Gwyneth Paltrow covers the new issue of The Edit. The full article isn’t on their website yet but excerpts have been made available to certain outlets, including PEOPLE and Refinery29. Where should we start? The cover? She looks great on the cover. And there’s a shot of her in a yellow bikini top that you can see here that’s also great. I really like the lighting on this shoot.
Now let’s get to her words. It’s been over 3 years since the conscious uncoupling. Since then, Gwyneth has talked about her conscious uncoupling MORE than she ever talked about her coupling. It comes up all the time. And it comes up again in this new interview:
“I wanted to turn my divorce into a positive,” Paltrow, 44, tells The EDIT. “What if I didn’t blame the other person for anything, and held myself 100% accountable? What if I checked my own s— at the door and put my children first? And reminded myself about the things about my ex-husband that I love, and fostered the friendship?”
It’s not just because G wants to model civilised divorced behaviour for the sake of the modern family though, is it? It’s also because, well, being THE face of unconscious uncoupling has become part of her brand, an example of her “expertise”.
“People are coming around. I know (conscious uncoupling is) a dorky term, but it’s very worthwhile,” she says. “I’m always the person who gets sh-t at first, but then later people say, ‘Hey, maybe that’s a good idea.’ I don’t mind.”
You see what she did there? Conscious uncoupling was met with skepticism initially. But she knew it was a thing before we all knew it was a thing. Therefore it means we’re slower than she is about other things –like vaginal steaming or vaginal eggs, or why her vitamins are better, or whatever it is that she’s on about on goop. She uses conscious uncoupling as evidence of her authority, as proof that she’s ahead of the curve. And for G, knowing that she’s ahead, that she has the ability to anticipate much earlier what everyone else will eventually realise much later, means she has to take the criticism. Because leaders will always be challenged. Basically she’s Galileo, persecuted in her time but vindicated by the future.
“It’s got a few layers to it,” she says of the backlash. “People were fine with me as an actress, but with Goop it was like, ‘Stay in your lane.’ Women in general get a lot of pushback, especially if you’re successful and attractive … I’m not saying I’m attractive. I mean when you’re considered attractive.”
As much as Gwyneth claims to be an outlier though, she’s actually a classic celebrity – always feeling misunderstood, always attributing pushback to jealousy, and enabled to stay in a space where fame and privilege shield her from having to confront legitimate, informed reproach. It’s a disservice to improvement though, when you’re surrounded by that kind of empty support, empty in that it doesn’t compel you to be better, support that doesn’t ask you the hard questions. Which is why she can say something like this with a straight face:
“I’ve had an extraordinary life, where things have happened in a huge way – huge success, huge joy, huge pain, huge loss,” she says. “And the reason I feel happy today is because I’ve milked the f-ck out of every opportunity. I haven’t made one mistake that I haven’t used as a stepping stone to get somewhere else. I’m ruthless when it comes to using the hard things.”
There’s nothing wrong with G’s ambition. And, in theory, there’s nothing wrong with her “milking the f-ck out of every opportunity”. It’s just that, well, a lot of people could milk the f-ck out of opportunities… if the opportunities were there. Opportunity, though, and the lack of it, is specifically what goop, the brand, is targeting. You can be better, if you try it my way. You can feel better, if you try it my way. You can look better, if you do it my way. If you BUY it my way.
Vitamins, essential oils, yoga mats, crystals – embedded in every one of those purchases is opportunity, opportunities you can eventually milk “the f-ck out of”, opportunities WOMEN, in particular, can eventually “milk the f-ck out of”. You know, while other people worry about equal pay and the rest. I mean, it’s that easy, right? Are we sure Gwyneth and Ivanka Trump aren’t the same person?