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March 01, 2011

Let's Help Gwyneth

By Sarah

Okay, people, enough joking around. I'm serious. It's time to get Gwyneth Paltrow the help she so obviously and desperately needs. If someone doesn't step in soon, there's no telling where this could Gwyneth_paltrow_3 end up. God forbid she buys her own television channel because that's the kind of tragedy that often happens in these cases, you know. Think deathly pale anorexic Oprah sans soul.

Look, I have no beef with Gwyneth the actress one way or the other. I enjoyed Shakespeare in Love and liked her okay in The Royal Tenenbaums and as Iron Man's secretary/love interest, she was a fine foil - and about as thin - for Robert Downey Jr. I can't remember what else she was in, though I do remember she dated Brad Pitt and she used to live around the corner from my friend, Patty, in NYC. That was my breadth and depth of All Thing Gwyneth.

But Gwyneth wouldn't stop there. No. Suddenly, she was all over the place including in my face. On The Daily Show giggling with Jon Stewart. Presuming to play country on the Oscars. Buzzing about like a mosquito on a muggy summer night with her website - oh, dear Lord, I can barely bring myself to write it - GOOP. (More like a cross between cute and puke which means it should be renamed CUKE or PUTE).

GOOP is a newsletter that offers helpful hints on what to eat, what to buy, how to meditate and cleanse (lots of cleansing) and exercise so that we can, with practice, be just like Gwyneth. Only poorer and not married to a British rock star. It gets 2 million visitors a day!

Goop GOOP is also a fertile field of Gwyneth's over-developed sense of self and lost connection with reality which I'm pretty sure adds up to some sort of syndrome. Napoleonic? No, that's a law. Marie Antoinette? If that's not in the DSM IV, it should be.

Sometimes - like when I want to distract myself from the pain of a splinter in my eye - I will peruse GOOP with its "Make," "Do" and "Be" categories each of which hold impossible bars that only those with no jobs and 'round the clock child care  can hope to reach. 

For example, in recommending places to say in her adopted hometown of London, Gwyneth's first recommendation is The Connaught Hotel which is the kind of place that unlike the Best Western doesn't helpfully list its rates. This is because the rooms start at @$500 and go up to @$3,250. Before taxes and room service. I'd be shy about posting those figures, too.

But, okay. She's wealthy. She can afford to stay in The Connaught while her London townhouse, ahem, is being renovated. About that: Gwyneth purchased THREE London townhouses and is combining them into one. All I can say is if she's disconnected from reality, at least it's OUR reality. Her mileage obviously varies.

Did I mention the house in The Hamptons and Manhattan? Sorry. Just had to sneak that in.

Anyway, she is concerned with working women. Yes! This is the human interest part of GOOP and a great Gwynstella chance for Gwyneth and her Goop People to find the impoverished, hardworking single mother trying to keep the rent paid, food on the table while insuring her children are educated and motivated to make the most of their lives. And whom does she interview? Why, of course, rock empire heiress and noted designer Stella McCartney !

Oh, dear me. Do you see what I'm talking about here? The disconnect and everything?

Plus, I think we have a definite eating disorder on our hands. Because from what I can tell - her published cookbooks to the contrary - Gwyneth doesn't eat. She cleans. Obviously, this confusion stems from an upbringing of having other people cook and clean for her.  She needs to learn that most often we consume food and water to nourish our bodies, not clean our colons and wash out our livers. I swear, you could eat off Gwyneth Paltrow's liver.

But all the GOOP and designer clothes aside (she urges you, her female reader, to "save up" for a Chanel that you, too, can pass down to your daughter who may or may not be named after a fruit), it's the country music thing that really has me worried.

Look, hon, country music is a medium of pain and hardship. It is made up of ballads about loves lost, men run off, jobs gone and dogs skeedaddled. Country music queen Loretta Lynn was a mother at 7 Loretta Lynn 14, grandmother at 28. This is the kind of well of hurt you gotta dip your creative ladel into. I'm sorry, but graduating from The Spence School and living in three London townhouses at once while sampling the Mediterranean cuisine with a spruce wheat lemon cleanse is not going to turn you into a coal miner's daughter. 

Delusions of grandeur, breaks from reality, eating disorders, multiple personalities. It all adds up, don't you see?

So, please, please, please help me help Gwyneth. For the sake of yoga mats everywhere. 

Sarah

 

 

 

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I promise that I have never in the past nor will I ever in the future GOOP. I hadn't even heard of her blog until just now and have no interest in it. There has always been some about Gwynnie that makes me think she was probably a mean girl in school, a very polite, quiet, vicious mean girl. When I can afford a Chanel and a night at the Connaught, maybe I will find out for sure.

