Stop what you're doing and read the New York Times's profile of Gwyneth Paltrow. The extensive feature, written by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, covers everything from the jade vagina egg crisis of 2016 to charges of Goop’s ‘elitism’ to, inevitably, the day-to-day reality of conscious uncoupling, with guest appearances from all kinds of bizarre health foods (‘Real Water’ with ‘valuable electrons?’ Check!) And while it's fascinating to learn more about Goop's business model (Gwyneth is frank about being able to monetize the 'internet firestorms' she can spark with even the most generic day-in-the-life feature), what we're really here for is the unabashed strangeness of it all. Locate your nearest supplier of pea milk and settle down with these gems..
The house manager
When the Times' Taffy Brodesser-Akner visits Gwyneth at home and enters her 'devastating' kitchen, she soon becomes aware of the constant presence of a man 'in a shawl collar sweater' named Jeffrey. Once he's out of earshot, she (quite understandably) questions Gwyneth as to his identity: is he her butler? 'No, he's a house manager,' she explains, adding: 'He's the best. He's from Chicago. He's so incredible. He helps me with everything.' May we all aspire to a future in which we can employ a house manager to pour our drinks.
Music lessons with Chris Martin
What could be a better illustration of the Goop brand in action than Chris Martin’s presence at Gwyneth’s home at the time of the interview, ready to help the now-teenage Moses and Apple with their music practice. Conscious uncoupling: it’s a lifestyle. When Brodesser-Akner hears the opening notes of The Beatles' Blackbird, she looks up to see where it's coming from. Of course, it's Apple, strumming a guitar.
The Brad Falchuk cameo
Exit Chris Martin, enter Brad Falchuk. Shortly after Chris has gone off to impart his musical knowledge to his offspring, Gwyneth's fiancé arrives. We know from Gwyneth's Instagram posts that there's no weirdness, no weirdness at all between the three (it was even rumoured at one point that Chris might walk Gwyneth down the aisle when she marries Falchuk, taking conscious uncoupling to its logical conclusion) - call me traditional, though, but doesn't this feel a little too cosy?
The fact checker
Many of Goop’s grandiose claims about the health benefits of various alternative therapies and ingredients have been disputed by medical professionals (remember all the to-do about putting a jade egg up your vagina?) From September, the piece reveals, Goop will be hiring a full time fact checker. Gwyneth sees it as a ‘necessary growing pain’ for the company.
The Time Gwyneth yodeled 'VAGINA' at some students
The Times piece details a lecture which Gwyneth gave to students at Harvard a few years back. When discussing how her company transmutes internet outrage into profit, she drops the phrase ‘It’s a cultural firestorm when it’s about a woman’s vagina’ (referring to said jade eggs). When her audience stay silent, Gwyneth decides to amp up any incipient awkwardness. ‘She then cupped her hands around her mouth and yelled, “VAGINA! VAGINA! VAGINA!” as if she were yodeling,’ the author writes.
The conscious uncoupling backlash
Gwyneth was surprised by the vitriol that those two words unleashed. ‘I was really saying we’re in a lot of pain, we failed at this; we’re going to try and do it in a different way. But I was so raw that I didn’t anticipate,’ she tells the Times. ‘I think that was an instance where it really hit me that an insouciance with language from me is different than from somebody else.’ We're sorry, Gwyneth.
Pea milk exists, and it is served in coffee at Goop's 'In Goop Health' summit.
Look back at Gwyneth Paltrow's style evolution in the gallery below...