What the obsessive critique of Hannah Neeleman and her family tells us about ourselves
“But as far as I know, that’s part of the deal of being a feminist. It means women should have the agency to choose paths that you personally might not choose for yourself”
I had somehow never heard of Ballerina Farm until now. What a fair, broadminded introduction.
No Instagram. No Twitter or Facebook either. I can relate to all of this, Rosie, by sharing my delight in walking outside every day and soaking in nature, in all of its awe. Sometimes I add an hour to this step away from the screen walk by finding a favorite tree and reading one of my books by Henry Thoreau, who showed us nature is the source of all inspiration.
I think it’s very admirable how you manage to depolarize a topic that easily divides people into one of two extremes. I, for one, am searching for ways to “spend more time engaging with the seasons, the place I live, and the land that I live on”. It’s easy for me to fall into the thought pattern that I either need to become a self sufficient leftist hippy who doesn’t need a connection to the electricity grid or any money at all; or that I need to find a rich man and give up my ambitions to become a stay at home mum. Oh, how our brains love to make things black and white. Thank you for bringing some gray tones into this online conversation and my thinking!
I think the criticism of Ballerina Farm is that it's all aesthetic. If you aren't rich and good looking, no one cares. If Hannah gains weight or gets frumpy, it's all over. Look what happened to model Marisa Miller - she was a beauty that was everywhere, then gained a bit of weight after kid number two and now is totally ignored.
Gosh I knew something was icky about all the criticism, you captured it so well!