Have you been keeping up with Preserve? Right now it’s all capes and blossoming life, because Blake Lively is pregnant. Have you heard?
This past weekend she made an appearance in New York at Martha Stewart’s Made in America event. Martha and Blake go way back, obviously: they are neighbours, and Blake and Ryan Reynold’s plantation wedding was featured in Martha Stewart Weddings (well, the dessert table was).
Some have marked Blake’s appearance as an end to the “feud,” which supposedly started when Martha and her CEO made a few comments about Preserve– basically that Blake wasn’t credible in the lifestyle space and should stick to acting. I never saw this as a feud because feuds need to go two ways; Blake is a huge fan of Martha’s and has been quite vocal about that. A feud implies some kind of rivalry or slight – there is no rivalry here. It’s not like Martha talking sh*t about Goop – that is a feud, and here’s why: Gwyneth is competition. Blake is a fan. Blake wants to be Martha Stewart. Gwyneth has never wanted to be anyone other than Gwyneth Paltrow. That’s the difference.
Fans aren’t threatening. Fans aren’t competition. Martha probably took one look at Preserve and thought it was cute little crafts, but it’s not serious. Blake isn’t serious, because she is always telling us how she’s not much of anything - not an artisan, not a curator, not a creator, not an editor. She’s just a fan. Fans don’t build empires.
Gwyneth is not a fan. She’s a knower, a connector, an arbiter of good taste. She’s “very good friends with…” the brilliant cook or writer or musician. She’s an appreciator and an insider, never a from-afar fangirl.
Gwyneth is so good, she even knows how to have a WASP feud the proper way – she hired a former member of Martha’s team (and not just anyone, she hired the former CEO and President of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia) and said that she was psyched to be seen as the competition. She’s gracious but haughty – and responding to Martha while hanging out with women like Sheryl Sandberg at the Fortune Most Power Women Summit is just that extra bit of organic, gluten-free, guava-sweetened icing on the conflict-free cupcake. Gwyneth gets to Martha the same way she gets to all of us – by being so damn above it all. It’s very hard to shade someone who stands under their own sun.