I subscribe to Us Weekly; I have for years. And it’s not, like, an ironic subscription. Forget weekends–I look forward to Fridays mostly because that’s the day of the week that Us Weekly is delivered. So I’m not above wallowing in a little celebrity worship.
But not for Gwyneth Paltrow.
When it comes down to it, I just find her offensive. She makes a joke out of all us normal people who are just trying to get by. I don’t begrudge her her wealth or her fame, although gee, it must be nice to be born to wealth and then be able to parlay your parents’ connections into an acting career. I don’t even resent that her wealth and fame make it easy for her to do things like leisurely roast a free range chicken on a Tuesday. What I do resent is that she is so committed to maintaining the fiction that it is easy to live a “mindful” life like hers, without ever acknowledging how much easier it is to be mindful when you have millions in the bank and an army of servants. It’s called fronting, and given where my head is at, it’s offensive.
I get to the gym four days a week if I’m lucky, and every time I get there, it’s a miracle. I have to run yellow lights and eat in the car and sometimes I get to the gym and I’ve forgotten my running shoes or worse, my gym pants. And when that happens, I sit on a bench and I cry, because at moments like that, it can feel like life is just one never-ending episode of chasing a bus that’s pulling away with the bus driver smirking at you in the rearview mirror. On the other hand, if I have the pants and I make it to Zumba, I’m feeling guilty most of the workout because I feel like I should be spending that time with my kids. That’s the reality of my life, and maybe yours too. So I resent it when Gwyneth says stuff like “I can eat whatever I want to” while tossing off the fact that she works out for two hours a day. F you, Gwyneth. First of all, who cares what you eat? Second of all, I bet I could eat whatever I wanted too, if I had two hours a day to pump the jams with Tracy Anderson and stretch my pasty limbs on a reformer.
The working out stuff is probably particularly annoying to me right now because I’m going to trial in two months and have been so sedentary that my doctor gave me a donut to sit on at work so my tailbone doesn’t break. But I think GP has the potential, like head lice, to be pretty universally offensive. What really gets me is how her comments often reflect a special mix of condescension and subtle classlessness that is unique to her. Perhaps the best example of this is when she told a reporter that she would “rather smoke crack than eat cheese out of a tin.” I mean, who talks like that? I guess you might talk like that to your partner in the safety of your home after a couple beers, but who says that to a reporter?? In any event, I’m sure all the people who can’t afford any cheese but Cheez Whiz appreciate her thoughtful implication that they’re on a level below crack addicts.
I don’t get how she continues to have an audience. When I told my friend Courtney that I was writing this post, she texted: “Plz mention how bad her veggie chili recipe is. I got duped into giving her 4 hours of my life w that recipe.” So I’m mentioning it. Why does GP continue to invade my personal space at the airport by appearing on the cover of every women’s magazine? Or in the cookbook aisle, or on Travel TV? Mario Batali, who I already suspect to be sort of an asshole, isn’t doing himself any PR favors by associating himself with her. WHY WON’T SHE GO AWAY?? We can make it happen, if we put our minds to it. I remember a dark period about five years ago when it was hard to believe that there would ever come a time when Paris Hilton wouldn’t be plaguing us. But now, she’s practically gone.
We can make it happen again.
There’s nothing admirable about superiority. There’s nothing admirable about condescension. Let’s sprinkle our celebrity love on someone who needs and deserves it. Like Khloe Kardashian, who’s dealing with a lot in her life (infertility, Lamar’s iffy trade to Dallas, better looking older sisters, borderline taste) and not fronting about any of it.
Happy Us Weekly day.