A die-hard fan on how even in heartbreak, Gwyneth Paltrow will find a way to teach us all a lesson in how to be better – like her.
My heart sank when I got the email: “A note from GP,” it read.
It was classic GOOP: clean, simple, and deceptively intimate, as if my good friend Gwyneth was personally notifying me of her decision to split from her husband. And almost as if it was a friend, I felt sad for Gwyneth Paltrow, whose cookbooks I’ve bought, whose cleanses I’ve tried, and whose abs I’ve coveted.
I also had to roll my eyes, because in true GOOP fashion, even her breakup announcement was totally, completely ridiculous.
GOOP, for those of you trying to understand what this word could possibly mean, is Paltrow's lifestyle website, which started as a newsletter in 2008. (She's said the name is a nickname she made up, stemming from her initials.) On Tuesday, after she posted the news of her breakup there, the site crashed, as millions of people who had never clicked on one of her recipes for paella or green juice desperately navigated over to read her letter.
But, even in announcing that she and Chris Martin, the Coldplay frontman and father of her two children, were splitting after 10 years, Gwyneth (it's impossible to think of her by her last name in this context) flaunted her trademark style: a little too earnest, and blissfully unaware of how pretentious she sounds.
Accompanied by an Instagram-worthy vintage photo of the couple and the infuriatingly buzzword-y headline "Conscious Uncoupling," the post also included pages of advice on divorce from a pair of GOOP-endorsed experts.
As if, even in crisis, Gwyneth was saying, I’m better than you. Here, do your divorce like mine.
It's this attitude that has made GOOP such a love-to-hate read, even for fans like me who relish getting our weekly newsletter and are unashamed of proclaiming our love for her food and fashion picks (yes, she's sold $290 sweatpants on her site, and endorsed $1300 pinky rings). She has amazing taste, fabulous friends, and an enviable physique, but she makes herself so easy to mock — and that's a huge part of the charm.
GOOP has been a punchline since it launched: No one could understand why this Oscar-winning actress from Hollywood royalty, who had abandoned America for England, given her children bizarre names and seemed ice cold and utterly unrelatable, was interested in doling out lifestyle tips. What kind of ridiculous advice could she possibly share with us, from her perch in the clouds of celebrity?
And the newsletters didn't disappoint. Signed "Love, GP," for years they were simply titled with different verbs, like DO, MAKE, GET, SEE, and GO — even her split wasn't spared the GOOP treatment: It's filed under BE. The typo-filled entries from Gwyneth herself also included treats from her inner circle of A-list buddies.
There have been detox recipes, guides to shopping, "scrapbooks" from Gwyneth's glam life on the red carpet, recipes for making lunch that seem possible only if you have the entire day and a personal chef to prepare them, tips on home decor for mansions, travel guides for cities around the world, musings on Christmas from a Kabbalah scholar, and more recipes for cleansing. She even uses “imbibe” as a casual verb.