Every time we write something mean or funny about Ree Drummond – The Pioneer Woman – on this website, some middle-aged, day-drinking Yukon mom with a cross-wall in her kitchen hops into the comments section and tries to brush off our criticism by saying we’re nothing but jealous haters who are envious of the Pioneer Woman’s fame, success and wealth.
In a way, I guess they are right.
Since we squared off against Ree and her cavalry of mommy bloggers in the 2007 and 2008 Oklahoma Blog Awards, she’s skyrocketed to international stardom in the billion-dollar celebrity brand and media industry. She has her own TV show, magazine, mercantile, and even inherited Paula Dean’s old line of Walmart pots and pans. Meanwhile, we run a couple of trivia nights, have a branded-beer and have been deemed bad for Oklahoma. Can you really blame us for being jealous?
Ree also gets to do things like support her marketable and relatable phony housewife brand in celebrity-friendly tabloid magazines. She’s on the cover of this week’s People:
Wow. The Pioneer Woman opens up about how she made her dreams come true? That’s strange. Why would she reveal to a popular magazine that she first achieved success by winning the birth lottery (her dad is a surgeon and she grew up on a country club) and then winning the marriage lottery (Her husband’s family, the Drummonds, are the 23rd largest land owners in the US), giving her the education, financial resources and safety net to carefully construct a fabricated fairytale “reality” and accompanying celebrity-brand that makes shitloads of money. You think she would want to keep that truth a secret!
Like most PR-generated, real #FakeNews celebrity news, the People article makes sure to do just that. It doesn’t mention anything about most of Ree’s early recipes being ripped from the pages of her mom’s country club cookbooks, or that she apparently hired tutors to help home school her kids. Instead, they try to fabricate an image of a down-on-their-luck ranching family who’s finally tasting success. Check out what Ree’s husband, Ladd Drummond, says in this accompanying article in Southern Living:
And while the Drummonds now run a laundry list of booming businesses, both with her Pioneer Woman endeavors and his cattle-ranching company, things weren’t always that way. “The first 10 years of our marriage weren’t the easiest things in the world. We had financial struggles; we had everything that every couple goes through in the early years,” says Ladd, whose business took a hit during the Mad Cow disease scare and as the value of his land took a dive in the ’90s. “The first six years that Ree and I were married we didn’t take a single vacation, and she never complained once.”
Friendly reminder – The Drummond family is the 24th largest landowner in the US. They own over 433,000 acres of land. In 2015, the average price per acre of Oklahoma farm and ranching land was $1,620. That would mean the family’s land is valued at anywhere between $500,000,000 to $700,000,000. But you know… Ree and Ladd couldn’t afford to vacation. It must be tough.
Anyway, you can read about the phony, multi-million-dollar media creation called The Pioneer Woman in this month’s People. If you want a better read, I’d also check out Louis’ ranking of her worst, laziest and most questionable recipes. I’m going to log-off and go pout and be jealous.