What It's Like to Live Like Blake Lively for a Week...As a Guy
By Josh Duboff
I have very little in common with Blake Lively, biographically speaking. She is female; she is a famous actress; she has been on the cover of Vogue three times. Meanwhile, I am male; I am not a famous actor; and I … have eaten at Chipotle this week three times. We are roughly the same age, however, and as such, I feel, in a certain way, I have “grown up with” Blake. I watched her debut in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants at about the same time as I grappled with moving to a different city from my own cadre of teenage best friends (I definitely did notexcessively cry throughout the entire last third of the film, no way!); and I religiously tuned in toGossip Girl each week during my first years living in New York (every week believing, even if just for a moment, that all my problems could be solved with a well-chosen clothing item). The way in which everything seemed to come so easily for Blake held a certain appeal and fascination to me. She wanted to star in a prestige Oscar-y movie, so she got herself a role in The Town; she liked Florence and the Machine, so she got Florence Welch as a best friend. Blake was a continual topic of conversation in my life; a search for “blake lively” in my Gmail inbox garners 423 results.
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But Blake’s latest venture, the creation of a lifestyle Web site, seemed … difficult for me to relate to. Titled “Preserve,” the site is, as Vogue put it, “part digital monthly magazine, part e-commerce venture, part video blog.” There is a central, yet hazy, focus on building things with your own hands and engaging with the world (“I’m hungry for experience,” Blake writes in hereditor’s letter). The aesthetic of Preserve is—perhaps surprisingly, given Blake’s California Girl sunshine-and-cupcakes vibe—quite dark, in a Southern gothic, folk-rocker kind of way. The men featured have tattoos and greased hair; the women look more Vanessa Abrams than Serena van der Woodsen; the food appears dreamy and overripe. If Goop is a Taylor Swift song, Preserve is a Paramore ballad.