Wednesday, January 5, 2011

An Open Letter to Ree Drummond

UPDATED 12/18/11 - I've disabled further comments on this post because I'm tired of the attacks on me and on other readers from both sides of the debate.

My original intent in writing this post was not to be mean-spirited or to express jealousy that I'm not a millionaire fending off cookbook contracts and endorsements.  I was feeling disillusioned by what I felt was an unrealistic presentation of la vie en rose showcased by Ms. Drummond's public persona.  I stated my decision to move on to other blogs that had more relevance to my life.  I did not resort to a single name-calling incident or slander, and allowed all comments to be posted, regardless of their point of view or tone.  I even permitted posts that were nasty to me personally... and that was hard.

This post has run its course and is nearly a year old.  Read on if you wish but no further comments will be allowed on this post, nor will any comments - positive or negative - about The Pioneer Woman be permitted on my blog. 

My blog, my rules.

jenn.

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If you're a Pioneer Woman (aka Ree Drummond) fan, stop reading now. 

Dear Ree,

Someone told me about you perhaps 2 years ago.  I visited your blog, liked it, and signed up for the RSS feed.  I looked forward to your posts, as many as 4 or 5 each day.  Heck, though I'm childless, I even read the ones about homeschooling out of curiousity.

Last spring, you came to Washington State.  I talked a friend into making the hour-plus drive to a bookstore over 50 miles away, where I bought your book sight-unseen, and waited for the chance to meet you and have you sign it.  That tattered copy of "The Egg and I"... that was from me.  I wanted you to have it because 1) you were in WA and 2) I'd heard that you wanted to raise chickens.  I included a note but didn't tell you who I was because I didn't want to come across as an attention-grubbing blogger seeking a mention on your site.  I handed the book to your bored mother-in-law because I never got within 30 feet of you.  Nancy and I finally gave up after 3 hours when we realized that my ticket letter to queue up was G and you were only on the D tickets.  At least I can say my copy of the book was in the same room as you at some point.

During our fruitless, long-ass wait Nancy wondered aloud how you managed to do a book tour, home-school 4 kids, clean not 1 but 2 houses, take all kinds of photos and photoshop them, write a cookbook, develop and photograph recipes, blog 4-5 times per day, stay slender on said recipes, take care of a house full of animals, garden, host dinner parties, and still sleep.

I had recently started blogging around that time.  I was working half-time, gardening my wee city lot, raising chickens, and cooking from scratch as you purported to do.  Each of my blog posts was taking me about an hour to write, edit, and illustrate with photos.  How the heck did you do it?!?

When I got home that night, I read your cookbook cover to cover.  Every single recipe - I repeat "Every Single Recipe" - was from your blog.  There was no new content, and all the content was available for free online.  The format was annoying.  I'd spent 5 hours and $40 on the book + gas for naught.  You made me feel like a chump, Ree.  That hurt my feelings.

That evening was when the shine started to come off the "P-Dub" apple for me.  My friend's comments got me thinking about how effortless you made it all seem, and how inadequate it made me seem in comparison.  What the hell was I doing wrong that I can't do half of what you do?  You don't make me feel very good about myself and that's not good for a relationship.

Last summer  you posted a "recipe" for an utter abomination.  You call it "The Bread" and speak of it as if it came from Christ Himself.  I felt betrayed.  Your recipes up to that point had been interesting, though extravagantly rich in calories.  This one was not even worthy of cooking class for 12-year-old boy scouts.  How is "broil a shitload of butter on bread" a recipe?

But I stayed with you.  Your blog has been like bad porn: I can't look and not get tingly at the thought of eating things with cream, buying $120 earrings because I can't find a matching pair, playing Oprah by giving away dozens of KitchenAids, enjoying lavish 5-star hotel stays.  I was a voyeuse into another life, another waistline, another tax class, and I liked it.

I had drank the Pioneer Woman KoolAid.

I've made plenty of your recipes, some even on this blog.  I adapted your scone and pasta recipes to something that might induce heart murmurs but not a full-blown coronary incident.  I've entered your contests, I endured your mind-numbing hotel room tour with the "aw shucks, look at me in the bathroom mirror!" comments, the photos of the $30 candles, and closet-cleaning where you off-loaded expensive designer clothing you bought but couldn't be bothered to wear. 

