Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

In defense of the Pioneer Woman

This cheesy staged photograph kind of melts my heart. But just a little bit.

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

 

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Comments

  1. I don’t hate the woman, (thankfully, she has choices) but I tried to watch her cooking show, and when she put about 1/2 a cup of Crisco (not oil) into a cast iron skillet to make cornbread, I threw up a little.

  2. I can’t forgive her the show. My parents insist on watching it every time I go visit them. It makes me want to kill puppies.

  3. My entire media consumption of The Pioneer Woman brand consists of a truncated viewing of the Becky Dixon profile, and the making of her spinach-artichoke dip for the holidays. I gotta say I wish she’d raise her voice out of that Megachurch Monotone the properly subservient ladies use, and just own her ambition and Alpha Female ways.

  4. I once had the misfortune of offering some constructive criticism on a recipe and saying that the dish was “just okay” on her blog. I was verbally accosted by several women who vehemently disagreed with me eventhough they acknowledged that they didn’t try the recipe. Then all of our comments disappeared. I hate censorship, even on a blog.

  5. I met Ree last year in Duncan when her father in law was here to accept an award. Very friendly lady with a family to match.

  6. Pioneer woman’s brother Mikey is a legend not her! Mikey has did more things than Forrest Gump. He is Honorary Mayor, Fire chief, pilot, basketball star (while on crutches), fry cook, bouncer, cop, and always a ladies man! Lost ogle do your homework and report on the real legend! You can find him at the Bville mall, ball game or restaurant. Rumor has it their are 15 mikey clones because he is seen everywhere in the bartlesville Metro! Not bad for a guy that doesn’t drive!

  7. Our dvr is full of her cooking shows. I have to leave the room when she’s on. Her permanent Joker smile and oh so sweet act wear me out pretty darn quick. That said, have to give her props for becoming a mega media mogul by fixing heart attack on a plate meals at her small zillion acre little house on the prairie in northeastern OK.

    • Hah, this is awesome! I just can’t think of anything more pitiful than a person maintaining a website dedicated to hating on some lady, who isn’t really even offensive.

      • True-dat…………but it is a little offensive to the people that she blantantly takes their recipe from cookbooks and passes off as her own divine creations. I think if she would basically state that she is continueing to pass on good recipes/foods no one would have such an issue.

        I think you should post a pic of you in those heels you guys keep talkinbout!

  8. Ohhh gurl, you be rocking those heels and leopard print. I watch you everyday when you go to work, just so I know what to wear!

    And I didn’t even know there was a whole posse of people hating on my girl Ree. They best watch themselves, I will shank a ho with my 9 inch fingernails.

  9. Here’s the thing- there is no humanly possible way she can do everything in a day she says she does. I do ranch for a living, and I don’t get to blog and take photos and cook all day and I certainly don’t get to do it in a 100k kitchen (or with a 10k camera) that isn’t even in my house- it’s the Lodge (though I’d love a lodge). I’m not jealous of her at all- in fact, I’d like for our ranch to be at a place where someday my kids (that I haven’t had yet) don’t have to worry, simply, about cash flow, and when you get to the fifth or six generation you might be there- especially when you have oil money to help you.

    But I digress.

    There aren’t any ranch wives I know that get to do what she does everyday- they’re called in to help pull calves, and feed calves, and house calves in their laundry room or bathroom; they are often asked (or want to) be horseback gathering cattle, and they’ve still got to cook and feed the crew. A lot of us really do live in the middle of nowhere, unlike her (23 miles from a grocery store does not the middle of nowhere make). Some honesty is what people want. She’s been called out on where her recipes come from, and she won’t fess up. If she would tell us where she got the recipe or admit that she didn’t “develop” it, that’d be different. If she’d admit that she has help homeschooling her children, gardening, etc that might be different, but she portrays herself as this super woman that none of us can live up to. Mostly because we don’t have the means. That’s all.

    I live a very blessed life and wouldn’t trade it for the world, but her definition of ranch-life and mine are dramatically different, and I don’t think that the massess following her really comprehend that.