Count me in. She has officially made my BS Celebrity Boycott List.

Congrats, GOOPers - she joins other new inductees:

Charlie Sheen - now on the lifetime "Dead to Me" list
The producers of DWTS - now on the "On Notice" list
Beiber Fever - Boycott list (overdue, I know)

Great blog, Sarah! I am going to play some real country music now, and picture Gretchen Wilson taking down Gwynnie - I mean it's not even a challenge - the blonde is a featherweight.

She is actually a good person, kind and decent.

I don't have any negative feelings about Gwyneth. I like some of her work and, as far as I know, she's never been to jail or had a public tantrum. The ice princess thing doesn't bug me. Maybe she's shy. Maybe this is who she is.

But GOOP--I remember when it launched. IIRC, she hadn't had a movie out in a while because she'd just had Apple. (Okay, I think Apple is a stupid name for a kid.) But at the time, I thought it was brilliant. Not the content, but the idea, because what other actress was doing a lifestyle website? It may not be my lifestyle, but with two million visitors a day, it seems that her reality is many women's fantasy. So they visit her website. Smart marketing--and she can do it in her PJs.

I agree she can't sing, but when was her last movie before the country one? Maybe she's trying to reinvent or recharge her career. I can't hate her for that.


Oh, Reine, I was afraid of that. It's always the nice ones who're the most vulnerable. Do you know Gwyneth? If so, how?

Ramona - Yes, yes, I agree. And in 100% organic 100% silk PJs, too. That's probably how she's able to do EVERYTHING even though, mathematically as the author below points out, that might be impossible.
http://moms.today.com/_news/2011/01/14/5838033-gwyneth-paltrow-advises-enrages-working-moms

Maybe she's doing TOO much. Maybe that's the reason for her, you know, mental break.

God knows I've been there!

Sarah, you've nailed it completely with the 'disconnect' theory. Some people are so far removed from REAL Reality. I'd like to think it's not her,it's her environment. Spending 24/7 surrounded by people who do nothing more or less than tell you how special you are, how important you are, etc etc etc, well, I can see how it changes your way of looking at things.

Although, one has to wonder what the Universe would be like if Gwyneth and Charlie Sheen had married and produced offspring. I don't know WT*F* happened to Young Master Sheen, but some circuit has shorted out somewhere....

It's hard to even joke about Charlie Sheen. It's also hard not to draw comparisons to him and M. Qaddaffi or however you spell his name this week. While Sheen has not fired weapons onto his own countrymen, like Qaddaffi, he surrounds himself with women of questionable intent. Only Qaddaffi's women happen to be "bodyguards."

They both want people to bow down to them and they seem to believe that they're so special not even gravity can keep them down.

I kind of feel bad for Sheen's parents since you've got to wonder where this is going to end. My guess: badly. Certainly, no studio's going to want to work with this guy = unless the attraction of seeing him blow up on screen is worth it $ wise. (Which is just sad.)

If I were the Sheens or the Esteveses, I wouldn't be sleeping very well. They must be worried out of their noodles!

Sorry, but I'm not going to hate someone whose worst sin is that she's clueless. I think she is doing what writers are advised to do every day--reach out to their potential audience. If she's missing the mark, that's something else.

Charlie Sheen, Mel Gibson, David Vitter, John Edwards, Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, the governor of South Carolina: shows that power rushes to the head. The little head.

Dear Ramona! We have no reason to hate Gwyneth. We need to HELP her. I'm simply afraid she might annoy herself to a bitter end.

Dear Sarah, I will bow out after this, but I'm defending her because I see this as bashing a woman, and that bothers me. She has a different lifestyle, outlook, and life experience. That is all.

On the other hand....

An Israeli musician has posted a spoof of Qaddafi's speech vowing to round up all the insurgents. He put it to music by various rappers and - are you ready for this?- T. Pain.

It's gone viral, loved by Arabs of all nationalities even though its creator is pro-Israel. Plus, don't forget T. Pain.

See? Goodness DOES prevail!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBY-0n4esNY

Glad to hear Gwyneth is a nice person in real life. No malice aforethought and so forth.

However, I must say that if one agrees/asks to sing at the Kodak Theater before a huge television audience, one should be sure one will either deliver on key or sync it, like Florence did. Otherwise, one is fair game.

I have always wondered - do they actually sing to the crowd, but have the tape in the production booth, or do they really just mouth the words?