Yeah, I googled what you probably paid for those garments.  Hell, I only entered the contests in the hopes of getting one that I could hawk on ebay.  "Buy this flowy shirt once owned and pitted out by the one and only Pioneer Woman!"  I could have gotten good bucks for that.

I should have known then that I was becoming jaded.

But this... this is inexcusable:
The pistachio cake "recipe" you posted this week is not worthy of my affection.  You have jumped the shark, Ree, and we can no longer be together.  You're just a non-alcoholic version of Sandra Lee to me, a hollowed-out version of your former self.

I'd like to wish you all the best but the reality is that you already have it.  I'll cop to being envious of your charmed life but that's not why I broke up with you: I need to see other people.  People who get me, like David Lebowitz, Clay and Zach, Toby, Sean & Paul, Deb, and Bridget, to name just a few.

Good luck, Ree.  Please don't call me.

jenn.

48 comments:

  1. Read your bio, read this post (sent to me by one of my turkey customers) hope you don't hold everyone on fifteen acres (or more) in contempt.

    My street cred: My husband and I lived in Tacoma on 45th and Tacoma Ave (near Lincoln High School). Even though we rented I had six laying hens in a third of the backyard, another third held a garden of four or six raised beds and the last third was our grassy patch we shared with our Airdale and oldest daughter. We secretly raised fifty meat birds in the garage, butchering them the weekend before the health inspector arrived at the behest of a grouchy neighbor who didn't want my gift of fresh eggs. They were too orange and perky for him. Funny turn, he ended up getting cited for the piles of junk that housed rats. But that's a different story.

    I met and read folks that amazed me with what they could do. We finally moved to the country, still renting, had another child and began homeschooling. Met a bunch more people who seemed to run circles around me. They even self-published magazines and books about how to have the perfect family (there was no such thing as blogs and Prodigy was rather lame and not all that thrilling. 1985)

    Over the years I saw these folks have huge marital problems, and their childen - boy howdy, most of them were true pieces of work. Why would that be, these were clearly women who were far more organized and direct than I? It was fraud, plain and simple.

    They leaned on friends to help them out, who wouldn't want to help SuperWoman, they ate take out, ignored their children unless they were trying out new homeschool lessons they needed to print out. But mostly they made those around them feel like Cut Rate Auto Parts. Hopefully this Ree SuperPioneerWoman will be your last sucker punch. Pioneer schmioneer, she'd freeze and starve her little bumskies off if left a day to her pampered journalistic game playin' self.

    By the way, thanks for the open letter, you made my friend laugh.

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  2. I could not agree more. That post was the one that did it for me, too - finally got me to unsubscribe and quit drooling over a life that's clearly unrealistic. Three cheers for writing this!

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  3. Yes, Jenn.
    So many of us have peeked into Ree's world and admired.

    Casually perusing Ree’s site ,a year ago probably (I smelled a rat even then), she referred to some recipe as "homemade". I called my friend to remark that this "pioneer woman" would starve if left in the same tax bracket as myself, or if the power went out, or if Kraft bankrupted (Sandra Lee was an effective comparison). My prejudice was such, if I found a blog that had Pioneer Woman as a favorite site, I moved on.
    Poor P.Dub. I hope she does not lose track that the blog show we’re seeing isn't really a show. She has darling children to rear and a husband to keep home.
    Thanks for your hard work there in the city to eat local, starting with your own back yard!

    And here’s to hoping she enjoys “The Egg and I”. It’s a good one!

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  4. Good post.

    I too visit Pioneer Woman's site occasionally but have always taken it with a grain of salt. I have 15 acres, 9 sheep, 5 cows, 5 chickens, 1 dog and 1 husband and it's a good day when I can keep all of their names straight!

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  5. Thank you for this post, you have hit the nail directly on the head. I hope this will wake up some of the walking dead who flock to PW's site and drink her delusional kool-aid.

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  6. Well said!! Think some of us are slowly waking up...

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  7. This is spot on. I'm so glad someone articulated it.

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  8. Amen sister.

    PW is a fake, shallow, narcisstic woman- glad to hear more people are seeing through her sham.

