Thursday, June 5, 2014

Say Good-Night, Gwyneth

Only 3 more weeks of school. Well, 2.6 if we're being picky (and believe me, at this point, my teenager is being picky). As per usual, the summer looms ahead with too many plans. It will be here — and gone — before we know it.

Recently, I thought about all the movies that I loved when I was a teen (and in years since) and how few of them I've been able to share with my daughter. 'Wouldn't it be fun to have a family film festival?' I thought. We could take turns choosing the movies. (Or, I'd be perfectly happy to curate the entire thing. Control freak, much? Much!)

Of course, I haven't quite gotten up the courage to suggest this fabulous idea to my fabulous offspring.

"Why?" you may ask. Hmmmmm, let's see. Sarcasm. Eye-rolling. Audible groans. Interminable excuses. 

Still, I can't help but think about all the wonderful movies I could share. Two of them (not in the top five, maybe, but definitely on the list) would be Shakespeare in Love and Emma. William Shakespeare and Jane Austen. Elizabethan and Georgian. Gwyneth Paltrow and ... Gwyneth Paltrow.

Uh-oh. Academy Award aside, is it really responsible of me to expose my daughter to a certifiable loon? Sure, she's pretty. Sure, she's talented. But, has she gone off the deep end? 


Here are some examples of what I like to think of as The World According to Gwyneth:

On working mothers:

"It’s much harder for me. I think it’s different when you have an office job, because it’s routine and 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."

On divorce:

"We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner."

On her net worth:

“I am who I am. I can’t pretend to be somebody who makes $25,000 a year.”

On the voices in her head:

“I’ll never forget it. I was starting to hike up the red rocks, and honestly, it was as if I heard the rock say: ‘You have the answers. You are your teacher.’"

On nutrition:

“I would rather die than let my kid eat Cup-a-Soup.”
“I’d rather smoke crack than eat cheese from a tin.”

And, this week's contribution, on the emotional life of water:

"I am fascinated by the growing science behind the energy of consciousness and its effects on matter. I have long had Dr. Emoto's coffee table book on how negativity changes the structure of water, how the molecules behave differently depending on the words or music being expressed around it."

For more of Gwyneth's wit and wisdom (and weird), you can subscribe to her newsletter GOOP. It's good for a laugh — just park your brain outside for a little while.

I hate to suggest silencing any woman, but Ms. Paltrow isn't doing anybody any favors. Most of her opinions are harmless. Despite her utterly out-of-touch judgmentalism (“Every woman can make time [to work out] — every woman”) or her antiquated notions about skin cancer (“We’re human beings and the sun is the sun—how can it be bad for you?”), underneath it all, Gwyneth is just like you and me.

“I’m just like any other regular mum; cooking, cleaning, wiping butts, picking up after kids, being a wife and helping the kids with their homework. Mind you, I’m terrible at maths. I can’t even do my six-year-old’s maths homework with her.”

So I will try not to hold Gwyneth up as a role model for my daughter. But, will I boycott her movies going forward? Depends on the projects she chooses.

Shakespeare and Austen trump a very silly actress any day.

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to order a copy of my new book Lovin' the Alien at 

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