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Home » Culture and Criticism

You can't spell "GOOP" without "poo"

Submitted by on September 25, 2008 – 6:22 PM61 Comments

For the love of little Apples (or, if you like, "sweet fancy Moses"), Gwyneth Paltrow: SHUT UP. Not that I'm confident I know what in the hell you're on about with the "nourish the inner aspect" this and the "life is good because I'm not passive about it" that, but I'm pretty sure your life is good because you got lucky in the parental department, got really rich, and moved to another country whose financial system isn't collapsing.

And good for you, I guess. I mean, my parents have helped me out a ton; I can't talk shit on that point. But at whom, exactly, is your "lifestyle" advice aimed — the handful of other pretentious Oscar-winning stick figures who wear white jeans and periodically visit the hospital to recover from the bowel-razing effects of an all-pignoli-and-wheatgrass diet? Who focus-grouped this watery horseshit, Brooke Astor?

You want to help, Gwyneth, bring your bony ass back here, put on an Obama button, and throw some money at the bailout. Failing that, quiet down.

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  • Sandy says:

    Girl, please. The Paltrow was slowly rising in my estimation since Iron Man, but she can suck it fiercely. She's a populist delight.

  • Linda says:

    You know…here's the thing. If you want to have a personal site based on whatever is in your head, I support that. Hello, I have one. But I do not present my personal site based on whatever is in my head as a LEARNING TOOL where other people will learn how to better live their lives.

    If you're going to present yourself as a guru who teaches others how to live, you need qualifications and expertise, or at least you need to demonstrate that you have interesting thoughts. I can think of nothing more arrogant than concluding that because you are a rich and beautiful famous person, you are qualified to tell people how to be happy. Like, literally, it suggests, "I am rich and famous, so obviously, I can tell you how to do your life correctly."

    I'm just dumbfounded that she could be serious.

  • Joe R says:

    Dude, welcome to, like, my last three days at work, where my office-mate and I would periodically sigh "Shut up, Gwyneth" and then explain to the other whatever fool thing she said/did now. First it was the whole "I can't diet" thing on Oprah. It all went downhill from there. I want to not hate you, lady! You were Margot Tenenbaum! Cut me a break!

  • Tina says:

    Sars, I agree with you completely about Gwyneth's shittiness and Obama's awesomeness. But the economy over here (in the UK) is just as fucked as the US economy – it's just a bit behind the US in the general collapse. The fundamentals are exactly the same: excessive lending to people who can't afford the loans; overheated real estate market based on nothing more than hype; and the securitization of the "assets" behind the real estate boom and subsequent resale as AAA-rated securities, which have all come crashing down once people have realized the fundamental reality of the situation.

    Gwyneth's a whiny, out-of-touch moron with terrible timing. But it's just as terrible over here – the only difference is that we can't even vote for change. You all can.

  • jill (tx) says:

    I want so badly to like her, because she's poised and pretty and can actually act. (As long as it's a movie about a seriously dysfunctional family, a la Tenenbaums or Scissors.) But the truth is, her head is really, really, really far up her butt.

  • K. says:

    Not to mention the rock star husband.

    She unveils this bullshit the same WEEK that the economy collapsed, costing thousands of "not passive" people their jobs due to circumstances over which they had no control? How are they supposed to try your restaurant recommendations or organic recipes with no money, fool? I just had to cut my grocery budget because I have no health insurance as a freelance consultant (which is what they call unemployed business people who manage to eke out a living, no matter how hand to mouth), and I consider myself lucky that the only medication I "need" is birth control, which runs me about $32 a month, and that I have no children to support.

    "Congratulations" on being born to wealthy parents who didn't see you as a punching bag or sexual partner. Good job with that. I cannot STAND people who were born on third and think they hit a triple, and this is that spades.

  • Molly says:

    God I hate Gwyneth Paltrow. I'll get to the point where I start to not mind her, but then I'm reminded why I hate her so much. She just seems to have NO grasp on reality whatsoever, or how exceptionally good her life is – she can afford to do whatever/go wherever/not work however long. MOST PEOPLE CAN'T DO THAT. So how the hell is her advice going to be relevant to anyone but her and her famous, rich friends?