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  9. Have you seen the dog and pony show at Rechelle's?

    http://www.rechelleunplugged.com/2011/03/pie-near-woman-the-relaxed-homeschooler/

    http://www.rechelleunplugged.com/2011/02/pie-near-woman-and-sucking-on-the-abundant-government-teat/

    http://www.rechelleunplugged.com/2011/01/ree-nails-another-painfully-awkward-interview-pie-near-woman-comes-to-the-rescue/

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  10. Yes, you can thank PWSux but that was a beautifully written letter. It makes my heart glad to know that there are still American women with intelligent thoughts alive and well. I do know that I could kill off my husband in a year by cooking like PW does, not that it doesn't cross my mind, but I don't need all those useless calories.
    I like your site.

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  11. The Egg and I is one of my all time favorite books. Love everything by Betty McDonald and desperately want to visit Vashon Island and stare at her old house some day.

    Great letter by the way.

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  12. my husband used to look at me like my hair was on fire whenever i brought up the pw. it took me a lot longer than it should have to see through her act, but thank goodness i finally did.

    beautifully written letter, btw. the comments about it at pwsux were no joke.

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  13. This letter just continuously gives me the giggles. Back last year when I was contemplating a blog, my sister insisted reading (and following) PW. I couldn't do it... I felt at the time her writing seemed disjointed and the calories! I've no fear of fat, but her recipes just appeared calorie ridden for extravagance sake. It felt like a marketing ploy then..and even now - after reading your letter and visiting PWS - I'm convinced of it.

    Alas, my sister has drunk deep of the cool, cool, drink and is lost for all eternity.


    If I haven't said it before... Thanks for the nod, you put me in some incredible company.

    Toby

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  14. I love your letter. I was at the same book signing as you, and actually waited until my close to the end letter was invited up. But, I didn't really fall off her wagon until I watched her on The Today Show--she is completely fake.

    Good letter.

    BTW, I am in Rodondo Beach (where Salty's in Redondo is located:)

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  15. Thanks for posting this. You are so right, with a full time job, a tiny urban garden and just 1 person to feed besides myself, I hardly find time to blog as much as I would like, which is a LOT less than PW does. I guess that's why I'm not making millions, but have an actual real life, right?. The PW has found a wonderful way to market herself, and that's great for her, but I'm done with her and am moving away from her blogs and the bloggers who adore her!

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  16. Bravo! I teetered slightly when she made the apple turnovers with mountain dew. It wasn't necessarily the soda, but the butter. OMG, my family had no comment other than how 'bout cutting the butter by more than half if you ever decide to make this again. Couldn't take anything but butter! It was right around the Charlie book announcement that I went right over the cliff as fast as I could to get away from her nonsense and on to what the sheeple probably consider the "dark side". Keepin' it real??? Ok, then how about Ree "confess" that once she realized her "popularity", she began designing her life towards fame?!? Just be honest, we might even respect you for it, Ree. Sorry, I think I just blogged on your blog. Thank you for writing your letter and sharing it.

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  17. Hi Jenn! I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this letter. I also had previously drank deeply of the PW kool aid... it began shortly after I started my blog...I think after she was in Southern Living. Anway, I was having fun blogging about whatever struck my fancy...blogging just for me...and then I found Ree. Suddenly my writing wasn't good enough or funny enough. I compared myself to her and found I was lacking. In short....I felt like a loser!! So...I became obsessed with getting more followers and studied everything she did...I just KNEW if I followed the PW path I could be like her! But guess what happened? I lost myself instead...at least for a while. But over time I woke up and realized she is a character...she's not real....and the whole PW thing is smoke and mirrors. So glad I woke up and realized that I can be me...blog for me and you know what? It's ok! I don't begrudge Ree her success or popularity, I just know it's not for me.

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  18. Excellent letter! The more one googles, the more evidence there is that PW is the biggest fraud on the planet. Everyone here would enjoy the Heavenly Fodder post on The Marlboro Woman blog.

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  19. Love this. Has anyone seen when she was on the Bonnie Hunt show? She was talking like she'd never made the recipe before. Like she didn't even know what she was talking about. It's so hard to not laugh at her. Her parents must have sold her soul to the devil at birth.

