I seem to have a growing irritation with all things Gwyneth Paltrow. I think she’s a decent enough actress — that isn’t my issue. I think it’s her declarative statements about how she’s just a normal gal, and her recent self-positioning as a “lifestyle guru” that have me a bit irked. (She also considers herself a nice Jewish girl, and while I appreciate the shout-out, when your mother is the ultimate shiksa goddess you really can’t claim to be of the tribe. Well, I guess you can, but we don’t have to claim her back.)
One day I decided to visit her website, just to see if it was as “out there” as I had heard. Turns out that it’s full of super down-to-earth, helpful hints. For example, do you find yourself wondering what to wear this season? Gwyneth has it in the bag:
“The ubiquitous sailor stripe is not going anywhere.”
Well, thank G-d.
“Big bold stripes in jarring colors are the way to go, and the really daring will wear stripes with other stripes, patterns and lots of color.”
I don’t really think I want to look like a circus clown on speed, thank you very much.
“P.S., get on this trend right away, because NEXT season is all about the polka dot!”
You know, I think I’ll ride this current trend out. That’s a lot of pressure. I need to rest up for the polka dot, which apparently will be the entire focal point of our collective existence.
“Worn by day, the long skirt—whether full or pleated—is completely at ease anywhere. I like to see this silhouette paired with flats; the juxtaposition of the two make it a more casual and languid look. Wear with an oversized blazer, a belted cardigan or even a bomber jacket to complete the look.”
First of all, I don’t think I’ve ever looked languid in my life. I wouldn’t know where to begin. Also, you need to weigh about three pounds to pull off this look. The rest of us would look like bag ladies.
“The Best Accessory: A smile! Just remember, you are never fully dressed without a smile!”
This is not helpful. I think if I were smiling while wearing a long skirt, oversized blazer with jarring colors and big stripes, I’d be committed.
By the way, in another area of her site, she also offers a nice gift suggestion: a $52.50 flyswatter. (I am not making that up.)
I think if she just owned up to the fact that she has had an extremely privileged life and basically has had her career handed to her, I wouldn’t be as annoyed. But no, she is trying to be an Everywoman, who has worked so hard to earn everything she has, and true, while she is married to a rock star and is besties with Madonna, she really understands what the rest of us need to live our best lives.
I speak only for myself, but I can’t take advice from this woman. I am single, eat compulsively, I have a cat who yells at me, and I have days where I’m just grateful my socks match and I haven’t spilled coffee down my front.
I should write my own lifestyle guide. It would be about a paragraph long, and would contain pearls such as:
- This season is all about clean clothes. Do your laundry occasionally. Stripes? Paisley pashminas? Feh. Just try not to look homeless.
- Please microwave your leftover veggie burger before eating it standing over the sink. It is not a burgsicle. While you are waiting, pour some wine in your coffee mug, but let it breathe. Or just blow on it. It’s a $8 bottle of pinot from Trader Joe’s, for Pete’s sake.
- Need a last minute gift? Forget the French boutiques. Try rifling through your closet for that pen set someone gave you two years ago, throw it in a gift bag, and hope to G-d the recipient isn’t the person who originally gave it to you.
I think it would be a best seller. At least my Mom would buy it.