By Heather O.
This was buried in the comments of the Oprah thread, and I think it deserves its own discussion.
“Just out of curiosity–I’m interested in how y’all would compare Oprah and Martha Stewart. After all, Martha is the only human ever featured on her covers; she’s pretty bossy about how people ought to live; her personal life is (ahem) far from admirable; she’s at least as out of touch with actual people as Oprah, and yet I suspect a lot of Mormon women like and respect her. My hunch is that she is OK because she has (publicly, anyway) confined her preaching to an area in which Mormon women find it acceptable to excel, whereas Oprah has rejected those boundaries.
(A disclaimer: I have no dog in this fight–don’t own a TV, have only seen one episode of Oprah ever. I find her magazine more distracting than Vogue when I’m huffing through that last 20 minutes on the Stairmaster, but haven’t ever subscribed. My involvement with Martha Stewart is limited to having once made a squash soup for Thanksgiving using a recipe someone clipped from her magazine for me.)”
As usual, Kristine has brought up a great question.
For me, I think that Mormon women revere Martha because she is a tangible example of somebody who had actually achieved what every Mormon housewife is striving for–domestic nirvana. Also, I think for those of us who like crafts, homemaking, etc, having a successful woman like Martha validates a lot. Oprah validates nothing, and sometimes even goes so far as to criticize and riducule certain lifestyle choices common for Mormon women.
For the rest of us, however, who are craft challenged, nay, I would almost say craft disabled, Martha represents something far worse–a smack in the face and reminder of our failures.
I don’t like Martha. Can you tell?
Still, I guess she does have some good recipes. You know, if you have terragon and majoram just hanging about the house.
Any other thoughts?
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