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  20. Ok....I too am currently obsessed w/PW. I am also finding that I wanna be just like her. And I am nowhere near the level of absolute perfection that she "is". I started wondering the same thing...how can she do all of these things and still run TWO houses and be a momma to 4 kids and a wife?? Then I found this letter. And I find that I'm not the only one questioning the PW!?
    So can someone explain it all to me and fast.....before I weigh 400 lbs and am bankrupt!!!!!
    I feel so duped!

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  21. I have been struggling with PW doubts as well, and found your site through Pioneer Woman Sux tonight. I blogged today about why I'm splitting from Ree and why she is no longer my blog idol. Thanks for expressing yourself openly and sincerely on this matter.

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  22. http://www.abdpbt.com/personalfinance/how-much-do-bloggers-make-case-study-ree-drummond-aka-the-pioneer-woman/

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  23. Great post.
    I, like you, have become disillusioned with PW. Initially (3 years ago), I was all over her website. I loved the layout, the stories, the pictures, the recipes. I have had great success with many of them, although disappointed in just as many (dump cake and braised ribs are the ones that come to mind).
    But I still plugged along happily, blissfully.
    Then she created tasty kitchen. I found that almost unethical for some reason, that she would profit from other people (who would post willingly).
    Hmmmm...
    It was her camera gear, which was close to $10K in it`s value.
    *scratches head* OK....
    It was the mentioning of her BFFs hubby who was a judge, and another post made mention that the state governor had visited.
    *clears throat*
    It was the `remodel`of the guest lodge.
    It was the more often than not guest posts in her homeschooling section. indicative of her not homeschooling her 4 kids, which she implied she does.
    It was hotel room posts, which screamed `I don`t rent regular rooms...EVER`.
    It was her photograph contests in which she chooses professional entries over amateur entries. I don`t know how to express it in words, but favoritism is the first word that pops into my head. I found that disrespectful to her base readers.
    It was her highly edited comments section, where dissension is not allowed.

    You are getting my point, no doubt.

    I don`t begrudge her the success she has. I don`t find that she got it by `keeping it real` motto, which rings so false to me. Almost unethical??

    I dunno.

    I DO know that there are dozens of much better blogs, both cooking and photography. I will follow them until I discover that they are not who they say they are, which is what I discovered in PW`s case.

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  24. I, too, read her blog for about a year, until I became so alarmed about the apparent quality of her homeschooling that I had to stop reading. It looks like her "schooling" consists of a lot of games and very little rigor. Certainly, with her busy schedule, I can't see how she could give four children more than a few minutes a day. When I was a professor, I had a lot of home schooled kids and they always had attention span problems because they never had to 1) sit still for an hour and take notes and 2) turn papers in on time. I'm not seeing the discipline needed for a good educational outcome for these kids. Now that she's going to have a show on Food Network, maybe she'll hire tutors and nannies!

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  25. HI! I drank from the kool-aid too! The more I sipped I also kept thinking she was a "sandra lee"!! Your pic of her "indgredients" proved it to me even more! Just had to comment to let you know the link from PW SUX is still enlightening folks. :)

    SamsMom

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  26. I found your post from PWSux. Up until yesterday, I really had ZERO clue at how mechanized Ree's site is and how it's jumped the shark, to borrow your phrase.

    I started reading PW in 2007 and really enjoyed her writing style and photos. I subscribed to the RSS Feed because I didn't want to have to go to her site every single day to check what was new. I had no idea "she" was writing 4-6 posts per day, which obviously she does not. The homeschooling stuff is too much and from what I know now, makes me ill.

    I do not begrudge her for marrying a wealthy man or even having blog success. What I loathe is the sacrifice of her personal integrity for the sake of lots of fawning attention and money.

    Between your letter, PWSux and MarlboroWoman, I read up on some background and how PW's marketing people slash any kind of criticism, even if it's just the amount of butter she may use in a recipe. That's not real dialogue. I don't know if any of you remember but she specifically wrote on her blog, YEARS ago, why she'll never personally respond to emails from readers anymore. I think that just plain sucks.

    I have made a handful of her recipes but never suspected they were all regurgitated; I was aware they are all fattening as hell. However, some of them are really gross. The two you call into question, The Bread and that Pistachio Cake, are appalling. Who blogs about bread and butter? Because she took tons of photos of it, that makes it a worthwhile "read?"

