Martha Stewart has made an impact on American culture. I don’t just like her–I love her! I haven’t made a judgment on the incidents that led to her sentencing and prison time. I don’t listen to the stories about her. Much of it is based on jealousy or gossip.
I like Martha simply because she singlehandedly restored dignity to homemaking, gardening, and entertaining — all the homemaking arts which I love.
Martha gained media attention with her first book, Entertaining, in 1977. The women’s lib movement was sagging seriously by then. Martha appeared on the scene with a deep passion for beautifying the home and making friends and family feel welcome in that cozy, warm space that she had created. Martha added class and elegance to cooking and crafts. Imagine adding class to crafts in 1977?
The American women bought it and began to focus on the home again. We were just coming out of the age of feminism when women burned bras and demonstrated in many ways for equality. I am not for inequality at all. I think certainly that women must be acknowledged for their gifts and receive equal compensation, opportunities, and respect. But I think as well that the pioneers of feminism took us down dark streets away from home. We needed to return to the center of civilization — the family and the shelter that houses us — to beautify it and make it welcoming and healing again. Martha brought us home.
Martha never discouraged women from working away from home or having careers. As a business magnate, author, and editor, Martha’s net worth is $638 million. Her life message has been her passion–encouraging women, young and old, to love their homes by taking time to beautify them and love their families and friends by preparing healthy and elegant meals. She also encouraged women to use their heads and their hands by making homemade crafts and gifts from the heart.
In 2005, Martha served a six-month prison term for charges of insider trading. She raised the bar in prison (excuse the pun) by bringing excellence to her work duties, by “doing a common thing uncommonly well.” Martha befriended many of the inmates with whom she served by listening and giving them good counsel. I understand she was popular there too.
Martha returned from prison stronger than ever with a book on how to start a business and two tv shows. The show Martha Stewart is still popular and going strong after a number of years.
Women have few role models whose passions center around the home and entertaining in the home. Martha’s touch of class and simplified explanation has elevated all those mundane or obsolete homemaking chores to sought-after skills.
There is nothing I love more than my home and preparing that place for family and friends. Over the last few years, Martha has inspired me to develop my skills with excellence, so my home can be more beautiful, inviting, and filled with treasures and wonderful food. Although I love many things in life and derive reward from various pursuits, I love creating my home space with warmth, flair, and creativity more than anything.
Oh, Martha is a brilliant business woman alright, and she is driven. And she will always have enemies–just like any successful person.
But I ask you, how can you really dislike someone who loves home?
Martha is our new Dorthy from The Wizard of Oz.
We are all watching Martha click her rubied slippers together, and we are chanting with her, “There’s no place like home. There is no place like home. There is no place like home.”
Take us home, Martha, take us home.