On the one hand, yes, GOOP is silly and vapid, but hell, a lot of things are. On the other hand, I see Ms. Paltrow as a hard-working young woman. You may or may not be aware of her foodie series with Mario Batali, where they get in a Mercedes convertible and roar around Europe, sampling local cuisine, and then cooking it together. I've actually seen her eat--on camera! And she does seem to relish the delectable dishes.

And while I rarely watch Oprah I did happen to catch her 'splaining about Apple's name: It's sweet and lovely, just like her little daughter. Frankly, I thought it was touching, and could have been much worse. Moonbeam Zappa comes to mind here.

Lastly, she's Blythe Danner's daughter. Ms. Danner is an actress I've always admired, and although Gwynneth's roles have not quite managed to fill the same niche, she has done good work. And seeing them together, as when Oprah had them both on after Bruce Paltrow died, I realized they have an enviable mother-daughter relationship. Which means Gwennie is well grounded, and that her children are also more likely to be so.

Charlie Sheen, on the other hand, is a colossal train wreck. Like Tiger Woods, except with less talent.

Don't go away mad, Charlie. Just go the hell away. And get the help you so very badly need.

I don't think I've even given Gwyneth a thought until I heard one of the hosts at the Oscars say "Country Star Gwyneth Paltrow."

Whoa.

WHEN did that happen?!

Then I heard her sing and I realize it DIDN'T happen. Either that's what she's calling herself now, or that's what the writers for the Oscars decided to call her for that one night. But that bothered me more than it should have, I'm sure. There are people (yep - like Gretchen Wilson who Kathy and I seem to share a love for) who worked and worked hard for years to have their craft recognized and then out of the blue here's a woman who I'm willing to bet doesn't know "country" from Adam's house cat being called a "Country Star" and singing in front of millions of people. I'm sorry - that just seems wrong to me. Why not say "And a new face on the country scene - Gwyneth Paltrow?"

I've always had a soft spot for Gwynneth simply because I love Blythe Danner. And any American actress who can pull off a British accent as well as she did in Shakespeare in Love has my respect, so I can live with a little vapidity.

Patsy Cline. Just saying.

This was the first I've heard of GOOP, and the last. It is just a bad website. A few tired links laid out in washed out colors. I think Real Simple had all of that content last year.

I have liked her in movies, and in online pictures with a lot of skin showing. That's about it.

Today I'm wearing GAP pants from the resale shop, $5.00 and on sale shoes. I'm pretty tired of $1000 makeovers for "real people". Same thing for "heart healthy" recipes with peanut oil and 600 calories per serving, but no transfat! whoop dee doo.


Hi! I am here to derail this by asking, Can we talk about DANCING WITH THE STARS for a sec? Why are they ON NOTICE, Kathy?

Because the season 12 line up is so AWFUL? It's awful. I would only recognize tw oof the stars if they came up to me in a supermarket and bit me. And no Derek Hough! IS THAT WHY you have em on notice, KATHY?

Because I am blackly disappointed!

Kaye - I wouldn't worry about those hardworking country musicians. I'm sure they see her career move as I do, as a call for help. Just as I'm sure those chefs trying to break through with their cookbooks understand when hers is published first.

I've already sent a message to my daughter to quit Bryn Mawr right now. There's no point, really, in all this education or so-called "dues paying." Look at Gwyn!

But Blythe. Oh, yes. Blythe is beautiful and sweet and I'm sure very nice. Who could not love Blythe.

As for DWTS? I am clueless!

Joshilyn - YES!

I mean, first off, if Hines Ward suffers any kind of an injury? Blood on the dance floor.

And WTF are some of these people? I consider myself fairly current on pop culture, but I have to object when these idiots who become 'reality' TV people are now considered Stars.

I was even ready to accept that they are always going to have a pro athlete and a WWF/UFC/whatever person. Then I realized they decided to make a DD By Surgery chick a part of the permanent cast. Now it seems a Disney teen is a required participant. This rapper kid? One can only hope he's a thousand times better than his old man, who had perhaps the worst performance in the show's history.

The icing on the pop tart is some dark-haired guy I have NEVER heard of -- and they introduce him by saying he works on radio with Dr. Drew?! What is this, 800 degrees of separation?

Do NOT get me started. It's only a matter of time before they get your cousin Chuckie from Blawnox.

Gwyneth kind of annoys me. She sang on the Country Music Awards, and wasn't very good, and apparently she wasn't very good on the Oscars either, which I didn't watch. I did enjoy her on Glee, though, so maybe she's a lousy singer live. She's a decent actress, and I do like Blythe. I feel sorry for Apple though. Sweet and Lovely or not, the kid has to go to school.

