With all the celebrity lifestyle websites out there, it seems pretty inevitable that comparisons would be drawn between them. Whether they’re peddling artisanal hand-poured candles or monogrammed napkins with a bit of Southern charm, the fact that they’re all websites run by wealthy actresses is enough for folks to point out some parallels. But if you ask Gwyneth Paltrow, the whole thing reeks of sexism.
Gwyneth was recently asked by TIME if she looks at the lifestyle sites of her peers and, let’s just say, she didn’t take too kindly to the inquiry. “I wonder if George Clooney would be asked about Puff Daddy’s ancillary liquor line,” she responded. “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.”
Gwyneth has a point. All three businesses are quite different, have different branding, different target customers and completely different vibes. Still, considering that these lifestyle sites seem to be cropping up so often, people will obviously ask how they are similar or different. But Gwyneth still feels uneasy about the comparisons. “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.”
One thing all four lifestyle brands have in common is the fact that they seem to be doing well for each respective actress. Comparisons aside, it’s always nice to see entrepreneurial women winning — or in Blake Lively’s case, chugging along. Blake also sat down with TIME to talk about her venture, expressing that her Preserve site simply isn’t at the level she hoped it would be by now, a fact that she blames on the hasty launch, which debuted to coincide with that Vogue cover last year. “What I wanted Preserve to be at launch was not what it is at all. It’s just impossible!” she explained. “We found ourselves at launch and we had a Vogue cover set up, so I couldn’t call Anna Wintour and say ‘I need six more months’ — people hacked into our site a week and a half before it was meant to launch, so the site leaked. The site’s not close to what I want it to be. I hope by the time it’s what I want it to be, my standards will be raised infinitely more.”
Blake mentions that she would like to make changes to the site’s navigation, but assures us that she’s working on it. “Every layer of the company can and will be improved.”