Martha Stewart can grow an entire pantry's worth of vegetables, prune a boxwood shrub and bake the f--k out of a red raspberry pie. But she's not suggesting you try any of that at home.
Because as much as she's crafted her entire persona out of helping others access their inner lifestyle virtuoso—touting the importance of an organized cupboard, a perfectly curated cocktail and knowing precisely how to cook lobster—even she isn't subscribing to the belief that we should all be using our quarantine to start making over our lives.
Asked by Dr. Oz during an April appearance on his talk show, "How are you going to be a better Martha Stewart when this is over?" she got all the way real. "I am going to scream and break every window within 10 miles if you say you get better with this kind of challenge," she responded, inspiring stressed shut-ins around the world to start the slow clap. "I find that it's the kind of person you are to start with. It's hard to get better with such a disaster."
Though quarantine Martha is, as the kids say, a vibe. She's unapologetically indulging in cocktails, making some jokes that would be decidedly out of place in her eponymous magazine and freely admitting just how much she misses her manicurist, hair dresser, make up artist and Bergdorfs colorist.
Not that she needs the help. Because with scant few skills left for her to master, the domestic doyenne, practically synonymous with the idea of East Coast preppy, has turned to the one perfected by Bachelor contestants and Instagram models the world over.
Yeah, "That's definitely a thirst trap," she admitted to Entertainment Tonight when quizzed about the July 21 snap she captured as she was climbing out of the pool at her four-bedroom East Hampton retreat. "My camera came on backwards, you know, selfie mode, and I looked so nice. The sun was on my face." Feeling herself, she thought, "'Oh, that looks pretty,'" she continued, "so I took the picture. It looked good."
Good enough to earn the 79-year-dome some "14 proposals", she revealed on E!'s Daily Pop in August, and more than a few appreciative comments from those suddenly seeing the host of HGTV's Martha Knows Best—back Oct. 28 for a second season featuring Stewart mixing cocktails with Chelsea Handler and Kate Hudson—in a whole new light.
"Martha is here for a hot girl summer," remarked one of her nearly one million followers on the 'gram. Which certainly seems to be the case as Stewart fills her feed with videos of herself pounding butterflied chicken to the sounds of Rihanna and Drake's "Work," agreeing to smoke a joint with Handler and writing the type of racy captions that might make Cardi B blush.
But how exactly did the meticulously put together impresario become 2020's answer to Megan Thee Stallion?
First off, she's basically living the quarantine life of our dreams. With 153 acres at her Bedford estate, her main digs roughly 50 miles outside of New York City, we can't imagine there'd be cause for cabin fever and she's got enough fresh rhubarb, spinach and other goodies in her garden to keep her whipping up homemade dinners and sugar-dusted clafouti for some time.
And she needn't ever step foot in a gym to work off all those sweets, what with her collection of a Peleton bike, DB Method at-home squat machine and newly purchased Tonal, a $3,000 per month contraption that bills itself as "the smartest home gym."
Plus she's assembled quite the #squad, with driver Carlos, housekeeper Elvira and gardener Ryan McCallister bunking with her in Bedford—a group she's affectionately (and hopefully, jokingly) taken to calling her "detainees."
Days are spent seeing to the upkeep required to maintain Stewart's exacting standards. "Since we're at the house all the time we can work earlier and later and we get a lot more things done," McCallister, who's seen to the Martha Stewart Living empress' vast collection of flora for nearly a decade, told Town & Country. "And Martha doesn't just sit there and say, 'Do that!' She's out there doing everything with you."
And evenings are reserved for cracking open a bottle of Dom Perignon, digging into home cooked fare and letting the cards fall where there they may. "We make a nice dinner every night. We have a cocktail. We play cards after dinner," Stewart shared on Late Night with Seth Meyers.
And, guys, Martha Stewart can hang. We probably should have figured this out after the savage take down of Justin Bieber at his 2015 Comedy Central roast that saw her proclaiming, "Let's get to the reason I'm here tonight, which is to give Justin Bieber some tips for when he inevitably ends up in prison. I've been in lock up, and you wouldn't last a week, so, pay attention."
Someone who can slay and poke fun of herself? No wonder Snoop Dogg, her cooking show cohort, labeled her "the funniest motherf--ker there." And we never should have doubted the legendary rapper and marijuana connoisseur because here Stewart is in quarantine comin' up with funky ass s--t like every single day.
While we we're all making Carole Baskin jokes and discovering the wonders that is TikTok, Stewart was living her best life driving tractors, taking the Flip the Switch challenge and indulging in enough Martha-ritas to leave this nonsensical caption on the Best Little Hen House In Texas' post about their growing baby chicks: "M as me sure you feed and wAter them daily And keep the heat Iss as no BK in s as Nd when you can finally come back to nyc who is going to care for them??"
And while you might think a person as proper as Martha freaking Stewart might be embarrassed to so thoroughly expose a chink in their domestic armor, it turns out she doesn't give AF. She simply commented on her post, "What a mess I have been drinking" and moved it along.
Like most of us, Stewart has been imbibing in whatever she can find around the house. Except in her case that means a $383 bottle of Domaine Roulot Meursault Clos des Boucheres to play Gozo with her crew or whipping up her go-to quarantini, the "perfect Martha martini" calling for vermouth, lemon zest and a healthy serving of her beloved Belvedere vodka.
No wonder she's got more than a few volunteers to join her tribe now that most of her staffers have flown the well-appointed coop. (Except gardener Ryan who knows he has a good thing going.) As one fan commented, "Where has this version of Martha been all my life!??"
Real talk: she's been here all along. After all, this is a woman who's admitted to sexting and paying a visit to a nude beach, someone who's made as much effort to fit into good pal Snoop's world as he has into hers, adding bling to her decidedly minimalist wardrobe, CBD products to her vast empire and words like "fo shizzle" and "crack-a-lackin" to her vocabulary.
And she never once made a peep about him basically hotboxing her at Bieber's roast a few years back.
"Snoop had all those, you don't call them joints, you call them something else. Big fat ones," she said weeks later during a stop on Late Night with Seth Meyers. "So I was totally high." An unintended consequence to be sure, but one Snoop says made the show. "Her seat is right here, and mine is right here," he would share with Howard Stern in 2018. "The whole roast, I'm just smokin' dope. It's just secondhand smoke, secondhand smoke. By the time she get up there to tell her jokes—she's whacked out of her head, but she steals the f--king show."
"Justin, before I go, here's my final piece of advice: You have to settle down, bring some balance into your life, find yourself the right gal—but she'll have to be someone on your level, someone powerful and famous and rich," she summed up. "Someone you can smoke a joint with, or indulge in the occasional three-way. I'm talking about a player in the boardroom and a freak in the bedroom. So, Justin, my final piece of advice is: Call me."
But to the stans who have been championing her all along that's just "normal fantastic Martha," as one follower put it. And while Bieber is very much taken, his bride, Hailey Bieber even making an appearance on Stewart's new HGTV series, there are plenty of fish who wouldn't mind swimming in the lifestyle guru's pool.
No doubt she's got their attention now.
(Originally published Aug. 3, 2020, at 12 a.m. PT)