    …okay, I know that's pretty much what you just said, but, argh. She's just such an ASS. But then I sort of want to hit anyone who publically complains about how people are comforting her after the death of her father. "I'm suffering!" Yeah, but just think about all the time you can take off work to deal with your issues, and how many fancy retreats you can afford to attend to "center" yourself. And if that's not enough, she feels the need to declare in an interview that it pisses her off when people try to offer comforting words because they're saying the wrong things ("He's in a better place" is, I guess, not pitying enough. People are trying, but they're just not fawning enough, not telling you that you have it worse than anyone in the world.)

    She just seems to have no gratitude whatsoever for ANYTHING.

  • Alyson says:

    Oh ye gods, the site looks like an advertisement for Ethan Allen. I'll give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that GOOP is an acronym, but what does it MEAN? And even if it stands for some catchy four-word phrase, what in the heck was she thinking when she let that become her site name?

    I'm saying this, meanwhile, as someone who generally likes Gwyneth Paltrow's work and who doesn't have anything against her lifestyle. She wants to eat macrobiotic cardboard, more power to her, I don't blame her for moving to Britain, and I think Apple is a cute name for a girl. Meanwhile, if she thinks her fans want to see what makes her life fulfilling, it's not wrong of her to make a website and share, but…take off those Rich Dumbass Jeans right now. If she wants to share what makes her life so much fun, it would help to have a more realistic view towards her audience. It would help to keep in mind that most people are never going to sit on millions of dollars no matter how hard they work. And we might even be a bit more understanding of her lack of perspective if she could put up some more interesting content at the beginning and show us her Clueless Oscar-Winning Stick Figure aesthetic in a website that looks like she may have designed it herself.

  • Chryseis says:

    and moved to another country whose financial system isn't collapsing.

    Er, you may want to check that – the UK isn't doing particularly well either.
    Otherwise, what you said.

  • Sandman says:

    Annie Savoy was right: the world was made for people who aren't cursed with self-awareness. Or burdened with a sense of proportion, either, apparently. That said, I'm not sure I want to be part of something called a "GOOP backlash," which sounds like one of the scarier plumbing emergencies.

  • mctwin says:

    I'm partial to "Christmas Eve in JANUARY!!" Your rants are so well done! Sometimes you remind me of Julia in Designing Women! We never have a problem understanding your point of view so, please, DON'T shut up!

  • Katie says:


  • RJ says:

    Is it me or has she just always looked really smug?

    I think she lost me ages ago, when I read her comment about not giving the kids sugar, and then re: her daughter, said, "Of course if she wants fairy cakes at birthday parties, she can have them" (this is pure paraphrasing on my part, with the exception of "fairy cakes").

    Fairy cakes meaning cupcakes. Because dear Gwyn is now British. Except for the part where she's NOT.

    She can keep her GOOP.

  • JennB says:

    "I love being in spaces that are clean and feel nice." Wow, Gwyneth. That is so interesting. Please tell me more.

    I've never liked her. The Apple thing was the final straw for me.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Sorry to get my facts wrong re: the UK's fiscal fitness. But it's okay, because I wasn't passive about it.


  • attica says:

    GOOP: Gywneth Of On Paradeofasshattedness.

  • Tracey says:

    @ RJ: No, it's not just you. She has always looked smug.

    But, c'mon – GOOP?!? For real? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That isn't a joke?

    Even if I had the desire to take advice from the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, which I most seriously do not, I wouldn't be considering it from something called "GOOP."

    I mean, GOOP. *snicker*

  • RJ says:

    @ Tracey – HA! Thanks! My mother has hated her since her second viewing of "Emma," when she decided she couldn't stand her voice anymore.

    Ugh. I can't think of anyone I'd rather emulate less. Okay, if I think about it, I'm sure I can, but I'm not going to, because I'm too busy hating on Gwynnie. (UGH. Even her nicknames are annoying!)

  • Shotrock says:

    Macrobiotic recipes? Okay. Hotels and restaurants? Whatevs. But THIS?

    …or some thoughts from one of my sages…

    I have my family. I have my friends. I would like, someday, to have minions. But sages???

    Congratulations, Gwynnie. I thought the silly expression "spiritual advisor" would never be topped. Sages??? You've done it, girl. You and your twee pretentiousness have. done. it.

