Every week I did it — I tortured myself. Into my little email inbox dropped the GOOP update, filled with pictures of Gwyneth Paltrow’s luxurious, designer-clad, fine dining-fed, Tracy Anderson-honed, A list-filled, country-hopping life. I would spew to colleagues and friends about how out of touch Paltrow was, how insane she must be to think we could all afford $12,000 “capsule” wardrobes and eat in the swanky places she trooped to with her perfect Spanish-speaking brood in tow. What did GP know about juggling work and kids and bills and stress and laundry and to-do lists and all the mundane, exhausting, relentless stuff that comes with being an average Mom, without all the A-list trappings?
Well, quite a lot, as it turns out. And, if truth be known, the reason why I was so darn bitter about Gwynnie and her “tips”? Because I was plain, old-fashioned GREEN WITH JEALOUSY. That’s right, I hold my hands up — I envied her seemingly easy, immaculate, floats-through-it life.
And it seems that I was not alone. Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter has confirmed that the magazine is planning an article on the Oscar-winning actress, which the press has quickly dubbed an “epic takedown” of Gwynnie. Carter has told The Times newspaper in London, “We started a story on her. We have a very good writer and it will run.”
Gwyneth has apparently started her own PR offensive, reportedly asking friends if they are asked for a quote or a comment to decline and to no longer support the magazine by being featured in it. She has also guest-edited December’s edition of Red magazine, filling it with tips on how to have a fab Christmas and also, tellingly, about how to cope with judgement: “If anyone is going to ask my advice, I’d say, do what is right for you and don’t give a s**t what anyone else thinks.”
So how did this actress vs. magazine feud begin in the first place? The Times seems to think the Hollywood elite have a problem with Vanity Fair‘s no holds barred attitude when it comes to writing stories about celebrities. That may be true, but Carter says that’s just business, baby: “We wouldn’t be doing our job if there wasn’t a little bit of tension between Vanity Fair and its subjects.” He also confirmed that Gwynnie’s anti-VF emails only made him want to run the story even more.
What is most interesting to me is the sheer glee that some folks have shown at the thought of Gwyneth having this “takedown” article written about her — as if they are vultures waiting to feast on the poor woman’s bones. Why does she incur so much anger? What do people have against her?
Clearly — and she admits this — she is a mom trying to juggle her own life in the best way she sees fit. She says that she scaled back her movie career to be a more present parent — so like the rest of us, she has had to make compromises and choices in her career for the good of her family. She appears to genuinely want to help and advise other women by sharing her lifestyle with everyone, even if it isn’t achievable for most of us. But at least she has good intentions. At least she cares. If we all stood back and thought about her doing this for the good of others and NOT because she wants to smugly show off her wonderful life, wouldn’t we see a different picture?
Isn’t the only reason we want to silence Paltrow and her Goop ramblings simply because we cannot bear to see a woman who is a brilliant actress, cook, mom, singer, friend, spouse, and lifestyle guru have it all? It makes us feel a bit more inferior, especially when our own bodies are not a temple and our own hair isn’t always so glossy and our own lives are not exactly straight out of a magazine.
I would suggest that haters read between the lines: Paltrow titled her cookbook, My Father’s Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family and Togetherness, as an homage to her beloved dad who she lost in 2002. She frequently talks of how marriage can be tough, especially when your husband is on tour a lot. She writes wonderful pieces on her friendships and endlessly champions other female cooks, writers, designers, etc. If you take away the vast earnings and jet-setter lifestyle and boil it down to her vegan cooking and clean living, I think Gwynnie is just like us. Yes, I really said that — she is just LIKE US.
She is a woman who doesn’t have all the answers, doesn’t even pretend to — and is just trying her best, in the glare of the media with millions of green envy-filled eyes waiting for her to fall.
I am proud to say, I am no longer on that green team. Leave the Goopster alone!
Photo credit: Pacific Coast News