After Gwyneth Paltrow used the term “conscious uncoupling” to describe her divorce from Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, the phrase became instantly iconic and widely parodied, from inspiring a wave of snarky Twitter reactions to being weaponized by Martha Stewart as part of her and Paltrow’s Drake/Meek Mill-style diss off in the recipe pages of their respective publications.
For those who love to sneer at Paltrow’s lifestyle brand Goop, the catchy two-word phrase struck just the right nerve, serving as a perfect viral encapsulation of the earnestly new-agey, often oblivious take on contemporary female life that Paltrow peddles.
But in a recent interview with Fast Company, Paltrow avoids taking credit for the phrase, saying Elise Loehnen, the Goop editorial director, was the one who coined the legendary expression. “When I announced that I was separating on the website, [Loehnen] titled the piece ‘Conscious Uncoupling,’ and I had no idea,” Paltrow said.
Addressing the internet backlash that arose when the piece came out, Paltrow observed "When something like that happens, I think everybody is like, ‘Oh, shit.’ I just tell them that I think we are creating interesting discussions.”
Still, Paltrow says the controversy her site inspires — whether it’s the famous divorce announcement or her legendary piece on vaginal steaming — isn’t something to shy away from.
"I always like it when there’s a big response to something because it tells me, ‘Oh we’ve touched a nerve here, this is really interesting,’ " Paltrow adds. "There are a lot of media companies that would die to have the kind of response that we get from our content.”