Gwyneth’s “California posse”

Gwyneth Paltrow is promoting the launch of her GOOP beauty and skincare line. She covers the new issue of Glamour. I prefer the photos inside to the one they used on the cover. That braided pony with the middle part looks great. As do those booties. I’m into the one long dangle earring in the video too – that’s attached below.

G’s pretty open in this interview. But first, she talks about the inspiration behind the products: her friends. Or, as she calls them, her “California posse”:

“The line is made in California, so I was thinking of my California posse: Cameron, Blythe, Apple, Drew, Reese, Kate, Chelsea.”

That’s Diaz, Danner, Martin, Barrymore, Witherspoon, Hudson, Handler. The GOOP lipsticks are named after them. Which is fine, I guess. But my question is that, well, I like lipstick. But all those women, physically, don’t share much variation. So… will the lipstick work for me? With the other products?

I was at a photo shoot once with a friend who’s black and beautiful. There was a makeup artist who was not trained in makeup application for all skin types and ethnicities. It was a very upsetting experience for my friend who felt other and unimportant. Since then, when I consider makeup and the options, I’m much more aware of the options that are offered, the shades, the combinations. But I had to be taught. Even I, a visible minority myself, unfortunately, had to witness someone else’s disappointment before I could appreciate that the business of making people feel pretty is narrow and rigid when there’s no one around to give you perspective.

From Gwyneth’s perspective, she believes that one of her proudest achievements has been how she’s maintained her friendships:

“If you were to ask me what my biggest success is, it's that I've been able to maintain and nourish my relationships. As you get older, you choose friends based on not only what feels resonant and warm but if they're bringing something to your life. My women friends are incredibly intelligent. There's no posturing, no competition. Especially in Los Angeles, I see pockets of friends who are very competitive, and I think, What is the point? I would rather be alone in bed with a book than have a girlfriend who is like that.”

That, presumably, also includes Chris Martin, of whom she’s spoken more now than she ever did when they were married.

“Well, the ideal is to stay married. But if you can't stay married, wouldn't the ideal be that you could still be a family and you could put aside your own stuff long enough to explore—what is this new family and who am I in it? And Chris is a great ex-husband 'cause he's a very, very willing partner in how to do that. We're constantly putting aside our own stuff and trying to reimagine something that we don't personally have an example for.

Well, if you have children together, number one is a dedication to what's best for the kids. We put a lot of thought into how to do it so that the damage would be minimized. We spend a lot of time together. He's been away for two weeks [promoting his album]. Last night he got in at midnight and slept here so he could surprise the kids in the morning, we could all have breakfast, and he could take them to school. So…we're not living together, but he's more than welcome to be with us whenever he wants. And vice versa: I sleep in his house in Malibu a lot with the kids. We'll have a weekend all together; holidays, we're together. We're still very much a family, even though we don't have a romantic relationship. He's like my brother.”

And creative collaborator. Because she harmonises on the new Coldplay and may have contributed some of the lyrics. When asked about this though, and the fact that Chris himself revealed that G’s words were in some of the songs, this is how she reacted, in jest, partly:

“What is he doing, talking to the media? Oh my God!”

It’s such a celebrity response, isn’t it? It’s false modesty, isn’t it? Oh, really? Chris is talking about me? He said that? Yes, G. You both talk about each other now. A LOT.

What’s most interesting to me here though is not what she says about him or Brad Falchuk but what she says about herself, and how she sees herself. Gwyneth grew up privileged. Her parents had money. They gave her the best start. But she insists that after that, they cut her off. That from the age of 18 they firmly refused to help her because they’d already done what they could to ensure that she’d be able to figure it out on her own. Which is why Gwyneth Paltrow describes Gwyneth Paltrow as “completely self-made”. And then your eyebrows get even higher 10 lines down when, after identifying as “self-made”, the movie Hook comes up in conversation, directed by her godfather, Steven Spielberg.

Don’t worry though. When fame made her “weird” in her 20s, she had people around to check her and to stop being an asshole. Now that she’s 43 years old, she claims that “I know who I am, and I own my mistakes”.

I’m not sure we ever get old enough to own our own mistakes. I do fully believe though that she believes that if you hate her, and I know you’re out there, you might not be able to rumble with her if you’re not playing at her level: 

“Sometimes I'll get annoyed if someone's like, “Goop is so expensive.” I'm like, “Have you looked at the website? Have you seen the range of price points? 'Cause we sell things that are $8.” I'm like, “If you want to f--k with me, bring your A-game. At least have all your information.” Once in a while, if I'm exhausted and overwhelmed, I'll be like, “Ugh, that bugs me,” or, “That hurt my feelings.” But very rarely. I don't lose sleep over it. It's my business to live my life and learn my lessons. I don't care what anybody else thinks.”

Got that? Bring your A game.

Click here to read the full interview.


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