    I had Pioneer Woman on my blogroll for a time and last year, I even won a mixer off of Tasty Kitchen, though I never go on there to swap recipes or anything.

    I have become very disenchanted and the veil is lifting. I feel the break-up coming on, as well.

    Thanks for your great post/letter.

    Zoe

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  27. Wow, what a great letter! I couldn't have said it better myself. Along with everyone else, I would visit her blog daily, wishing, wishing, wishing to either win one of her giveaways or win in a photo contest.

    The bloom started coming off the rose for me when I made a comment on one of her blogs regarding all the kids jumping on the trampoline. Well, that comment didn't even stay up for a full 24 hours. And I was surprised and yes, a little put off, that the comments section was being sanitized.

    But I went on. Visiting daily and then something else on her blog pissed me off, so I purposely left a not-so-kind comment. It never even got posted. That's when I realized what a fake she is. Seems she wants everyone to see her as perfect and no bumps in the road, when in reality any and all negativity is erased from her world. Which is very deceiving and all I can say now is "yuck".

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  28. I found this letter from PWsux site. Like a barking-mad lunatic, I was laughing with tears rolling down my face in my office while I read. You really captured (much more succinctly & eloquently) my thoughts of the holy-PDub, but was far too afraid to give voice to. Just like the millions+ of other lemmings I would go to her blog, hoping to win a flowery-mixer more than I want to win the PowerBall - what's with that??? I need intervention, I know.

    I started to get suspicous when I saw pictures of the holy site: The Lodge. Funny, Saint PDub always made it seem, to me ,that it was a place to cook for her family, extended family and friends. But hold-on-just-a-darn second - its design is just like a TV KITCHEN!?! Say what? I thought she said she wasn't really interested in a career in TV cooking until recently, but The Lodge looks like it was built with that in mind. When I add up when The Lodge was built and finished vs. her saying she only recently embraced the idea of becoming a TV cook... well, it did not add up. I just can't stand fake folks. So, the stinkin-HECK with her. Plus, I never did win a mixer, and probably never would have.

    Thanks for the great letter. I'm over the all-mighty PDub (I've always hated that moniker), but I'm sure gonna miss the pictures of the animals.

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  29. They are a pioneer Oklahoma family and wealth has been accumulated along the way. I do not know the Drummond family, but her parents come from hard working fine people. Her grandmother taught two of my children, and her parents went to school with my oldest daughter. Her grandfather was school superintendent all in the small neighboring town of Nowata. All were well thought of.

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  30. This whole post is a joke. By the time you finish reading the pointless letter and all the little posts one word comes to mind JEALOUSY. How is she a fraud? This is a woman who is married, has 4 children, lives on a ranch and clearly wants her own identity. Which we as women should celebrate. She cooks, blogs and takes pictures so well she's been rewarded with a t.v. show. She has never claimed to not have any help or be perfect- I hope she does have help as she deserves it. Now that she is becoming very successful, she's going to make a lot of money and can afford to buy anything she wants to. That is in fact THE american dream. The comments about her expensive clothing are laughable-WOW jealousy is a nasty thing. I hope she buys tons of even more expensive clothing because why do you care what she does with her own money? I guess if you become successful, make a lot of money and spend your money the way you want to you're fake according to this site. She's not fake-you're just jealous. Maybe she'll make so much money her husband will retire and they'll go live in a big mansion somewhere. What you define as fake the world defines as success. And the comments about her recipes being so high in calories and fat are enjoyable too. How do you think paula deen became so successful. If you're fat you probably shouldn't be cooking with any butter at all. Her family looks like they can handle it. What I see here are a bunch of poor people who are helping someone else get rich by buying their products and it causes anger. Hey if what she's doing is so easy- DO IT. write a blog, cookbooks, get a t.v. show..... As a woman I'm proud to see a ranchers wife want her own career, success and identity and she's being rewarded for doing it well. She's a great role model for women today. I wish her all the success the world holds for her and all that she wants from it. Will see if my comment stays on this hate-filled jealous site:)

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  31. Just watched her show on Food Network. She made this GOD AWFUL "Cherry Limeade." Fake lime juice, maraschino cherry juice, sugar, and Sprite????? GROSS! And what's with "Ladd this", "Ladd that", and "Ladd -approved?" She has set feminism back 50 years.

