You've got to hand it to Gwyneth Paltrow. She has got a pair of brass balls on her.
Ever since she began sending out her weekly newsletter GOOP, Paltrow has received a steady stream of criticism, kvetching and straight-up mockery for her project's economically tone-deaf suggestions. Since late 2008, Paltrow has been urging her readers to "nourish their inner aspects" with everything from meals at the Gramercy Tavern -- there's an "unbelievable cheese board" -- to $1,850 Hermès watches to master cleanses that help sluggish bowels. The whole recession-unfriendly mess has been ably chronicled everywhere (including by Broadsheet's Kate Harding, in an item headlined "GOOPenfreude") and the anti-Gwyneth din has been so loud that it's reached the actress's perfectly elfin, Oscar-winning ears. She recently responded to critics, telling British Elle that she "feels sorry" for her detractors and that she "can't pretend to be somebody who makes $25,000 a year."
Perhaps more evocatively, she also told the magazine, "Fuck the haters!"
That certainly seems to be the theme of this week's GOOP, in which Paltrow keeps on truckin', with Valentine's Day recipes for "Fried Oysters with Curried Creme Fraiche, Roasted Poussins and Potatoes, Steamed Artichokes with Cheat's Aioli, and Molten Chocolate Cakes." It all sounds perfectly delicious, in truth, but the degree to which Paltrow is unabashed and unbowed is breathtaking! "Feel free to use any kind of caviar (salmon roe would be good), or none at all," she writes in her oyster recipe. OK, then!
For the poussins, Paltrow writes, "Here I use salt from Mallorca that's infused with hibiscus ... it's floral and delicious, but regular salt is more than okay."
You know, I have watched the GOOP train wreck unfold with great interest. Rationally, I think it's inane. The whole idea speaks of a narcissism and over-the-top decadence that are not only off-putting and offensive but are also arriving in e-mail in boxes a day late and several million dollars short.
But today, I just had to shake my head in something like admiration. It's almost enough to convince me that La Paltrow is performing some kind of service with GOOP. Whether she's offering champagne-wishes-and-caviar-dreams escapism or just the opportunity to hate a stranger every Thursday, she's distracting us from the worries of not being able to afford our caviar this week. And so I say, perhaps for the only time ever: Gwyneth, you go! Fuck the haters! Shine on, you crazy rich girl!