Gwyneth Paltrow, the Academy Award–winning actress turned wildly successful entrepreneur, is perhaps the world’s most fascinating interview subject due to the remarkable confluence of her stunning good looks and her unapologetic self-congratulatory personality, which simply refuses to quit.
A very good story published on Tuesday by The Wall Street Journal Magazine caught up with Paltow the wellness guru at her Amagansett, New York “compound” in the weeks leading up to her marriage to her second husband, Glee producer Brad Falchuk.
Surprisingly, writer Elisa Lipsky-Karasz found the Oscar winner pounding a big bag of beef jerky and lounging around watching Bravo. Just kidding, she was “sipping iced green tea and looking out across acres of rolling lawn,” and she seemed “like an incarnation of a word-association game about Gwyneth Paltrow: tawny, tan, toned. Lithe. Lissome. Limber.”
Paltrow has been redecorating, Paltrow has been scheming, Paltrow has been thought-leading her rapidly expanding “modern lifestyle brand” Goop as only she can. For the uninitiated: Goop began as a Paltrow-penned recipe newsletter that’s since exploded into an upscale e-commerce platform, events circuit and all-around pedestal for her favorite things.
And Gwyneth Paltrow is really, really good at selling things. Even her business terms are infused with her holistic worldview. For example, her phrase for “really good SEO” is “contextual commerce,” or “the why of why you’re buying something.”
Paltrow said, “It’s really about finding things that we love, whether it’s a restaurant down the street here or a face product or whatever, and we write about why we love it, and then it converts really well.”
Ah, yes, high conversion rates: essential for building lucrative businesses, and also in convincing followers to join a religion. And make no mistake, Goop is a thriving mega-church worth approximately $250 million.
Paltrow and her flock have had their setbacks, though: Earlier this year, Goop paid out $145,000 in civil penalties after being sued for allegedly peddling products with misleading ad copy. (Please, please don’t shove yoni eggs up your vagina.) If you thought this might lead her to reconsider her brand’s expansion, you’re wrong.
“I’m so happy to suffer those slings and arrows, because if you look at the culture from then to now, people are so curious,” said Paltrow. “It’s so beautiful to see people feeling empowered by natural solutions or ancient modalities alongside science and medicine.” OK!
Paltrow, with her despotic need to worm her way into the hearts and minds of consumers via coffee table recommendations and yoga mantras, has a soul that’s a lot like a writer’s: She wants to leave her mark on the earth in whatever way she can. She wants her name etched in the history books (writers, it must be made clear, are nightmares).
But unlike with a writer, Paltrow’s ambitions amount to little more than peddling overpriced cashmere sweaters to people who haven’t yet realized she doesn’t actually have a life worth coveting. Sure, she might be gorgeous and have Oprah on speed dial, but her narcissism blots out the sun.
“Forgive me if this comes out wrong,” Paltrow told Lipsky-Karasz in the piece, “but I went to do a yoga class in L.A. recently and the 22-year-old girl behind the counter was like, ‘Have you ever done yoga before?’ And literally I turned to my friend, and I was like, ‘You have this job because I’ve done yoga before.'”
What is it with sociopathic egomaniacs and yoga, man?