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  32. All of you back biting women make me sick. It's true girls really are meaner than boys. Ree's life is the American dream. She can buy whatever she wants it's THEIR money. Your letter only makes you look like the petty jealous woman you are. They are a hard working family unit they are entitled to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Shame on you!!!

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  33. And I think we can ALL agree that there is no point to Sanda Lee without the booze. Why even bother? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLMNZ6xY6YY (funny, but rather obscene)

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  34. I watched PW for the first time on Sat and had to turn the channel half way through. BORING to say the least...her food has nothing to do with being a Pioneer woman or even recipes of the pioneer day, the foods she tried to make was GROSS to say the least with butter dripping everywhere...or that pasta dinner where the sauce didn't even have time to thicken dripping wet like soggy pasta...gross. Would I watch it again, heck no! there are better cooking programs out there. Her FB site was ridiculous with cackly women talking about how Ree's husband was checking out her butt..Don't they know that this is not a reality program, it's supposed to be a cooking program. Her husband was probably checking out her butt because he was thinking of either (1) having rump roast for dinner...or (2) he thought" wow...her butt reminds him of the back of a semi....could it be all that butter and cream she keeps putting on her recipes". This show will probably last 1-2 seasons at best.

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  35. It seems to me the two anonymous letters written in PW's favor have the feel and sound to them of teenage writing? Hmmm? As a high school teacher, my days are filled with reading this sort of drivel. "Hope she makes enough money to live in a mansion"? You've been watching too many Housewives of.... shows. And honestly if you have such strong feelings, cowboy up and don't be afraid to post who you are.

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  36. I’ve been following Pioneer Woman’s blog for about 2 years now, and while this letter has a few valid points, mostly I just found it distasteful. Last time I checked, PW has never claimed to be a gourmet or even a very good cook. I grant you, most of her recipes need some type of revision (whether to improve taste or to make them healthier), but she has always been clear that her recipes are created for her family and their lifestyle. With such a plethora of food blogs out there, readers can always find at least one blog that coincides with their own tastes. Some people will no doubt be turned off by her cooking style, but that does not mean that it doesn’t appeal to others. As for one commenters point that she often mentions what her husband likes or approves of, I don’t see that as a smack to feminism. I know plenty of women (and men) who find pleasure in cooking for their spouses and children. Part of the joy of cooking is to create something that others can enjoy; I see no problem with her desire to make food that her husband enjoys. The fact that she has made so much money off her blog/books or that their family is obviously wealthy doesn’t mean that what she blogs isn’t genuine. I think what draws so many readers to her blog is her willingness to open up her life to all of us and share her comings and goings, whether it be what she’s cooking for dinner that night or what happened on the ranch that day. Whether we have more or less money than her, whether we live a lifestyle similar to hers or completely different, this is her life and the readers’ comments calling her “fake” seems a little dramatic. I know plenty of women who read and enjoy her blog but have absolutely no desire to have her life. I doubt she’s blogging to make her readers feel inadequate—any feelings of failure or inadequacy probably have more to do with the reader than PW. Mostly what bothered me about this letter was why the writer felt the need to post such harsh and personal criticism of a fellow blogger. We blog about things we like, we blog about things we hate and will no doubt piss someone off eventually, but I do find it disappointing when bloggers turn on one another and post letters such as these. A little bit of class goes a long way, and there’s never any harm in being a little more considerate to fellow bloggers.

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  37. I agree with the last anon comment. Unfortunately, the blog world is full of insecure, competitive, jealous women. Much like the real world, no? The difference is the protection that the internet provides gives balls to many catty women who, IRL, would only talk shit behind the backs of their "friends".

    Too bad Oprah won't be around to host the countless crisis situations that will inevitably surface from this "phenomenon" known as blogging.

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  38. I am neither friend nor foe of the Pioneer Woman.

    People I know read it regularly. One person tries some of the recipes. Me, well, I land on the blog through links a few times a year.

    Tonight I came across it via a decorating site.

    My theory is that Pioneer Woman could have started the web site on her own at first with help from a friend or two. But then it started growing. BIG in terms of visitors.

