Gwyneth showed up at the Golden Globes dressed as the sexy poop emoji, and then followed that up with promotional materials that put her in a gigantic vagina:
Gwyneth Paltrow welcomes you to The Goop Lab on January 24 pic.twitter.com/ZzeEEbAy9L
— See What’s Next (@seewhatsnext) January 6, 2020
That’s two orifices covered in two days. Congrats, Gwyneth! Which one is next? (“Reach new depths” is also so awkward, and is a phrase that can be interpreted negatively, as in, “What new depths of hackery will GOOP reach now”)
Anyway, if we all saw her at the Globes and thought, “But why? Why is she doing this, and why is this a good kind of publicity?” This is it: her Netflix show The Goop Lab, in which presumably she continues to push alternative medicine she doesn’t care about understanding because she just wants to — as the trailer says — “cause a ruckus and “milk the shit out of this.” The Harper’s cover story is part of the promo. On it, she’s wearing a $15,000 breastplate by Tom Ford, presented like some kind of sci-fi queen of the future, looking down at us from a place of knowledge to which we have yet to ascend. And the cover line teases angle that isn’t entirely present — mostly she says she’s friends with all her exes, names a few, and notably does not mention Ben Affleck. [Side note: One of my favorite mental exercises is to imagine the text chains that exist between various people in the life of someone who has dramatically changed their persona, and I love imagining Ben and Brad WhatsApping each other frantically, like, “A wellness expert? When we were together we only ate takeout,” or whatever.]
The article does actually exemplify what’s frustrating about Gwyneth. On the one hand, and it insists this is true, it makes the argument that she’s an awesome person to be around and some of her quotes sound very self-aware and cool, like for example when she talks about Dakota Johnson, who is now with Chris Martin:
“I love her,” Paltrow says. “I can see how it would seem weird because it’s sort of unconventional. But I think, in this case, just having passed through it iteratively, I just adore her. I always start to think of the ampersand sign—what else can you bring in, instead of being resistant to or being made insecure by? There’s so much juice in leaning in to something like that.”
That’s a nice sentiment, right? Great. And on its face, this is witty:
“What could possibly be wrong with you?” Loehnen asks Paltrow. “You have everything. You’re beautiful. You’re wealthy. You’re famous.” Paltrow responds, “Being the person that people perceive me to be is inherently traumatic.”
That quote right there encapsulates my Paltrow problem: Yes, on the surface, that’s wry, but she talks about this as if she had no participation in the person people perceive her to be. Certainly, genetics arne’t her responsibility; wealth and fame were products of her choices, though, and the idea of Gwyneth-as-GOOP is one she absolutely and knowingly cultivated for profit. She now tries to veer between taking it seriously and wanting to be taken seriously, and laughing at it on talk shows and therefore by extension — as far as I’m concerned — laughing at the fans she’s collected who for whatever reason value her company’s insights. So this story is probably not going to do anything to sway anyone in one direction or another. If you like Gwyneth, you’ll probably still like her; if you don’t, you’ll probably roll your eyes.
Why are magazines so hot for making women climb out of pools in couture?