Hell hath no fury like a mommy blogger scorned, and Reese Witherspoon is learning this the hard way.
The mom blogging world erupted over the weekend when news emerged that Reese Witherspoon threw some serious shade at the ‘mommy blogger’ community. After accepting WSJ Magazine’s Entertainment Innovator of the Year award, she had this to say in her acceptance speech:
I don’t really believe that we’ve been seeing the full spectrum of the female experience, and that is simply because women’s stories are not prioritized. And I’m not talking about mommy blogs and 14 ways to cook a turkey.
Understandably, the ‘mommy bloggers’ of the Internet were unhappy. I’ve read many a Facebook and Twitter post over the last few days written by moms lamenting Reese’s sorry choice of words. And yeah, it was a rude and ridiculous thing to say — As someone who’s spent the last 12 years ‘mommy blogging,’ I can tell you mom blogs have been instrumental in creating and fueling a widespread passion for real life, no-holds-barred stories about the parenting experience, which in turn has had a tremendous impact on the way moms and dads are now portrayed in advertising, magazines, books, TV, and — wait for it — movies. When Reese, who’s a mom and a blogger herself, minimizes the role of blogs in portraying ‘the female experience,’ it feels like a betrayal.
But then I remembered something very, very important: Reese’s opinion about ‘mommy blogging’ totally doesn’t matter.
Reese Witherspoon is an actress. She’s a very good actress. She’s even a producer now, with some great films under her belt. She is undoubtedly an expert in the field of making and appearing in Hollywood films. She is not an expert, however, in blogging. Or, for that matter, quantum physics. Or dog grooming. Or meal planning on a budget. I would argue, in fact, that she’s actually less knowledgeable about the average woman than most, since she’s been working as an actress in Hollywood from the time she was 14. It’s a nice life, I’m sure — but it’s not one that in any way resembles the lives of most other women out there. This probably explains Reese’s odd belief that we’re all out here just dying for $200 throw pillows and $14 boxes of pencils. Pencils. Really, Reese? Since when were grown women clamoring for designer pencils?
Look. I loved Legally Blonde and Sweet Home Alabama and I really loved Election. I hope Reese Witherspoon makes even more great movies and I’ll go and see them if she does. But I don’t give a flip what Reese Witherspoon thinks about blogging. Or North Korea. Or probiotics. Or anything, really, that extends beyond her admittedly narrow scope of expertise. And I have a problem with the way all celebrities — not just Reese– are treated like the fact that they appeared in 47 sequels of The Fast and the Furious means we’re supposed to pay rapt attention when they want to opine on politics.
Actors? Just. Act. That’s seriously all we require from you.
And Reese? If you want to see ‘the full spectrum of the female experience’, as an expert in the field, I can tell you that blogs are a great place to start. The blogosphere is chock full of women of all ages, races, incomes, and belief systems telling it like it is. Many of them are, indeed, moms. And the fact that you don’t already know this is kind of embarrassing. But I forgive you — just like I forgave you for Hot Pursuit. Because that’s what real women do.
Header image via Disney/ABC Television Group, Flickr Creative Commons