It’s been a week of Conscious Uncoupling for Gwyneth – a phrase that has instantly entered the vernacular. How’s that for influential?
With the news of the divorce, outlets are combing through every interview for signs of marriage trouble and obnoxious tidbits from Gwyneth (not hard to find). Regarding her work schedule, G recently told E!:
“It’s much harder for me. I think it’s different when you have an office job, because it’s routine and, you know, you can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening. When you’re shooting a movie, they’re like, ‘We need you to go to Wisconsin for two weeks,’ and then you work 14 hours a day and that part of it is very difficult.”
So if anyone needed another reason to sh-t on her after conscious uncoupling, they found it. I mean, sometimes she has to be on set for 14 hours a day for 2 weeks straight! (And then she takes 6 months off.) Working on set, where her hair and makeup and meals are taken care of, and she gets driven around in a golf cart, is just like working in an office (while managing drop-offs/pickups, child care/groceries/meals/activities and have a life of your own), except WAY harder. That’s what we are supposed to take from it, right?
It’s an easy way to dogpile on her (and lots of people are – click here for an example), but I really think she meant that having an unpredictable schedule is hard when you have kids, just like it’s hard for her because her children expect her to pick them up from school (subtext: I don’t leave it to the nannies, even though I could).
Whatever she meant, it’s not a good headline, especially now. Her brand is at a crucial point, and she needs to decide whether she is the working single mom, or the ice princess we know and love (and hate). If today’s Goop newsletter, “One Bird, Three Meals” is any indication, she wants to be more relatable – and nothing is more relatable than roast chicken and leftovers. I read through all three recipes and didn’t find one mention of “free range” or “organic.” But if she wants to go the working single mom route, she has to stop with, “It’s much harder…”
No one wants to hear a celebrity complain (even those rare times when the complaint is legitimate). Absolutely no one wants to hear Gwyneth complain because, really, when has it appeared she’s had anything harder? She has spent years telling and showing us how much better her life is than ours, how we should WANT a life like hers. If she wants to change that narrative to be “just like us” she needs to do it slowly and carefully, not by sounding like a whiner.
In terms of a mom narrative, her interview sounds much like a tense dinner party conversation. When it comes to parenting, everyone wants to think they are doing more: working moms have it harder than stay-at-home moms, single moms have it harder than stay-at-home moms etc. And there’s absolutely no way to know who has it harder unless you’ve played all those roles. But the one-upmomship happens constantly anyways.
Still, we can all agree we have it harder than Gwyneth, right? Next time you are sitting across from a glaring mom frenemy who has taken issue with your lack of interest in her yoga studio’s lack of child-minding services, mention Gwyneth and watch the tension melt away. And just for fun, take a look back at a “day in the life” in 2010 – fittings, interviews, dance aerobics. (Source: Goop)
The hard work never ends.