Gwyneth Paltrow, the Oscar-winning actress who single-handedly popularized the phrase "conscious uncoupling," has reportedly decided to consciously couple with Judaism.
The star has for years been a devotee of Kabbalah, the mysticism popular among celebrities, but is now said to be studying up for a conversion to Judaism. This provides outlets the opportunity to run through the perfectly Gwyneth remarks that the actress has made in the past about her Jewish heritage (father Bruce Paltrow was Jewish); Page Six's report reminds readers who need a refresher on their Gwyneth arcana. Paltrow described the "long line of influential Eastern European rabbis" that her family descended from on a genealogy reality show in 2011 -- no rabbis but the best for the queen of Hollywood! -- and did the same in a 2006 interview, jokingly calling herself a "Jewish princess." In promoting her most recent cookbook, Paltrow called herself "the original Jewish mother."
Paltrow's possible conversion opens up a whole new world of possibilities for how Paltrow will promote her own image, which throughout her career she's done better than just about any actress in the game. Paltrow is half-Jewish (and not the half that traditionally grants one birthright into the Jewish faith!) and has spent her career putting that fact into conversation with her 1990s-through-early-2000s image as a materialistic ice queen and her subsequent evolution into a domestic expert. And she wasn't even practicing! As Paltrow's area of expertise has moved from cooking and homemaking into relationships and quasi-mystical wisdom (viz. "conscious uncoupling," as well as her stated belief that water has feelings), it is truly exciting to imagine in what context Paltrow will cite Talmudic wisdom -- an interview in Vogue? A recipe in Goop?
Paltrow did not respond to Page Six's reporting on her change in religion. But if we know her, it's because she plans to explain what she learned in her own time, and in a way that flatters her idea of herself as a person with unique access to the mysteries of life. Stay tuned.