A very serious investigation into whether Gwyneth Paltrow is completely... broke.

Gwyneth Paltrow is coming to Australia. You've probably heard. 

If you fancy it, tickets to watch her speak top-out at $2,500 and come with a chance to pose for a picture with the goddess herself. 

If you miss that opportunity, she's letting the highest bidder go and sleep in her California holiday house, for one night only.

Oh, you might have seen her lately, promoting a "core shaper" that looks a lot like a corset. 

And 'arch support' foot bands for that post-heels ache.

And she's also the (literal) face of "natural Botox" injectable Xeomin.

On Wednesday morning, as she showed me around her Montecito guest house on Instagram (because I would watch Gwyneth Paltrow do anything, believe me), I found myself thinking... Is Gwyneth actually... broke? 

Because that's quite a lot of spon-con jobs for one of the most famous people on the planet.


Full disclosure: Creating sponsored content for brands is one of the ways I earn a living. There is nothing low-rent about using the platform you worked hard to build to tell people about a product or a brand you believe in. And it's an entirely legitimate "income stream" for a person with a following of 8.3 million (Gwyneth, not me, let's be clear). 

And also, full disclosure: I am joking. Gwyneth Paltrow is not broke.

Her lifestyle media company/shop/product line/woo-woo world, GOOP is worth $250 million. 

She owns homes in the Hamptons' fancy Amagansett, LA's Brentwood, Malibu beach and the house she actually lives in, in Montecito, where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex rule supreme, is worth $12 million.

She also co-owns a venture capital firm which is looking to invest in tech and "early stage" consumer goods, which is rich-people speak for things rich people do to become even richer. 

The woman is doing fine.


So why, then, is she hustling so hard?

Listen to Wednesday's episode of Mamamia Out Loud here. Post continues after audio.

Once upon a time, famous movie stars got paid a lot of money to be famous movie stars and that was kind of enough. 

If they felt the need to supplement their income between multi-million dollar film contracts, they headed off to countries that were not the US to make adverts that they hoped their big-shot movie mates would never see. 

For years, Brad Pitt was the face of a Japanese bank. 

Julia Roberts smiled through coffee machine commercials in Italy without saying a word.

Leonardo DiCaprio made action-packed mobile phone ads for a Chinese telco. 

Uma Thurman sold Schweppes soft drinks in France. 

Even esteemed method Oscar-magnet Daniel Day-Lewis fronted ads for Japanese beer, back in the day. 

And Mariah Carey, if you can believe it, appeared in an ad for backpackers' hostels in Europe. Even Divas are believers, went the line, as Mariah turned a HostelWorld dorm room into a nightclub.

These commercial deals were seen as small embarrassments. Necessary, perhaps, for the big-name actors to be able to star in an indie passion project, but best kept away from the Real Work. 

Then there were the comfortable celebrity ambassadors. 


Star recommendations have been around since an English actress Lily Langtree put her face on a bar of soap in the 1800s. But by the 1980s, they had exploded across billboards with Brooke Shields in her Calvin Kleins and yes, Michael Jordan and his Nikes. 

The glossy magazines tired of supermodels selling us fashion by the 2000s and landing a big-deal luxury ambassadorship is still a milestone for a movie star today. Ask Zendaya, who fronts Louis Vuitton, and Florence Pugh, who’s the face of Valentino. 

But to catch up to pure hustle culture, two things had to happen at once. And one of them was Kim Kardashian. 

Over 20 years, a little rich girl with the right connections and a shit-tonne of business smarts running in her maternal lineage has repped Skechers, skinny teas, diet lollipops. A chain of public toilets (really), gummies that make your hair shiny, laser hair removal, Mastercard, nail polish, diet pills. (Deep breath) Midori green liqueur, salads, fake tan, smelly candles and, of course, all the products the Kardashians licensed themselves - a clothes store, an app, fragrances, make-up, underwear, skincare… Famous person as human-billboard was born. 

Up against all that, Jennifer Aniston spruiking smart water seems rather quaint. 

But the door was open, and while the Kardashians took a decade to built business credibility to match their fortune (Kim is reportedly now worth $1.7 billion), celebrities leveraging social followings for all kinds of brands became a legitimate path. 


The other thing that had to happen was that business had to become cool. Of course, being rich has always been cool. But the machinations of how to get there was grubby "suit stuff" until it wasn't. Art and commerce were not meant to mix and moguls were not really cool until young people started to become them. Hello, tech bros.

That ick was well and truly dead and buried when stars stopped facing brands and started launching them. Now Rihanna is a billionaire thanks to her 50 per cent share in Fenty Beauty. Jay Z is a multi-billionaire due, mostly, to his luxury booze brands, not his music. 

Ashton Kutcher is a major investor in tech. Ryan Reynolds makes cute-dumb movies and owns a mobile phone company, a marketing agency, some gin and a football club in Wales. 

If "suits" once wanted to be rock stars and movie idols, now celebrities want to be CEOs, investors and founders.  

In interviews with Paltrow now, she's as likely to talk about networking opportunities with fellow founders as bone broth, and cramming podcast interviews with business leaders, as meditation sessions.

She's willing to lend her brand to a copper-lined corset (although, notably, not pose in it) and even let you sleep in her bed in order to feed her main business-baby, Goop. 

So no, Gwynny doesn't need your money, thanks. But she'd really, really like some of it, so she can make more of her own, please.

Feature image: Instagram/@copperfit

Are you thinking about having a baby in the next six months, pregnant, or currently breastfeeding? We want to hear from you - take our short survey to go in the running to win a $50 gift voucher!