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Why I Don’t Hate Gwyneth Paltrow

I’m a loyal reader of Celebitchy and Dlisted, both of which I consider to be among the funniest celebrity gossip sites on the Web.  Celebitchy is my particular favorite, possibly because they service my need for posts that incessantly bash Lindsay Lohan, whom I consider to be a fairly endless source of amusement.  However, these two sites also seem to have it in for Gwyneth Paltrow which, although I found funny initially, I have begun to enjoy less and less.

I, too, held a grudge against Gwyneth for years, but it was primarily because she won the Oscar for Shakespeare in Love over Cate Blanchett’s performance in Elizabeth.  Cate Blanchett is beautiful, amazing, and supremely talented.  She is probably one of the most talented women in the business, in fact.  Besides that, Shakespeare in Love was a rehash of a story that has been done God-knows how many times.  However, the Academy’s choices are not Paltrow’s fault, so I guess, from a logical standpoint, I have to let that one slide.

Gwyneth gets a lot of shade thrown at her for her weekly newsletter and website, Goop.  While I admit the name isn’t something I would have chosen, that has no reflection on the website itself.  For those of you who haven’t visited Gwyneth’s online abode, she gives advice about what to eat, where to eat it, what to buy, and cool things to check out.  She’s something of a foodie, so she frequently posts recipes from various high-end, celebrity chefs.  I have yet to try any of them, since most of them require ingredients that I can’t come by over here in Korea (with the exception of the bibimbap recipe, which is something I could eat any old time for super-cheap).

I do enjoy reading her suggestions for clothing and such.  Her style is not my style, but she does have some decent recommendations.  Yes, I will freely admit that most of them are well outside the price range of the “average” person, she will occasionally post a “knock-off” item available from somewhere like Topshop.  No, you will not find any Wal-Mart recommendations, but that’s okay by me.  Frankly, I probably wouldn’t wear much more than socks from Wal-Mart myself.

Do I agree with everything that she says?  No.  I’m somewhat skeptical about colon cleansing, since I’ve heard that it can actually do more harm than good.  Besides that, who wants to spend a week on the john, frankly?  Not me.  I don’t have that kind of time, and pooping my pants in front of my students?  Not an option.

Yes, I agree that sometimes she comes off sounding pretentious.  You know what?  Anyone who has a brick oven in the backyard, eats mostly organic food, and does colon cleanses is probably pretentious.  Yes, she talks about eating fine meals at pricey restaurants and etiquette for dinner parties and that sort of thing.  You know, that’s fine.  That’s her life.  There are plenty of people in the world with the means and the desire to eat at fancy restaurants, throw regular dinner parties, and enjoy pizza from brick ovens.  For my part, I am 99% certain I will never have a brick oven, but that doesn’t mean that Gwyneth Paltrow shouldn’t enjoy hers.

I will say that I legitimately believe that she is interested in sharing things she likes and does with other people.  I think she’s in a stage of her life where the best years of her acting career may be behind her.  She has a husband and children and lovely houses in multiple cities.  She fits into the mold of socialite now, more than actress, in a lot of ways.  Frankly, she wouldn’t be the first woman who has struggled to give her life some meaning after taking a break in her career and spending more time with her family, if that is even what she’s doing.  If these are things that she legitimately enjoys and she likes to share her lifestyle tips with others, fine.  If she can make some money doing it, so much the better for her.  There’s no rule against making money, contrary to what some people seem to think these days.

If people have a problem with Gwyneth’s meals or her brick oven or her overpriced style choices or her manner of speaking, there is a very simple solution: don’t read her newsletter!  It’s really not difficult!  There are multiple places on the website where you can subscribe or unsubscribe.  If you don’t reading about her Oscar style or her Glee appearance, simple: don’t read the article or watch the show!  Don’t give money to her causes or click on articles that benefit her.  Otherwise, stop complaining about what a pretentious pill she is.

I understand that her newsletter is not being marketed to people at my income level.  I’m a “peasant,” as Celebitchy would call me.  That said, I’m not going to hate on Gwyneth because she was born richer than me and will always be richer than me.  It’s not her fault that she was born rich, any more than it’s my fault that I wasn’t.  She has no moral or civic duty to understand what it’s like to prefer McDonald’s to merlot.  I feel like people who are bashing her for being rich, skinny, pretty, and in a “bubble” are just jealous because they want to be in that bubble and know they never will be.

So as much as I wish I could hate Gwyneth, I don’t.  She’s just “one of those” – a person who is probably full of nervous energy, who works out a lot, who likes everything just so, who cooks a lot, who cleans a lot, and who generally makes everyone else around them feel like crap because they’ll never do it as well as her.  I also think that she’s insecure and wants approval from others.  Are those reasons to full-on hate her?  No.  Is the fact that she calls a lot of people “my dear friend” a reason to hate her?  No.  (It is kind of annoying though, and it is the one thing I really wish she would stop doing like, yesterday.)

For my part, I’m going to protest by halting the click on Gwyneth-hate articles.  People can hate on her all they want to, but I don’t get anything from it.  I get more from her cooking and summer shopping recommendations than I do from reading people’s hate messages about her.  Hating Gwyneth will not make her go away and, to paraphrase Lindsay Lohan’s lines in Mean Girls, making fun of someone else won’t make you any thinner or smarter or richer.  You have to play the hand you’re dealt and make it work.  I, for one, rather enjoy Goop in all of its glorious, grammatically correct/snooty pretentiousness, and I will not make any apologies about that.  People shouldn’t feel like Gwyneth has to, either.