As far as GOOP, I've never seen it, and likely never will. I hate when wealthy people give advice about how to live your life, because the vast majority of us can't afford to take advantage of their suggestions. As far as I'm concerned though, Oprah is guilty of the same thing. If you've ever read her magazine, all the fashion suggestions or "my favorite things" are far beyond my budget.

Charlie Sheen just needs to be put in a place where we can't see or hear him. Ever.

It is difficult to out why people are drawn to luminaries on the screen or the music world or anything else far removed from themselves.
I think Gwyneth was drawn to the Country Music world because of a movie role and ran with the publicity and challenge. She is not a bad singer and apparently struggles with nerves as witnessed at the Oscars the other evening.
I looked at her GOOP site and it appeals to a certain demographic.
The list of advisors from Spiritualists, shopping, places to go, things to do are in some ways attractive in other ways similar to reading a huge STYLE magazine.
I and many others cannot afford to buy the high end choices on the lists or maybe the travel destinations but sometimes it is interesting to see how the other half lives. Believe me my humble beginnings to where I am now are a testament of gratitude.
So I sift through, pick the choices that enrich me and people that I love to hear about and share and TLC is a great part of this. Thanks dear Sarah, for this blog.
Circumstances have thrust Gwyneth into the limelight and other children of Hollywood fame such as Jeff Bridges have conducted themselves in a decent way
so I am hoping that people with influence and money can handles themselves in this crazy world of adulation and adoration.

DWTS lost me a couple of season ago, but even so I was hoping for a good cast this season so it could trap me again. But no. On the other hand, I love American Idol so far this season. Love the new judges. Never liked Simon Cowell, so it's a pleasure every week when he's not there. And there's so much real talent this time! I hope it all holds up.

I suspect it isn't really Gwyneth who needs the help, but whoever it is in position of media power who decides that Gwyneth is what we want to see (or hear) or Charlie Sheen or Lindsay Lohan or any other person or topic, worthy or otherwise, that gets the "saturation bombing" treatment where they seem to have infected the media like a virus.

I suspect the same thing will happen with the Royal Wedding featuring the Golden Couple, if it hasn't already.

Cyranetta - excellent point!

I have high hopes for Will & Kate, tho. I think his mother taught him - and the British press, perhaps? - a hard lesson that shan't soon be forgotten. The Royal Family in general seems extremely practical and dutiful when compared to, say, Monaco. Must be those German genes.

I never watched DWTS. I do watch GH, however, and James Franco is currently the villain. Oh, sure, they mentioned his Yale doctorate when explaining why he didn't prepare more for the Oscars. But did they mention he captured Sonny's bride, too?

I think I read somewhere that he's on GH as research for his doctorate. Could that be?

Does Kate--of Will &--seem to be getting more beautiful with every new day? Nods. Yes, she does.

Almost total thread hijack--speaking of luxury, there is one I had once many years and birthdays ago and I'm splurging on it again today! So excited. A facial! An hour! That may sound like a lot, but consider how much work she'll have to do!

I should be embarrassed to ask another human being to devote an hour to my face, right? This goes against all of my working class, union household grain. I think I can bear up under the guilt, though.

It's my reward to myself for. . .wait, I'll think of something.

Over the years I have been slightly obsessed with magazine articles on how to be better, do better and have it all.
Lately, when I go to my hairdresser and wait for the goop on my hair to transform me I usually pick up a Cosmo or a style or a Better Health and start perusing.
Holy, Moly, why wasn't this info available to me when I was younger. Silly me, Glamour Magazine was the rigeur and only racy girls looked at Cosmo.
Now, articles that tell me how I can or he can get more, you know, satisfaction make me blush.
My face sometimes matches the reddish dye that is taking over my scalp.
So, I say..hear, hear you young'uns...study the suggestions but always remain true to yourselves and have fun along the way. Amen.

Regarding DWTS, I was actually glad that I knew who several of the new contestants were. I was also glad there were no 80-year-olds this time that I would have to fast-forward through (not to mention Corky Ballas). I like the dancing, and love Tom Bergeron, and actually enjoy the judges, so I'll still watch. (I'll just ignore Brooke Burke, whom I don't hate any more than I did Samantha.) I'm sure Kirstie Alley will provide some drama. As much as I love Derek, maybe with him not participating this time around, someone else can win. ;)

Oprah NOW prefaces any remarks she makes about parenting with a disclaimer, "Not that I've had any children of my own, but...". However, that's still one of the reasons she lost me as a viewer, years ago, her tendency to set herself up as the Expert of All Things. Good grief. If you saw her on the Academy Awards you know she is not even the expert of how to keep herself from gaining megatons, even with her own personal chef. Nor from how to refrain from wearing something so tight and shiny and POUFFY that it made her look even bigger than she is.

