It’s true: There’s a widespread habit of combining the “actresses with lifestyle brands” into one multiheaded Hydra for easy shorthand — a blonde Blakethreesica trying to take over the world one swag-filled newsletter at a time.
Gwyneth Paltrow, whose lifestyle site, Goop, is often compared to Blake Lively’s Preserve, Jessica Alba’s Honest Company, and Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James, is sick of articles and comments that attempt to pit them against one another, she said in an interview with Time. When asked if she read the other sites, Paltrow said:
This is a very interesting question, because I wonder if George Clooney would be asked about Puff Daddy’s ancillary liquor line. I’m fascinated how the media in particular are so confounded by entrepreneurial women doing something outside of their box. Jessica [Alba], especially, who’s a friend of mine — our businesses could not be more different. There’s not a lifestyle piece to her business. The fundamentals of our sites are very different. Reese launched — our businesses have similarities, but hers has retail. People are grasping at straws to tie us together and I get it, because it makes a good story, but I’m slightly offended by this sort of generalization that happens with myself and Jessica and Reese and Blake. Yes, there are similarities. But there aren’t stories in TIME written saying, “Wow, look at Arnold Schwarzenegger, who did x, y, and z!”
I feel there’s something slightly misogynistic about it. This is a common theme. I think Reese and Jessica and I — I don’t know Blake Lively, and I don’t know if Jessica and Reese know each other — I’m friends with both of them and I speak to both of them and I want to do everything I can to support their businesses.
Given the successful business endeavors Paltrow and Alba are building — Alba’s baby wellness brand Honest Company is worth $1 billion and a Forbes cover — we might just as easily compare them to any number of celebrities making bank by building a many-armed lifestyle behemoth with themselves at the center. Say, Jay Z — or always, Martha Stewart.