Surely you’ve heard the rumors that Gwyneth Paltrow, celebrity doyenne of health-and-wellness chic, is separating from her eccentric GOOP lifestyle brand.
“My dream is that one day no one will remember I had anything to do with it,” Gwyneth said of GOOP continuing to grow without her during a speech at the 2016 Sage Summit in Chicago last week.
The Conscious Uncoupler recently confessed that GOOPs “scalability is limited if I connect to it,” musing that the brand will flourish more as its own entity rather than as an extension of GP herself.
Most people will happily do without Gwynnie’s inspirational monologues about alkaline superfoods, hard-to-pronounce healing modalities, and getting your vagina mugwort-steamed.
Certainly, I’m skeptical of her woo-woo peddling, but life without Gwyneth’s discursive newsletters on the mommy wars and GP-approved $425 colon cleanses sounds dreadfully boring.
Launched in the fall of 2008 as a “homespun weekly newsletter” and “trusted friend,” GOOP quickly morphed into a wildly successful and wildly divisive lifestyle brand.
Gwynnie herself became more eccentric and unselfconscious with every passing year, mostly on GOOP but also while speaking to the press. It’s understandable why not everyone took kindly to a Hollywood actress reliably saying things like “I’d rather smoke crack than eat cheese out of a tin” and “I’d rather die than let my kids eat Cup-a-Soup.”
She stuck by the former as recently as April, in an “Ask GP Anything” with GOOP readers, and was shocked that working moms criticized her for the latter and used her “out-of-context quote as an opportunity to express feelings (perhaps projected) on the subject. Why do we feel so entitled to opine, often so negatively, on the choices of other women?”
What infuriated people most was her stubborn insistence that she was relatable as she sold a lifestyle to women that was impractical and prohibitively expensive.
She demonstrated a complete lack of self-awareness that many found insufferable—so much so that in 2013, Vulture.com ran a “Practical Guide to Not Hating Gwyneth Paltrow” and Star magazine vaunted her at the top of its “irritating” celebs list.
Between the silly Gwynnie-isms (“When I pass a flowering zucchini plant in my garden, my heart skips a beat”) and the self-righteous ones (“I am who I am; I can’t pretend to be somebody who makes $25,000 a year”), GP has proven again and again that she operates in an alternate universe, where—despite the surfeit of cancer-fighting superfoods and beauty products blessed with healing chants—she somehow can’t see beyond her own perfect nose.
But this is hardly uncommon in Hollywood, and there’s something admirable—almost Mitfordian—about Gwynnie’s unselfconsciousness. Those enchanted with the Mitford sisters might think such a comparison is heresy.
Indeed, Gwyneth is not as sophisticated, enigmatic, or charming as the Mitfords. She’s a food fascist rather than a true fascist. But she is completely confident in her lifestyle choices, however mad they are, and is naturally shameless.
Take, for instance, her grievances regarding the 2013 Met Gala, aired during a radio interview: “I’m never going again. It was so unfun. It was boiling. It was too crowded. I did not enjoy it at all.” Few would dare to offend the party’s host, Vogue editrix Anna Wintour, so blithely. Her take on the glitzy affair proves that Gwyneth can be remarkably sensible about some things.
Without Gwyneth’s fuck-all attitude and eagerness to be a guinea pig to pseudoscience, GOOP will just be another health-and-wellness website. And if we thought Gwynnie was bad, just imagine what the next generation of celebrity woo-woo and lifestyle brand purveyors will come up with.