On the other hand, I quite admire how she's turned herself into a money-printing brand the likes of which the world has never before seen. Wish I could figure out a way to do same.

I would imagine that a huge star surrounded by stylists , and entourage and good friends would probably be bating them when she asked "Does this dress make me look fat?" I defy anyone to tell them the truth.
Heidi Klum wore a dress at the Oscars made of fractured glass that either blinded people or they were checking themselves out in little mirrors. It takes a sense of humor to carry off some of the style choices but I have to admire their courage.

Nancy P. Enjoy the facial. You deserve it. And swing by Costco to check on your paperback when you're through. What a day!

OH, exactly Sarah! She may ANNOY herself to death.

Weird, huh? What happens to people? I read a story once about Elton John, who said he knew he was gong over the edge when he was in Chicago and started demanding that "his people" get the wind to stop blowing.

(Oh, thanks NancyP, for letting me admit it. I now love Steven Tyler and JLo. That's the strangest thing that's ever happened to me. Am I nuts? They seem so genuine. Can that be?)

Seriously . . . a post from one creative person trashing another creative person's efforts?

What's wrong with "to each his own" - you don't like GOOP, don't go there. You don't want to hear Gwyneth sing? Don't listen.

If you strike it rich with your books, should we trash this site for the vapid opinions of disconnected people?

This was a very mean-spirited and pointless post.

What about putting positive vibes out in the world? You do realize she is a real person and you have just posted something scathing about her for potentially the whole world to read.

And you've never even met her.

P.S. Perhaps not the best way to promote your own creative efforts.

Sublime

Hi Sarah- Yes, I've known her since she was born. I've known her mother since I was a teenager, and we worked together at the Theatre Company of Boston, Blythe's first acting job. Both are mother and daughter are shy and work hard at the "public" portions of their lives. I went through many a tortured discussion with Blythe on the printed versions of interviews with the press.

Forgive me, please, for being late with my response, but as I was writing my first comment above, I learned that a great mentor in my life, the Rev. Peter Gomes, university minister and professor - who kept many alive at Harvard with real food at his afternoon teas - died last night.

I love Sarah!
She has guts, she takes a chance.
She has a viewpoint and makes a vibrant discussion.
Movie stars, and fancy cars and all that jazz can blind us but if you cut to the reality everyone has foibles. Some in the public eye take a hit but fame is not without its perils.
Sometimes I do not have courage but that is because it is tempered with PC.
Love and Peace.

I love Sarah, too.

Hear, hear, for Sarah. She's not afraid to have an OPINION.

It's a free country, and everyone is entitled to have an opinion, and to express it. And we are also free to disagree, and to express our own, sometimes opposing, opinions, too. That's what makes this country great.

Anyone who does colon cleansing is an idiot.

Reine, condolences on your lost. It hurts to lose such a good influence in your life.

So, Blythe Danner is arguably one of the nicest and most down-to-earth people on the planet. I bump into her (sometimes literally) at the local nursery, where she takes great pleasure in selecting the plants/flowers/seeds that she will take home and put into her garden with her own two hands. She is generous and not the least bit defensive or guarded when I see her at various community events, and I've seen her kindness to her church community and to aspiring writers/actors/filmmakers first-hand. She gets that life is complex and not everyone is as lucky as she has been.

Gwyneth occasionally walks past my office, presumably on her way to Starbucks or to do a little shopping in nearby stores. She dresses simply in jeans and t-shirt, has no entourage, no body guard, and no pretension. She doesn't seek notice, and the paparazzi pretty much leave her alone, at least in Santa Monica. From what I hear, a lot of people, professional and otherwise, thought well of her singing in the recent movie in which she portrayed a country singer (I've not seen it, so, can't say firsthand), hence her performing one of the songs from it at the Oscars.

I can be sardonic or caustic about the Charlie Sheens of the world, but Gwyneth is not one of 'em.

By the way, I love you, Sarah, and all of the Tarts, and I enjoy greatly the clever, funny, snarky and TART posts; but I think Kaillean has a point about whether it is helpful for creative folk to put down other artists, unless, of course, said others have made themselves unmistakably the deserving butt of ridicule.

Reine, I thought of you today when I heard news of Dr. Gomes' passing. I'm sorry for your loss, and for Harvard's--he was a great man.

Laraine, email me, and I'll tell you the name they know me by. Next time you run into them, you can say hi for me.

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