      • No, I’m an actual ranch wife who works on the ranch, and doesn’t have time to cook all day or take photos. Yes, I take photos when time permits but unlike the PW I actually ride, start colts, pull calves, have my arm shoulder deep in a heifer, feed bottle babies, horses and such. I’m not confined to the space of the house. Most ranch wives I know are more me and a lot less her. Which is where I think the rub lies- she’s not portraying ranch life as the hard work and struggles and tears it can be. And maybe it isn’t for her, but anytime you’ve got a cow-calf operation, it is certainly more work than she paints the picture to be and I don’t know a single ranch woman who simply gets to blog all day, and take photos. Who teaches her kids, because frankly, how does one person find time to churn out 3-5 blog posts/day, cook all that food, photograph said food and kids, edit photos, keep house, garden, and clean/do laundry? There’s not enough hours to do it by yourself.

        • You’re a woman after my own heart. Where were you when my last calf needed to be pulled from a first-time heifer? I’m darn sure not going shoulder-deep up in there! I’ve got coffee to drink and fence-line to “check” in my 1-ton.

          With that, I think it’s great that you’re so involved in your ranch. I can’t say the same for most of my family in mine.

  10. You seem to be missing the entire point of The Marlboro Woman. But then it’s always easier to attack the messenger instead of formulating an intelligent counter argument. We fail to see how keeping The Pioneer Woman real constitutes hate or jealousy. The Marlboro Woman quite simply reveals the cold, hard truth about a narcissistic woman whose spent multi-millions to retain Madison Avenue publicists and the services of web giants, Voce Communications. All to perpetrate Ree’s “little ol’ ranch wife” hoax and dupe the Internet gullible.

    A week doesn’t go by that someone from the Pawhuska area writes to let us know the latest about the phony Ree Drummond and her escapades. These same people beg for anonymity fearing the long-arm of the Drummond fiefdom and the family lawyer. Instead of defending a talentless hack who can’t be bothered to credit sources for the recipes she habitually pinches, why not demand some integrity and truth in blogging?

    • Wouldn’t it be easier to just acknowledge she’s annoying, and move on? The fact that you call yourself a derivative of her name and run a website based on Ree shows that you’re more obsessed with her than the people who casually flip on her tv show Saturday morning or consult her website for potluck recipes.

      • Annoying doesn’t even rise to the level of the out and out deception Ree perpetuates on her blog. If The Marlboro Woman emails are any indication, we’re performing a valuable service. More often than not, her readers turn to our site for the truth and end up thanking us for confirming their suspicions… that she’s a huge fake.

        Why let a fraud run rampant on the Internet and profit from it?

        • Justify it if you want, but however you look at it, the fact is you run a hate website that targets a mommy blogger. Not about a corrupt dictator or sexual slavery, but hours of your life go into creating ill will towards one relatively unharmful woman.

            • For the record, The Marlboro Woman is not a hate site. That’s how we’re couched by people incapable of handling the truth when an Internet idol doesn’t live up to their expectations.
              C’mon! Ree Drummond was embroiled in not one, but two plagiarism scandals in 2012 alone. She was called out on Twitter on both occasions and instead of apologizing and acknowledging her error, she deleted one of the offending posts and on the second one, she posted a link to the site AFTER THE FACT without ever owning up to what she had done.

              Is this your hero?

              Ree Drummond is not that cutesy little woman she and her paid ghostwriters try to portray her as. Exposing that fact doesn’t constitute hate in any sense of the word.

              As for your unfounded allegations about this site being a time waste, go back and count how many times we actually posted last year. We have extremely busy lives involving family, jobs and other activities far more important than a self-absorbed, greedy Internet caricature. This is a hobby for us, one we find extremely rewarding.

    • Of all the problems in Oklahoma – poverty, poor education, obesity, etc – is PW really the biggest one? TMW, you seem passionate about something that is pretty unimportant.

      If you find her that offensive and evil, don’t watch her and don’t buy her products. That’s how capitalism works. Obscurity hurts her more than any bad press you can generate.

      Chelsea, good post.

  11. Marlboro Woman has written more than 4,300 anti-Pioneer Woman tweets. Think about that: an extraordinary 4,300-plus tweets. Her preoccupation with PW is clearly not just a “hobby” as she puts it. It’s an all-consuming obsession. I feel sorry for her. Must be awful to have no other interests, distractions or purpose.

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