripe…"Who are these Bloggers? They're not trained editors at Vogue magazine."

Well, I think you know some of them, because at least 5500 bloggers, including myself, heard you deliver a keynote at Blogher 2012.. You praised us up the WAZOO, or should I say, blew smoke up our asses?

So, to clear up any misconceptions, I'm going to compare your VOGUE editor to your everyday Blogger.

And may I first mention, Ms. Stewart that VOGUE doesn't actually do food recipes. so pretty much you don't even know what you are talking about. I assuming that you are referring to YOUR magazine, Good Housekeeping, All You, Saveur, or some publications that DO DO this reipe TESTING of which you speak..

I've worked at Esquire Magazine, and. I've been in the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, so I'm not just imagining what goes on.

SO, to make my argument against your comment, I am here, to defend my entire community, of Awesome Food Bloggers.

I will just use me as an example, not the blogger, who is a full time working mom with children. That's a whole different ball game.,
Here are several ways that your Editor friends stack up to My Blogger Friends

The Vogue Editor, has a full time staff that includes a Creative Director, Photographer, Photo editor, Food Stylist, Editor In Chief, and several interns.

I have a staff of 3. Me, Myself, and I.

Editor has a car service to take them to the grocery store, and an intern to help them carry everything.
I have a bike and recyclable bags.

The Editor has an Expense account,
I have my savings account.

The Editor has someone cutting vegetables and washing everything.
This blogger….All alone in the kitchen.

Editor- GIGANTIC kitchen that I would die to work in.
Blogger- A 6 by 8 foot kitchen, with 2 drawers.

Editor has a clean up crew, and someone who takes out the trash at night.
Blogger- takes out the garbage, and cleans everything myself.

The Editor has several ovens and can make more than one dish at a time.
Me- Please refer back to the size of my kitchen.

While I am cooking, I have to pause, grab my camera in one hand, or use a tripod from far away set on a timer. Your hardworking Editor, has someone from the photo department, hovering and shooting from every angle, then editing the pictures too.

Oh, and let's not forget the Food Stylist that comes in to help arrange the plating, lighting....you get the idea.


Finally, about this recipe testing?
You mention that the bloggers are not TESTING recipes? Really?
What better test for a meal, than a persnickety husband?

In closing, I have not described my fellow full- time working bloggers, who do this as a passion project, nor the moms, who have children with needs, that arise while doing ANY of the blogging tasks.

When was the last time an Editor took a baby to the store? Or had 2 kids fighting while working in the kitchen?

I think you get the point, and I also think, you need to apologize to me and my Friends.

All my best,

Vicki Winters

Ceil said...

Hi Richella! Oh my goodness. I think someone has had a bad day.

Martha Stewart certainly doesn't have anything to fear from bloggers. Why the bad attitude? I don't believe for a second that she cares whether we like inferior food or not. It's all about 'me' and 'money' to her. Sigh.

Gotta feel for her. All that money and fame...and bitterness too. Pretty sad.
Ceil

Carol said...

I'm not here to accuse or defend Martha Stewart. I do respect her tenacity to have gone through what she did with the whole "prison" thing and come out of it bigger and better. I think she is a very passionate person, but more so for the monetary factor than anything else. I do not believe she is a compassionate person at all.

My son is an Executive Chef of a group of restaurants called True Food Kitchen. Martha and her entourage of friends showed up one day at one of the restaurants where Michael just happened to be one day. His entire staff was so intimidated by Martha's presence that our son ended up preparing all of their food. She didn't "slam" anything but she wasn't complimentary either. Her friends were all gushing over the food. Michael just recognized that Ms. Stewart is who she is, and knows enough to surround herself with friends who are completely the opposite. She did insist she and Michael have their picture taken together before she left. Michael, who is both passionate and compassionate and wise beyond his years, gave Martha one of his business cards before she left, saying that if she ever wanted to have him on her show, he would be happy to do that. No, that hasn't happened, yet!

I am a blogger for the sheer fun of connecting with like-minded people. I think there are some extremely talented bloggers who offer so much and are so willing to share. Maybe they are not trained editors at Vogue, but I'll bet they can bake a cake with a baby perched on their hip. Would a Vogue editor ever attempt that fete -- I think not!

All I'm saying, fellow bloggers, is just don't get your shorts in a bunch over a tackless comment. Ms. Stewart still has a lot to offer us, but we don't have to be BFFs!

Leah Rose said...

Kathy at a Delightsome Life wrote a really good article about this. She was very thorough and had mentioned that the videos were seriously edited and taken out of context for the sake of getting a reaction out of people.

I am pretty neutral about Martha Stewart, except I try to hide from her because I am far from being the homemaker extraordinaire, and am most grateful when I can just get the basics done most days:)

Either way, I appreciated Kathy's article. I don't think I can put a link in this comment or I would for you!

Have a blessed weekend!

Melissa Smith said...

I agree, Richella! I especially like your last line: " I suppose I'm more interested in life than lifestyle." Give me non-expert bloggers any day!

Bernadette Veenstra said...

Good post, Richella. I agree that we are not experts. But I don't agree that are recipes aren't tested. I've been cooking for over 25 years. All the recipes that I share are tried and true, easy and delicious. Even if the pics are not professional.

FABBY'S LIVING said...

Oh wow, here I was thinking 'we were all experts,' ha! Cracked me up...our recipes are tested caz I never invent any; I copy from books, bloggy friends,I have them from my mother, from friends, even Martha's! They're over and over!!! Great Richela, I really enjoyed your post, plus I still like her, LOL!

FABBY

Richella Parham said...