  • Kat says:

    I've always thought she looked like she wanted to cry, and that she thought she was a little too good for the room. Now I'm sure of it. She's living in her own fairy land.

  • Amie says:

    I've never been a Gwyneth defender, but I've not been a big hater all this time, either. This does seem ridiculous and makes me wonder what the universe is like from inside her bubble to think she is qualified to influence the lives of the rest of us poor, passive, wretches!

    Also? Super hard to respect the effort when it has no content and the website is all flashtacular with nothing of value. Has this officially launched?because if so, it is ASS. Even the privacy statement is missing important information! If your "celebrity lifestyle website" is going to get all this publicity, there should be something on it! And if the publicity is premature, you still better pay someone some overtime to throw up some content to capitalize on it!

  • Stephanie says:

    Everytime I see her stupid, stupid face all I can hear is Pulp's "Common People". She's so the rich girl who thinks she's just a regular person, buying the groceries and appreciating the simple things.

    You won the parental lottery: congratulations. But don't tell me how to live my life, lady. GOOP me? GOOP YOU!

  • Cat says:

    VOMIT. I've always had a grating distaste for Paltrow that I couldn't quite put my finger on – she just seemed really, really shallow and self-congratulatory. Now my suspicions are confirmed. The best parts are the apologists commenting on the link, saying they "can't see how this is any different from Oprah" – I don't watch Oprah or pay any more attention to her than is possible as an American woman, but I know that if I did develop a taste for self-help pseudo-psychobabble, I would much rather hear it from a woman who struggled and suffered and worked her ass off to get to the top than some spoiled brat who only has what she does because she was lucky enough to be born rich, pretty, and connected.

  • Keckler says:

    Gwyneth Paltrow is the Alice Waters of Hollywood. Trying to peddle enlightenment and a better way of life, yet being so out of touch with reality that they don't even know what Buffalo wings are. (True story. Calvin Trillin brought them up to AW in a roundtable food discussion and she had no clue what these strange things were.)

    Another example: Alice Waters was asked about how she dealt with bad airplane food since most people now bring their own take-out on flights. She said, "I do take-out, too. I go down to Chez Panisse and get my own take-out." CLUELESS! Yet, she's an "Environmental Hero." BAH!

    Sorry, this ended up being more of an Alice in Wonderland rant but the writing's on the wall. Give Gwyneth 30 years and she'll be in TIME as a "Digestive Hero."

  • JenV says:


    If you won the parent lottery, born-into-money lottery, and then the husband lottery, and want to pat yourself on the back… have at it. IN PRIVATE. Write in an "I'm so awesome!" journal, create a shrine to yourself in your candle room or seaweed pantry or meditation wing or whatever in your ginormous mansion, feel as fat and sassy as you want. But please, spare us regular folks from having your privileged ass tell us that your life is so fantastic based solely on your own merit.

    K. – your "people who were born on third and think they hit a triple" line is awesome. I am so using that.

  • Jaybird says:

    Gwynnie Paltrow is someone who would be thrown many a juicy slap, were she a shade less wealthy and/or insulated from the reach of commoners. In the real world, where MOST people live, this kind of "sage" "lifestyle" crap gets you laughed at TO YOUR FACE, and that's if you're holding your mouth right. I can't really even muster up sufficient energy to despise Paltry full-on, because she's just too bloodless and laughable to generate any heat. Take someone like her and put them in a textile mill, or a housing project, or a 9 to 5 single-parent grind, and THEN let's see some non-passive sageness. Sagitude.

    I think it's sagacity, actually. Whatever. Bitch.

  • Ellen says:

    Gwynyth Pyltryw had better pray she never runs into me when no one else is around. 'Cause it won't be in a "clean space" and it won't "feel nice". It also won't be "passive",'cause I know she doesn't approve of "passive". Oh it would be ACTIVE, boys and girls. And she would remember the day. Trust on that.

    Is all I'm sayin'.

  • MM says:

    Aargh. She is so smug!!!! I have hated her from afar for years . I'll admit that my hate had been waning for a little while, when I saw the clip of her speaking Spanish and eating churros on her PBS show with Mario Batali. And then I actually watched the show due to the false advertising, and I couldn't even finish ten minutes — she was insufferable, and the four of them tooling around in a Mercedes convertible talking about how they're just regular folks was enough to make me physically ill.

