Elizabeth Street, a new lifestyle site for ‘stylish moms’ has launched and Jenny Coyle is feeling sceptical.
So, this is terrifying. Elizabeth Street has arrived, and it may just be the final auspice that the world has gone mad and we should all move to a log cabin in Mayo and wait for the end.
This new website purports to be a ‘lifestyle brand dedicated to providing a modern and worldly view on being a stylish mother, featuring taste makers the world over.’ What that means is that it’s a nicely presented collection of inane features aimed at super-hip, often super-wealthy women, and profiles of Moms from around the world. Think ‘husband is a banker, I’m a lifestyle consultant for luxury brands, here’s my kale salad recipe, I love eating clean…’ In short, it makes Goop look like the People’s Friend.
The Elizabeth Street in question is an art-designed version of what people who don’t live in London think that ‘posh boho’ London looks like. Plenty of places to stock up on cashmere and / or artisan bread, less good for things like Persil or nit combs.
There’s a whole lot of green-eyed Elizabeth Street bashing going on, and frankly the endless pictures of hot mommies in bikinis talking about how they like to keep things classic by day and dress up for nighttime white tie events is all a bit rubberneckingly gauche and eye-rolling. There’s only so many toned cores and breathy advice on yoga studios around the world that any person needs. A slightly smug sense of ‘I’m in the 1% and don’t I know it’ prevails.
It seems unlikely that between the yoga and the cashmere-buying and kale-smoothie quaffing, that most of the Moms actually work. There’s some notable exceptions in there, but also a whole lot of pretend jobs. This, more than the nonsense about lifestyle tips for toddlers, is particularly galling. What about the non-mothers? Why are they all called Moms, anyway? What’s unclear is who the audience for this stuff could possibly be. There’s been a few attempts to create online communities and brands for the international elite – remember A Small World? In the fundamentally democratic era of the web, this kind of pointless corralling and segmenting doesn’t work.
The problem is that just like Ladies of London, us Have Nots are laughing at the Moms, not with them. We might have crap abs and go on package holidays, and drink BOGOF wine, not juniper infused martinis, but we also probably don’t give a toss. So, if like me you’re more Awkward Family Photos than The Socialite Family, there’s nothing to see here.
By Jenny Coyle @missmitford