In defense of the Pioneer Woman
7:00 AM EST on January 8, 2013
It's a man's man's man's world here at the Lost Ogle. Every other post features pictures of local hotties, another large portion of our content deals with sports, and Marisa and I are only allowed to talk about the uh, three attractive guys in Oklahoma media once a year. It's unfair really.
I'm a woman, hear me roar. I like to Pinterest household cleaning tips and photos of Shia LaBeouf and Alexander Skarsgard. My favorite color is leopard print, I wear high heels nearly every day, and I feign interest in sports only to have a legitimate excuse to watch Nick Collison in all of his 7-foot sweaty glory. Also, although most of you would be embarrassed by this fact, last week I bought a robot that sweeps and mops my floor, and I cooed and hovered over it all weekend as if it were a baby or a small dog.
Although I'm a fan of reading mommy blogs, I'm definitely not cut out to contribute to one--well, at least not anytime in the near future. First of all, I'm as single as it gets and have been since the Bush Administration. I don't watch any prime time soap operas, my job is awesome and I'll probably never stop working, I think DIY projects are for suckers, and I don't have any weird complexes about how my hands and neck photograph. These reasons alone disqualify me from ever identifying with majority of the housewives of the world. But I'll give credit where credit is due, and I'll just come out an admit it--the Pioneer Woman is
sort of awesome not as bad as you think.
Ree Drummond, better known as the Pioneer Woman, is the lady behind what is now considered the gold standard of mommy blogs everywhere. This chick cooks. And cleans. And homeschools her four kids. And writes detailed tutorials on Photoshop tricks. And writes these amusing little ditties about lip glosses and shampoos she uses, movies she watches, and books she reads. She writes NY Times best-selling books as well. And, she includes detailed travelogues of all the cool places she gets to go. And, she writes movie quizzes every weekend and gives away sweet prizes to whoever answers them correctly the fastest. AND she had some sort of career in California before she gave up her black Christian Louboutin heels for her hunky and rich husband's tractor wheels. Oh yeah, and she has her own TV show on Food Network, and gets to hang out with Giada, Bobby Flay, and Alton Brown on the reg. And yep, they're currently in the process of developing a movie about how her and her husband who she calls "the Malboro Man" met and settled down together, and that said movie is probably going to star Reese Witherspoon.
Okay, so maybe I actually kind of hate Ree.
But I hate her for the same reasons why Taylor Swift annoys me and why I get uncomfortable when my pervy Twitter friends retweet Morgan Woolard. If I was as perfect looking as Morgan, damn straight I'd tweet selfies all day too. If I was a famous country singer and pranced around with half of young Hollywood, well I'd play it off like I was some sad, broken-hearted nicegirl as well. Keep on singing that same song, Taylor Swift.
The Pioneer Woman throws dinner parties and homeschools a bunch of kids and writes books and develops recipes and stays skinny and still has time to write movie reviews and film a TV show. Okay, or maybe she doesn't. Maybe she's just a girl born from privilege who married well, got bored after a few years and decided to put her journalism degree to use by writing charming blog posts about every day life, bought a DSLR and a tripod, then hit the market right as living vicariously through mommy bloggers exploded. Sure, she doesn't invent her recipes from scratch. Possibly, she has a little help educating her kids. Maybe she hires a few immigrant workers to clean her gigantic mansion for her. What's so wrong with that though?
We're salty with her for always stealing blog awards from TLO. You know that little badge of honor on our homepage would really brighten up the layout! But well, other than misleading us about her so-called Best Lasagna Ever I really can't say I know of a time were she's caused direct damage to the well-being of me or anyone I know. Except maybe Patrick, I swear I saw him blink back a few tears when he told me about the PW the first time I met him. To me, she's a well-off housewife who made it big by remixing a few recipes and being good at crafting an interesting and kinda funny personal narrative about a fictionalized (yet based on a true story) version of her life. Perhaps the grandiose lifestyle she alludes to isn't 100% accurate, but I would never call her content offensive, deceitful, or short of entertaining.
Apparently, not everyone feels the same way I do. There is an astounding number of angry mommies who write furious open letters to Ree and dedicate entire websites to calling the P-Dub out for being a horrible, terrible, no-good, rotten fraud. It's like, they're taking their frustrations of their mundane, fruitless lives out on some random successful blogger (which is not unlike some of the awesome fan mail and comments I receive). The most amusing tirades I found are here, here, and here, incase you're like me and still can't accept the fact that we all have to work a full five days this week. But that's just the beginning...there are binders full of women who hate Ree Drummond, and they're MAD ENOUGH TO TYPE IN ALL CAPS LIKE KANYE WEST.
This is where I've got the PW's back. The ladies who wrote the pieces above sounds like uptight, dramatic, jealous pricks. You know these women are the type that feel entitled to cutting you in line at the bank, who tell other people's children to be quiet in public forums, and who lead the gossip circle at PTA. If I could find a handful of reasonable people who truly take issue with Ree's glamorizing her "rough and tumble" life on a ranch, I'd be more than happy to listen to their argument points and would probably agree with half of them. But I don't see where what Ree's done is any different from what happens on half of the shows on MTV and Bravo, or the Bachelor, or any reality show or celebrity blog or even most of our own Twitter accounts. Of course we leave out the boring and unpleasant stuff--it's social entertainment, not a forensic analysis.
Maybe it's because I have trouble buying that recipes are intellectual property. Perhaps this is somehow linked to the fact that I didn't understand Oprah and the book-reading public's fury over James Frey's A Million Little Pieces. When it comes to entertainment, I thought it was automatically implied that everyone writing assumes a sort of characterized version of themselves, similar to Will Smith playing Will Smith in the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or Jason Segel
playing Marshall Erikson being his sweet, quirky, gigantic self in How I Met Your Mother.
With that being said, I want everyone here to know that I am a complete wiz in the kitchen, I'm planning a hostile takeover of my parents' company within the next five years, I can recite every single line from every single Quentin Tarantino movie in its entirety, and I used to date Chuck Klosterman but dumped him for a King of Leon. I'm not one to kiss and tell, but here's a hint: it was the brother who vaguely resembles Jesus.
Follow Chelsea on Twitter at @xCawoodstock