Bernadette, you make a very good point. Every time I share a recipe, it's one that I've tested many time! I've published a few from other people, and I think the same is true for their recipes. My photographs are not particularly good, but I'll stand behind my recipes! :)

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

I have a little compassion for Martha in this brief comment. She is at heart a teacher (expert) and it is very hard to get out of that mold. As a teacher you are always the one that is looked up to. It has been years since I taught, and I still think when I am in a room and someone asks a question ... that I should answer it. :)

On the other hand, it is a little elitist.

I enjoy her creativity and energy.

Fondly,
Glenda

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

I am not a fan of Martha Stewart and never have been. I don't like the so called "experts" that she speaks of telling me what i should do and not do in my home or how I cook and what I do for my family. She is too aristocratic for my taste and I LOVE those bloggers that are not the "Experts" because I feel that they are like you and me, ordinary people doing DIY things that save money ,not using expensive products designed by an "Expert". Like I said, I am no fan of Martha and this interview does not really surprise me.

Hugs,
Deb

hron said...

Who is this "Martha" who has appointed herself as the expert on EVERYTHING???? The woman's arrogance and critical nature are a complete turnoff . Her "advice" isn't worth the price of putting up with her attitudes.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Well, I have personally never found her to be humble. But I find it is in fairly bad taste that two of the companies that she verbally promotes, SUPRISE, carry her brand. Martha, martha, martha.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kristinwithani said...

Yes, precisely, that's why I love most bloggers! These are normal people whose recipes are tested by their families and friends. Their decorating is imperfectly perfect. I feel so free reading and seeing their lives over all my years knowing I would never live up to MS style. Sure, I learned how to fold a fitted sheet from Martha and many other things back when her show was small and filmed in her home. But I have learned so much more about life from women who don't have editors and professional testers.

NanaDiana said...

Well, Did she say in her HUMBLE opinion? LOL As much as I have always loved the Martha Stewart "way" I think she may be just a bit out of touch with reality. Ummm...I am guessing she doesn't BLOG? lol You have to be able to interact on a real level to blog...and yes, there are a few "bad" recipes along the way..and yes...SOME bloggers take recipes as their own that they got from an expert and doesn't give credit where credit is due...and Yes- We ARE normal people (well, if you can call someone like me normal) and therein lies the appeal for me.

GREAT post, Richella. You hit the virtual nail on the head this time! xo Diana

raggyroo said...

I love your response!!! Everything she doesnt like, I like about bloggers, same here sister!

Shana Franks said...

I am not really a big Martha fan, she has shared some creative ideas, but overall she is nothing special. Now, I am VERY new to blogging, but I have found SO much inspiration from other bloggers over the years of just reading normal moms blogs than I ever have from reading anything Martha has done. I feel like blogging is a community of friends, normal everyday creative people who combine their love of their homes, families, friendship and their faith to share ideas on improving each of these areas and helping each other along the way. Martha Stewart will never know who I am, care what I do in my home, or in my life, and I am just fine with that.

Ashley Rane Sparks said...

I think it's amazing that Martha had the gaul to say this. Which one of us has ever claimed to be an expert? Isn't that the beauty of blogging? You get to just be a normal person with a normal life, raising your kids and talking to your virtual friends about what you're up to. You don't have to be an editor that gets paid a lot of money to know how to make a good meal or set a good table. I think she feels threatened. The fact is...she built an empire on cooking and crafting and here we are saying "Hey, we can do that too." We're not asking for omnimedia, just chatting about real life :)
Ashley Rane Sparks
www.makeitrane.com

wastelandtograceland.com said...

Wow-I had not heard about that interview. You made a great point though. The reason I like bloggers is that they are not the so called experts. They are REAL people who I can relate to. Thanks for making that clear!

living from glory to glory said...

Good Morning Richella, I am just shocked over this! I guess I was the last to know...I thought I was the expert! Wait a minute...
I am the expert when it comes to knowing what my Hubby or family likes or needs.
When we find a food we like or love we stick with it, I do not need 55 different ways to cook something!
And I really love reading other bloggers ideas and opinions about what they find works for their families!
I want relationships not books with pictures sitting on a shelf. So when a girlfriend has a delicious meal I want her recipe!
Okay you got me going sister Blogger LOL
Blessings Always, Roxy
PS I like your Mac and cheese recipe, not Martha's!

Kim Hood said...

Richella, I love to read what bloggers have to share about their lives, so I totally agree with you. It's that personal touch and feeling like I'm sitting at the table with them having a cup of coffee together that draws me to the whole blogging experience - on both sides of the screen - as blogger and reader. When I see pictures with instructions of how a blogger made or cooked something, that's better than someone "telling" me how to do something they've not necessarily done.

Bottom line, Martha is Martha, and I am me. I answer to God for how I present myself (as His representative). If I focus on my impact on the world (as small as that may be) in the way that He leads, then my focus is in the right place. (Its up to Martha to worry about her impact on the world, and she has to answer to God for that.) Humility can go a long way, and I have to be careful also - if I get too big for my britches, God will humble me (and has, more times than I like to admit).
His blessings,
Kim @ Curtain Queen Creates

Schotzy said...

Your title of the post says it all. Love your blog!

The Pennington Point said...

Great points Richella! It was funny to me when I first saw it and so many bloggers were all upset by it. I don't know why we care what she says. She doesn't know me. I don't know her. I don't know her motives and I don't really care. I love bloggers and turn to them for all kinds of advice, ideas and I love what they promote and I love companies that work with them. I don't put any value in what Martha thinks or Ralph Lauren thinks....they run in a different circle. They have different values. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Lisa~

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Yes I do think she started it all. She made it popular to even do things on your own, to diy, craft, etc. I really don't understand that comment since she employs bloggers in her Martha's Circle to use her products and blog about them. So I don't get it. But then some things I've read say this was a heavily edited excerpt.

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