Born in the early 80s, I’ve seen Gwyneth Paltrow grow in her profession. I’ve seen her as Wendy in Steven Spielberg’s Hook, I’ve seen her as the girlfriend of Brad Pitt, and I’ve seen her breaking through as Viola de Lesseps in Shakespeare in Love. Never in my life have I felt antipathy towards her, but that changed when I saw her cookbook It’s All Good in my local bookshop.
My initial reaction was to roll my eyes: Here’s another rich-as-fuck celebrity posing to be ‘a normal country girl’, pretending to know enough about food and biology to give ‘healthy diet’ advice. One might argue that I need to read the book to have an opinion, but I’m not going to and I don’t feel I need to. Firstly, Gwyneth Paltrow is an actress. She’s not a registered dietitian, not a doctor, not a cook. Like you don’t go to a baker for a medical check up, you don’t go to Gwyneth Paltrow for food advice. Secondly, Gwyneth Paltrow works in the entertainment industry and I therefore distrust any food advice she might dispense. Women in the entertainment industry often live up to a skinny-skinnier-skinniest standard, which means their diets are designed to achieve that standard, and that is not necessarily healthy. Thirdly, I did read here and there that Gwyneth’s diet advice included the avoidance of carbs or other particular nutrients – you’ll have to forgive me, I only read such nonsense with half an eye and therefore tend to forget the specifics. Crazy diets have been popping up since the time I still read teenage pop magazines. Gluten-free diets, carb-free diets, dairy-free diets, and so on. The number of diets out there is fucking ridiculous, especially when you realize that all you need to do to be healthy is eat varied and at regular times. So Gwyneth Paltrow swearing off a particular nutrient doesn’t impress me, doesn’t interest me, and certainly doesn’t make me want to try it too. At best I consider it another celebrity’s vanity project so I laugh and roll my eyes, like I did when I saw It’s All Good.
Then I heard about goop. ‘Goop’ without a capital letter even though it’s a name, because proper spelling is not hip enough. From what I heard, goop was Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle blog. She was trying to brand herself a lifestyle guru. Oh, hell no.
With all of her millions in her bank account, who does she think her lifestyle would be a credible example to? The fucking queen of England? Even Barack Obama doesn’t have as much money as her. I won’t go as far as to say her only credible demographic is the world’s infamous “1%”, but it can’t reach far beyond it either. Her ‘blog’ sells pots and pans for a minimum of $100 per skillet. The cheapest item in goop‘s gift guide is a tiara jewelry case, I shit you not, for no less than $42. As if people who do wear tiaras on a regular basis can’t afford more expensive cases, catch my drift? And there’s a navy diary for the year 2015 – to be used for just one year – that costs $52.
The journal – basically the core of a blog – on the website of goop features posts written by Gwyneth Paltrow, or as she signs herself off: ‘gp’. Ugh. These posts are often no longer than 10 lines and don’t really contain anything thought provoking. Many other posts in the journal aren’t even written by Gwyneth but by guest authors such as dr. Habib Sadeghi. Each post is consistently followed by an ad trying to sell you something they call ‘this week’s goop collaboration’. And of course the website contains a bunch of recipes.
Gwyneth is so much about food that I’d almost believe she really enjoys cooking, but then, looking at her I can’t imagine her at home, in the kitchen, doing all that work. Anyone who cooks knows cooking is fun but definitely not always clean or glamorous. I don’t see her being about that life. That said, Gwyneth may well like to cook and if so that would be the only authentic thing about her website. Everything else on it was designed to make you buy something, either the products or Gwyneth’s image.
The blog doesn’t even identify as a blog. According to its own words in the ‘About’ section:
“Goop is a digital media and e-commerce company founded by Gwyneth Paltrow.”
So basically it’s not about blogging, lifestyle, or cooking at all. It’s about selling. That’s nothing new but it’s fucking disgusting. It’s insincere and the bitch doesn’t need it.
There are sincere lifestyle bloggers out there who start from nothing, produce quality blog posts, and work their way up. They use their spot on the web to voice their opinions, their interests, their lifestyles. They are true lifestyle bloggers. Gwyneth Paltrow is just throwing one big PR stunt. (Making up words is part of the process, like “consciously uncoupling” when “breaking up” doesn’t fit your glamorous image.)
She is wealthy and famous and hardly even blogs. She is using her name to sell shit and revel in the attention she gets. Because, boy, is she horny for herself, especially now. Throughout her acting career she’s always been a bit of the ‘unseen star’: in major blockbusters she never played the lead, and the movies in which she did play the lead never reached a wide enough audience for her to become as big as, say, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, or Meryl Streep. Just compare the success of any of her movies – in which she plays the lead – to Pretty Woman, and you’ll know what I mean. And now, Goopy has found a way to make up for lost attention, namely by branding herself as a lifestyle guru no one can believe. It’s fucking ridiculous.
Or to put it in the words of the real deal, Martha Stewart:
“She just needs to be quiet. She’s a movie star. If she were confident in her acting, she wouldn’t be trying to be Martha Stewart.”