Saturday, November 1, 2008

Gwynie, Gwynie, Goopy

I have somewhat mixed feelings about Gwyneth Paltrow.  I feel like I should like her--I mean she comes from what seems like a nice, artistic, community-oriented family.  I've always liked Blythe Danner in interviews, and, before his untimely passing, Bruce Paltrow seemed like a funny, smart, down to earth person.  Gwyneth is into some of the same things I am...recycling, yoga, Spain, food.  Plus she's gorgeous in that beautific, angelic way that tends to be a magnetic draw, for me at least.

And yet, for some reason I find her irksome.  I think problem number one is that she is married to one of the more boring personalities out there.  I had a moment with Coldplay back in 2002 when Chris Martin was still sitting behind his piano, but now that he's attempted to adopt (and is really not quite succeeding) Bono's persona on stage I just can't take him seriously.  Problem number two:  she's smug about her eating habits which is annoying enough in the first place, but on top of that she's not consistent in her philosophy.  Who tells you (or in this case, Oprah) that you don't eat "animals with four legs"?!!  What the hell do you have against chickens exactly?  God knows how Mario Batali survived his spanish road trip with someone who doesn't eat pork.  And problem number three:  I know this is sort of an easy target, but naming your son Moses is a little presumptuous, don't you think?

Anyway, when I read in Page Six Magazine (which by the way is quickly becoming one of my favorite publications, and yes, I realize that this is an anti-intellectual statement) that she was launching a lifestyle website, I immediately looked it up, not knowing if I would fall in love with all of her tips about living in the Hamptons and being blond, or if I would make fun of her attempts to get her readers to eat a fully macrobiotic diet.  Turns out it's been sort of a combination of the two.

First of all, the website is called GOOP, which I have to say I think was a mistake.  Second of all, there's really not much on the website, except her vision statement:

My life is good because I am not passive about it.  I want to nourish what is real, and I want to do it without wasting time.  I love to travel, to cook, to eat, to take care of my body and mind, to work hard.  I love being a mother who has overcome my bad qualities to be a good mother.  I love being in spaces that are clean and feel nice...

...Make your life good.  Invest in what's real.  Cook a meal for someone you love.  Pause before reacting.  Clean out your space.  Read something beautiful.  Treat yourself to something.  Go to a city you've never been to.  Learn something new.  Don't be lazy.  Workout and stick with it.  GOOP.  Make it great.

I can't really disagree with any of this and yet there is sort of a supercilious air here.  So I basically reacted to the website in the same way that I react to Gwyneth herself. 

You go to the website essentially to sign up for her weekly newsletters, which vary in topic from stuff to buy, stuff to do, advice and things to cook (i.e. Make, Go, Get, Do, Be, See).  It seems a little weird that past newsletters aren't posted on the website, but maybe that's part of her whole "clean out your space" ethos.  So far I think I've received four newsletters, and I'd say I enjoyed 2.3 of them.

The first was all about how to put a stylish outfit together easily, and I'd say she accomplished it.  The look was cool, although definitely skewed towards the tall and slim, and the price points were out of my reach (had they not been, I totally would have bought that Tod's trench coat).  But I certainly won't begrudge her the fact that she's rich and hot.

The second issue skewed towards the annoying.  She asked some of her types I suppose, why some people in life always see the negative.  Turns out they were scarred as children, for the most part.  But this revelation doesn't change the fact that I avoid these types of personalities like the plague.

The third was some of her everyday recipes, and I must say they looked pretty good, and were blissfully soy free, which was unexpected.

And this week's was three interviews with various holistic healers telling us how to stay balanced and healthy.  They delivered the earth shattering news that we should sleep eight hours a night, exercise and eat healthy food.  Shock!  Although I do think there is something to the idea that you should wait until twelve hours has passed from the time you eat dinner to the time you eat breakfast to allow your body to cleanse itself.  Maybe worth a try going forward.

So overall?  I don't hate it, and will probably continue to read for both information and the possibility that there will be some absurd content that I came make fun of mercilessly.

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