Judgey blondes with little to qualify them beyond starpower always seem to be coming out of the woodwork to create lifestyle brands that tell us how to live our lives. Which is cool. I guess Gwyneth needs to pay the bills somehow. As a group of judgey blondes with little to qualify us on the subject, we totally judged them. And we invited one of our favourite judgey blondes – Mel – to help us out. And then we sat on this post. And then sat on it even longer as it was meant to be an introduction to a new day on FPQT (more on that at the end of the post).
Then, this week, Blake Lively agreed with us: her site sucked. Since she’s shutting that vanity project down (I know, you really wanted to know her thoughts on expensive jams for a fall harvest brunch), it seemed like a good idea to hit publish what we wrote when she first launched it. Now let’s judge some bitches.
Ally: Let me just say upfront that it has been so long since I’ve written a blog post that I forgot my password to get on here. I thought for a minute that L-A may have changed it on me as a “time-out” for bad behaviour. Let me dig in here.
Mel: You know, never once have I thought to myself “you know what I need? More celebrities telling me how to live my life.” Alas, the latest guest to this horrifically narcissistic party is the one and only Blake Lively. I’ll admit I kind of liked her before. I mean GF has legs for days, hair that I would probably give somebody’s left arm for and she’s married to Ryan Reynolds. But with the recent launch of Preserve, we’re officially (pretend) friends off.
But let me back up a step here. This is a show-down featuring three judgey blondes (haaaaiii!) snarking off about three other judgey blondes.
Lauren Conrad dot com
Ally: I’m partial to Lauren. I always have been, mostly because no one does sidebraids like this woman.
And also…when asked what her favourite position was on Sway’s radio show, she answered, “CEO”.
In contrast with GOOP and “Preserve” (that name always brings the giggles and a little pee in the pants), Lauren’s site is by far the most authentic and down to earth. It also speaks most to my taste. A book club that features the latest effort from Chelsea Handler? Sign me up and judge me all you want! I also loved her “Fit Tip: Learn how to run” post, which is something I’ve been wanting to get back into lately.
In terms of look and feel, the navigation at the top is pretty easy-to-use, but once you get into the sub-pages, it gets a lot busier and cluttered. Not a deal breaker though, Lauren’s website for the win.
Mel: So first, the good: Lauren Conrad.
I never watched The Hills or whatever horrible “reality” TV show Lauren Conrad spawned from, and we have very different styles. But, guys, I LOVE Lauren Conrad (I’ll even confess to following her on IG). She’s classy, she’s fun and she actually seems pretty genuine. Her website is a delightful gem of how to girl that I have consulted on more than one occasion. She’s like your chic friend who can DIY a cute little table she thrifted and curl her own hair, but who can also sit down with a bag of chips, some sweat pants and a box of wine for a relaxing Saturday night in.L-A: I don’t know why I care about LC, but I do. I really do. I feel like we went through a lot together. How many tears did she shed over Brody Jenner? And you just wanted to hug her and say, “you can do better! You really can!” (and this was before we knew he had Kardashian ties). We also watched Heidi ruin herself together. We both had to deal with Spencer Pratt for longer than any human should. And honestly, how can you not love a person who spent that much time with Audrina Patridge and didn’t just slap her mid-skinny-frappucino and tell her to get her shit together.
And they did get better. Because now we have LC.com. And as celebrity lifestyles go, this one feels like one I can aspire to. I mean, I’ll never get there and I’m probably ten years too old to really get on that bandwagon, but that’s okay because I rarely remember I’m pushing towards 40. And based on her top ten chick flicks, this is a girl I can get along with (although we’d need to talk about her lack of Nora Ephron films. But I can forgive).
Ally: Nope. Can’t do it, folks. Never have, never will. I pass on Gwyneth.
Mel: The bad: Gywneth Paltrow’s GOOP
I’ll admit, until this blog post, I haven’t spent a whole lot of time reading GOOP. What I’ve heard about it generally pisses me off, and when I clicked on a random part of the page, I ended up looking at a recipe for Chickpea Soup.
Which, in addition to being literally a can of chickpeas and some fucking lukewarm water and lemon juice, looks like dog food kibbles when they land in the water dish by accident.
Additionally, my summer essentials include a pair of cut offs, that one tank top I like to wear and a pack of veggie burgers, not some stupid vintage-inspired wetsuit that I can wear in my no doubt heated pool while I casually play ping pong?! Frig right off.
If you need me I’ll be eating a cheeseburger, which GP should also consider doing.
L-A: My opinion on Gwyneth is not a popular one, but here it is: I like her.
Maybe it’s because Sliding Doors was this movie that gave me feelings and made me want to cut my hair like that (which I totally did. It wasn’t a bad look for 1999/2000). Is she overly fancy to the point that most of us want to punch her? Yes. Yes she is. But here’s the thing that makes me okay with this: this is exactly who she is. When you are raised by Hollywood royalty with more money than most of us can imagine, you probably become a grown up version of Eloise (actually, that’s Liza Minelli). You live and breathe fancy. Which is why you recommend the following as your last minute coats for the winter:
Of course you would. I’ll totally drop $1k on a coat for the last couple of months of winter.
Having said that I like her, I do find her lifestyle site to be incredibly useless. I never remember to turn to her for recipes because I already have one judgey blonde homegirl for that (what up, Martha?) and her travel recommendations are completely useless. I could maybe save some enough money to order an appetizer at some of the restaurants she suggest. Maybe. And her health fads, like the latest one with steam up your vag? Well, to each their own, but I really rely on trained health care professionals and select websites (like the Mayo Clinic. They’re a fave) for my health information. If you want to trust a celebrity with your health, well then that’s your gamble. But let’s all remember where that little experiment got us: a measles outbreak in the happiest place on earth. Thanks a lot, Jenny McCarthy. But still, I somehow don’t hate her.
