There’s been all kinds of reporting the last few weeks about the impact that quarantine is having on couples. For those of us who are spending every minute of every day with our partners, it’s a LOT. And then when you throw kids into it (I don’t have kids and I feel you, parents, I feel you). Well, guess what? Celebrities want to get in on this conversation too, OK? Don’t talk about us! But wait! Let us talk to/at you so you can talk about us! And our lives. Even our children sometimes! Here are my kids on Instagram misbehaving. But f-ck you, don’t talk about my kids on Twitter. But wait, I’m relatable! Look, I’m having just as hard of a time managing here as you all are – you’re just like us, I’m just like you!
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, Gwyneth Paltrow got in some sh-t for posting a goop outfit recommendation just as North Americans were facing COVID-19 lockdown. G and g were criticised for the poor timing. Since then, she’s posted a photo of herself wearing a mask and gloves after grocery shopping, urging people to stay home and take physical distancing seriously, but also look at it as a time for self-improvement. She’s also shared links to organisations to support and also thrown in a recipe here and there.
G runs a wellness business. And since people aren’t feeling all that well these days, she’s here to help in any way she can. She posted an nearly one hour video chat yesterday with intimacy teacher Michaela Boehm to talk about “finding intimacy” during stressful times, and her husband Brad Falchuk was there with her. How do you manage tension in the home when you can’t really leave home? What if you’re not all that horny right now? She didn’t put it in those terms but the subject was sex drive and how it’s lower for some people because, well, some may not want to get down when they’re worried about … everything. I’ve embedded it below if you have the time to watch them talk about managing teenage moods and needing space from each other.
I don’t want to knock the intention because Gwyneth would say that she means well, that she wants to contribute to the conversation and use her resources for good. In order for these efforts from celebrities to really land with people though, you have to believe it. You have to feel like… you can relate to it. That there’s actual sharing happening here. Otherwise there’s no connection. There’s no real sense of – oh, this person is speaking to my experience, I can use this because it applies to me.
Is G doing that for you?
Do you believe that she understands what you’re going through and that you in some way can appreciate she’s going through? I’m not being sarcastic, it’s a real question. Because your answer to those questions determines the effectiveness of what she’s doing. And, in a bigger sense, it’s what Amanda Hess was writing about in the New York Times earlier this week in her piece about how we’re reacting to all this celebrity content, much of it produced by the celebrities themselves, during isolation. As she writes:
“One of the ironies of this moment is that though we feel less like stars than ever, they seem to feel more like us — or at least, what they think it must feel like to be us.”
This is what’s behind G’s “finding intimacy” video: she thinks she knows what it must feel like to be us. Does she?