    At that point, surely she had to get ongoing help from people who know marketing, finance,etc. Maybe she already knew people in those fields. Or maybe she had to hunt for them. Or maybe they came calling.

    The same thing goes for the high dollar clothes & hotels -- she might have had wealth before & this is nothing new. Or maybe her blog became a booming business that bought those luxuries.

    How can we ever really know?

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  39. I've been following Ree's site since 2007 - I've watched her rise to fame. I've learned a lot. She has helped me in significant ways - from photography to blogging to business. I absolutely see her as a cunning, brilliant entrepreneur who is selling, essentially, a fantasy. We women love our fantasies, don't we? And Ree dishes it out like crack. I think why people feel betrayed by her is that when you first start reading her she makes you feel like she's your friend. Your good friend. Your trusted friend. She makes you think she's lacking in confidence and insecure about everything. She's the butt of every joke, for instance, and she makes them about herself constantly.

    If you see Ree for what she is, though: an exceptionally successful fantasy-crack dealer, it's easy to see who is at fault here. Ree isn't at fault. We women are at fault for continuing to want the fairy tale: there is no such thing. Ree will never give us a realistic portrait of who she is - however, when you watch her on video, on her new show, or whenever she has to actually interact with people you see a woman who doesn't listen to anyone else, talks over people, and loves to have everyone's attention on her. She knows all she has to do is doll out the swill and women will lap it up.

    We are all suckers because we are lulled into thinking she is our friend when in reality, we are her income. Our fantasies are what she is building her empire on: that bugs me.

    And when I watched her Food Network show I saw how empty her life looked. She has no real relationship with her husband, it doesn't look like. And her kids are always used as pretty props in a pretty fantasy. Unlike the Barefoot Contessa and Giada, whose relationships come through pretty well. So the spell for me has broken for a while now. But I am grateful to her anyway for what she's taught me about business.

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  40. Poor itsy bitsy baby. I bet your kids are bullies huh? Sad sad sad. And NO I am not a huge fan of PW. Just a hater of mean people.

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  41. This PW worship is nothing short of a cult. Her cooking show is boring and lacklustre, her blog trite and repetitive. Like the Emperor's New Clothes, it amazes me at how many people refuse to see her and her money making machine for what it is. You've been hoodwinked and Ree and the Drummond family are laughing all the way to the bank. Wake up people, her blog is a well orchestrated fantasy and she's sucessfully suckered her followers into believing she does it all on her own. She can't cook, can't write and her images are photoshopped to death. There's something intrinsically wrong with some who continually posts photos of her husband's backside. Mature adults in a loving relationship just don't do things like that. It's a house of cards and a sorry commentary on how gullible her followers can be but then Americans vote the sound bite and are so easily manipulated by the media it's no wonder thousands of lonely housewives are living vicariously through her phoney baloney.

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  42. Free country but I agree with all of this. The uncharted blog world was fun while it lasted.

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  43. just watched pw on throwdown. gotta say - the lodge, humongous ranch, commercial size parking lot - kind of not what you expect from a pioneer. so luckily, my pw image shattered at the very beginning. pw is most definitely in a different tax bracket and i think that was even before the start of her blog/fabulosity

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  44. Hmmmm. I thought Pioneer women lived in AK in log houses, subsistance gardened, chopped their own firewood, hunted and fished, and chased bears off the porch with a broom...

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  45. I can't remember how I came across this page, but I somehow found some anti-Pioneer Woman pages and ended up here. I wouldn't be commenting if it weren't for the insults directed at the 2 or 3 people that actually defended PW. I'm not ashamed to admit the anti-PW writings all very interesting, but what I don't understand is why there is such a spirited dislike of her. It's almost like she's Sarah Palin. Granted she may be what some people consider as fake and she obviously married into wealth, but why the quest to undermine her? It's not like poor defenseless readers are being swindled out of riches or being taken advantage of when they read her blog, so it's not as if her criticizers are all doing us a service by enlightening us. Yes, she paints a very pretty picture of her life, but that is why I enjoy reading it. Only a fool would believe someone's life is ALL roses, and I'm not embarrassed to admit I probably wouldn't be a reader if the blog regularly featured someone's hardships. I've got enough of my own.

    Go ahead and insult my intelligence, I'm ready.

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