Ally: Of course you named your website “Preserve”, Blake Lively, you insufferable shit.
Sorry, I’m still sore about Blake and Leo (aka my favourite piece of writing to date). Let me tell you, I didn’t find Blake’s website easily. I started by inserting “www.preserve.com” into my bar thingy, and got sent to some random URL. I’m no web developer, but isn’t that an obvious redirect to your site? Anyway, after Googling, “Blake Lively Preserve” I finally found it. This is what came up:
“Let’s Preserve our Connection”? Bitchpleeze.com
I then found her letter to the editor, and ok, it’s well written. Fine.
Then I decided to read the style/story piece called, “The Next Morning” written by Amber Tamblyn. This is encouraging, I thought to myself!
Look, Amber, I’ve been there. You need to write a blog post and you’ve got nothing. Not to mention, you’ve been given photos of what appears to be a man giving the smell test to his armpits.
I get you. What do you do with that? Well, it looks like you did just the right thing. Opened up a box of wine and got to the bottom of it while writing a piece even E.L. James would deny producing. Ain’t no shame in that game.
If I had to describe Blake’s site, which I guess is what we’re all here for, I’d say that it was a nightmare to navigate. I lost interest quickly. I do actually like the premise behind Blake’s site and think that she does seperate herself well from GOOP with the whole, “finding stories in every corner of America”. The writing just tries far too hard, and it takes away from the pictures – which is what she is really trying to sell.
Also, she ruined Leo for me so fuck the fuck off.
Mel: The ugly: Blake Lively’s Preserve
Listen. I get it. We’ve all had a moment of envy that we can’t all be hipsters living in Williamsburg. Crafting bespoke items of clothing in our ridiculously trendy lofts, drinking craft gin that some asshole made in his 5th floor walk-up’s bathtub, all while trying to find ourselves and living like we’re in an episode of GIRLS.
But really Blake Lively? REALLY? We get it. You’re young. You’re beautiful. You’re rich. You’re famous. You don’t need to rub it in everybody’s face. This blog is like a scene from a hipster’s wet dream. And some things should just be kept to the imagination.
FLOWER BEARDS?!? COME ON.
L-A: From a purely profesh point of view: shitty, shitty job on getting this into my search engine when it first launched. Since .com wasn’t available and I couldn’t remember the .whatever (it’s .us, BTDubs), I googled. Which, fine. I have to google a lot of things. I’m a modern lady with damn near constant access to the internet, so I don’t need to know URLs like Facebook.com or whatever. Google is my buddy. But it took four pages of Google results later before I found the damn thing. (G)Oops.
Finding it is easier now that the site has been around for a few months. But I’m not sure why you’d want to find it because from the point of view of a person with moderate good sense and borderline good taste, this site is kind of the worst. It’s how I imagine the Internet would look with an Instagram filter on it all the time. And the writing. It’s just too much muchness. If you can find the grey text on the black background. I mean, get a load of this.
What’s that article even about? I don’t know. I can barely read it. And there’s too much damn scrolling (both up and down and side to side). I don’t want to put that much effort into my internet reading. And every link we had from a few months ago has disappeared. Maybe they knew the writing was bad? Or maybe they just don’t know how to maintain a website. Frankly, the whole thing is a goddamned mess.
If I could get past the incessant Instagrammy-ness of it all and the overwrought writing and the impossible design, you know what? Preserve would probably be my jam. I am into that hipster-adjacent lifestyle where you want to make pies by hand, buy everything artisinal, including $18 well-photographed Etsified spoons.
But I can’t even deal. I also hate Blake. And her maternity photos. Because of course she did a backlit field of flowers cupping her belly.
Of Course She Did. My “I’m having a baby photo”? I took a picture of an ultrasound and then went MS Paint on it. (oh, by the way, new FPQT Intern on the way in June). So Imma keep on pretending that Preserve doesn’t exist because it’s just too much.
L-A: I’m maybe the only one who really cares about Martha here. But that’s because I love her and all her high-falutin advice. Her cookie recipes are 100% my jam – I had the cookie app on my now MIA phone (I miss you phone! Come back to me!). And if I need a recipe I can trust, she’s my homegirl. Also, she’s done time for white collar crimes and kept her empire running. A goddamn empire of magazines and television in an age when television and magazines are basically like talking about silent films and radio dramas. Good on you, Martha. However, if Martha explains a step to you in a recipe: just do it. Don’t skip that step. Just don’t. That’s how you end up with the saddest meringues ever.
And she has a random feud with GOOP, so if you hate on GOOP, you can appreciate Martha. She also taught the Fug Girls to fold fitted sheets. So let’s all take a moment to appreciate Martha. She’s the most badass and judgiest of all the blondes. She’s the original judgey blonde.
And with that, we bring you what’s new with us. Over the past five years, a lot has changed for us – babies, school, careers, moves, and more babies. That’s why the unofficial hiatus happened. We still love fashion and style and we’ll still blog about it, but we’re going to branch out a bit to our other interests. So, in the grand tradition of GOOP, Blake (pour one on the ground for Preserve), LC (and maybe even Martha), we’re going to be judgey blondes on all areas of life – not just what to wear. I guess that makes us “Lifestyle Bloggers” instead of straight up “Fashion Bloggers”. And after this post, it makes us slightly hypocritical. We’re okay with that. Hopefully you’ll stick around.