ignorance vs. arrogance

Whenever M witnessed someone behaving inappropriately, he would ponder the question of ignorance vs. arrogance. The first can be easily corrected if we believe the premise that all behavior is learned. But what about arrogance? In my opinion, arrogance is a learned behavior, as well, but a more deep rooted one. Arrogance is something we either learn from an example set by other important figures in our lives, or perhaps a way to shield ourselves from past unpleasant experiences. Perhaps arrogance is a perverse kind of self confidence, one riddled with insecurities?

These are just some rambling thoughts I’ve had on my mind since watching Martha Stewart dismiss the authenticity and value of bloggers with one fell swoop of her tongue.  Whether someone’s action stems from ignorance or arrogance, we ultimately hold the power in the situation. The way we react is more important. Control of our own actions is the only guarantee and constant we can count on. This is a lesson I’ve been trying to really reinforce with my daughters lately.

How do I feel about Martha Stewart’s blanket statement to Bloomberg News? Well, certainly not surprised. Her single reply to the social media community was this: “Big hubbub about me not supporting bloggers. Martha Stewart loves most bloggers who are great friends and trusted allies”. Last I checked, there are a lot of people blogging around the world. I’d be surprised if she even knows 1% of them. Trusted allies? What does that even mean? It sounds a little threatening, as though anyone who questions her statements or authority are enemies.

So, what’s the best way to process such arrogance? Keep moving forward, and make the choices that are best for you. Put a positive spin on it, and use Martha’s statement to look closely at what you’re doing, and perhaps see if you can be doing it better. I’m going to admit, I agree a little with her statement about some of the recipes circulating out there, but the same truth holds for recipes from her very own cookbooks. These days I peruse her magazine and cookbooks for inspiration more than anything, having had too many missteps with her actual recipes to take a chance on using them as gospel.

Change is scary, and these days it seems to come at lightening speed in this digital age. My advice to Martha is accept the landscape is different, and decide how you want to grow with it. Oh, and you might want to admit you said something not very nice, offer up an apology—it’s the same strategy we use with our children when they have squabbles in the playground. The only difference is your playground has 2.8 million followers who are all ears.


  • Josie // Hello Josephine

    Wonderful, thoughtful post. I hear the arrogance in Martha Stewart’s comments, but I’m also struck by the inauthenticity. Upon being asked who has “good taste,” after naming Ralph Lauren, she starts plugging companies that clearly make her brand money. The biggest advantage of bloggers (I think) is their authenticity and how relatable they are. They’re saying they like something or something resonates with them, what works, what doesn’t; and they usually live their “lifestyle” on a level somewhere beneath worldwide celebrity. I find even successful, income-bearing bloggers still aim to maintain their own voice as they learn how to work with sponsors. I enjoy going to big brands for inspiration, but for me the hands on, on-the-ground aspect I get from a blog is more valuable than anything a remote “expert” has to say. I feel like all Martha has achieved is showing the world one area where she may be a bit out of touch.

  • Alicia @ Weekly Greens

    As in any profession, there are people who do the job with integrity and grace and those who don’t. It was careless of her to lump all bloggers together. A sincere apology would be nice indeed. Thanks for the thoughtful response. You hit the nail on the head.

  • Wendy

    Wow! Ypur response was on the spot on! Thank you, as I had no idea she even said this. Not being a “blogger” ,but one who reads blogs and utilizes recipes from faceless cooks from around the web, I do believe Ms. Martha has forgotton from whence she came! What does she think about her time as a non-expert? It was so long ago and many books later that she really became “trusted”. Now, she is going to have to re-earn my trust, as I am just as loyal to the “bloggers” of the world as I used to be of her. Very sad indeed.

  • amy

    What a wonderful response. I saw the comment she made from another blogger’s response and was actually taken aback from it, because I always looked at Martha as the grand dame of blogging. She comes across as being high and mighty and forgetting she was once a simple homekeeping expert who wrote a book that took off. She built an empire but forgot about the “little people” who used her example and made it their own.
    I have learned so much about house, home, cooking and fashion from bloggers and one day might start one myself but some of what Martha Stewart has said is from ignorance. She hasn’t read everything out there. She is to busy dating.

  • Cynthia A.

    I think Josie’s comment was spot on.

    As a food stylist (who happens to blog) I cannot say how frustrating it is when an art director wants to use an image that is “pretty” even though we’ve told them the recipe doesn’t work. When a food stylist has to dig into his or her bag of tricks to make a recipe then it really shouldn’t be published. Period.

    The other thing Martha fails to recognize is one size does not fit all. I may like different books than she does. I definitely have different taste in designers. There are some bloggers I feel so close to after reading their work I want to invite to dinner, while others do not resonate with me. I think the words I have for Martha are pompous AND arrogant.

  • Tracey A.

    Good Morning Jennie,
    Very good points. Martha Stewart has always been a bit too much. Condescending at best, kinda big for her britches. Oh well, takes all kinds, doesn’t it?
    You are doing so well. Keep up the good work. Mike is proud you know!
    Wishing you confidence, not haughtiness, and reassurance that you are doing a GREAT job with the girls.
    Hugs, sparkles and NO FLEAS attached,

  • Susan P

    Well, when it comes right down to it with some it’s always going to be about the money. Keep going Jennie. I would rather spend my time reading about what “real” people have to say and their experiences rather than some “expert” who has nothing to do with us common folk. Love all my blogs. Keep up the great writing and sharing.

  • Debbi

    Hi Jennie, I also hadn’t heard what she said until I clicked your link and listened. I think she forgets that her own mother was not a trained food expert, yet she says how wonderful of a cook she was.
    She won’t apologize. You’ll be around long after she is gone. ( I love your cookbook)

  • Lisa

    Wow. I hadn’t heard this until I read your post this morning. I just saw the video. I am quite surprised at the comment. It was a pretty blank statement about bloggers and she seemed to lump everyone together. Well, I’m not a blogger but I appreciate their work. I appreciate the time that must go into these blogs. I love blogs. I’m just a simple girl raising a family in a fast paced world and I am trying to feed them wholesome food in the meantime. I love the blogs I am connected with everyday. They slow me down and I feel as though I am not alone out there in this big world of life. I love the photography. I love their words. I love the heart and soul they put into these blogs. I love the recipes. Yes, I do make the recipes and I really like them. I like that I don’t have to live in a different social class to appreciate certain things and figure out how to make a recipe and read a blog. It never even occurred to me that a blogger would be looked down upon. Who cares? We don’t need to be judged. We should all be on the same team and work together to get through life. Let’s just appreciate people for who they are and all the positives they sprinkle along the way. Thank you for all your hard work and thanks to all the bloggers who open up their hearts and lives. Thank YOU!!

  • Molly

    Well said! I follow your blog, and many others like it, because I connect with your perspective, tone and views on life. I don’t believe everyone who writes a blog is an expert, but they are taking the time to write down experiences and ideas. That is to be valued even if it has flaws. My favorite blogs, especially yours Jennie, feel like good friends and every new post is a new conversation. Thank you for all you, and those like you, do!

  • Darlene

    Beautifully stated. Find the positive and move forward with your own life plan. Martha Stewart is nobody’s judge but her own, unless you hand her the power to judge you.

    Your blog, Jennie, is something I really look forward to reading (for about 3 years now). You inspire me with your honesty and openness. And yes, I also love your recipes and Instagram photos!