    I should have known better. This is the same person who felt it was appropriate to comment on the Pitt-Aniston divorce, and who gleefully went on Leno and talked about how disgusting cheeseburgers are. Shut UP, Gwyneth. She also talked at length about how she understood what it was to have a weight problem because people weren't that nice to her when she was wearing the fat suit for Shallow Hal. Why are we forced to listen to her? She hasn't been in a hit movie in forever — why do people keep letting her speak publicly? Even Tiny Tom Cruise gets less airtime.


  • randee says:

    Never liked. Now, I have more ammunition. Will continue to drive another mile out of my way to avoid encountering her.

    And no, I don't even give her props in the acting category.

  • Grinaldi says:

    I haven't been able to take Gwynneth Paltrow seriously since her EW interview after going to ComicCon for Iron Man in which she described her surprise at what a pleasant experience it was with this metaphor:

    "It's like the first time someone offers you white truffles, you know?"

    Since then, the partner and I have taken to just referring to her as "White Truffles".

  • Krissa says:

    "It's like the first time someone offers you white truffles, you know?"

    Wait, I thought it was the BLACK truffles that were supposed to be so good…?

    Great. now I feel poor, uneducated, and…racist. I blame GOOP.

  • Ellen says:

    Krissa, the white truffles have more CONDESCENSION in them. That's what makes them so yummy.

  • L.H. says:

    MM, yes! I've disliked her since she said she went out in public in her Shallow Hal fatsuit, and how AWFUL it was that people IGNORED her just because she was FAT. Yeah, people also ignore you if you're not a tall blonde movie star. Isn't it TRAGIC?

  • Kristen says:

    "She also talked at length about how she understood what it was to have a weight problem because people weren't that nice to her when she was wearing the fat suit for Shallow Hal. "

    Ooh! Ooh! She also said (during the Shallow Hal press junket) that wearing a fat suit was something she thought "every pretty girl should experience".

    Whahuh? Every "pretty" girl, Gwynnie? Did you mean to say "skinny" girl? That every "skinny" girl should experience the fat suit? Well, no, I guess you didn't. Because, you know, skinny = pretty pretty princess, and fat = ugly troll. I've hated her with the fire of a thousand nuns ever since.

    No wait, I've hated her before that. Didn't she go on Oprah once to talk about how she spent 3 whole days alone on a uninhabited island? And then talked about how having to spend an entire THREE days on her own was a life changing experience? Oprah kept saying how "mature" she was to have these insights at 25, and I threw my cola at the tv and yelled, "Bitch, please!" about 100 times.

    Side note: I'm going to see Kathy Griffin in a couple of weeks here in Detroit, and she ripped on Paltrow before in one of her specials. I hope she talks about GOOP. (crosses fingers)

  • Jaybird says:

    I can't keep it all straight: Is Gwynnie one of the expat celebrities who affects a British accent in daily life (Hi, Gillian Anderson! Tell Madonna hey for us!) or does she just sit around giving interviews about how she wouldn't be caught dead in the same graveyard as a flyover? I figured (from the "fairy cakes" remark above) that she was in the former category, but I can't seem to keep up, what with my cousin-screwin' and banjo-pickin' an' all.

  • Amie says:

    @Kristen – ooh, I hope Kathy Griffin is all up on the Gwyneth news, too. She isn't scheduled to do any shows near me so far, but she has done several in the past and I've seen her live like 5 times and never disappoints!

    @Jaybird – not that I don't think it is probably pretentious, but at least Gillian Anderson grew up in London and I believe had to shed her accent when she moved back to the states as a teenager, so it seems reverting to an accent while living in the UK would seem less of an affectation. Although, honestly, I haven't heard her speak outside of the most recent X-Files movie in ages, so for all I know her British accent is totally ridiculous…

  • Alessandra says:

    In my household, "goop" is what we call having our period. It's a verb, as in "I'm gooping." So, good going, Gwyneth.

    Seriously, I like her just fine as an actress, but I have long despised her as a human being. For some one who has had a lot handed to her, she seems very uncomfortable in her own skin. And she's full of pretense. It's beyond pretentious, it's shallow artifice. The sad thing is that I think she realizes this on some level and yet can't help herself.

    Anyway, my life is wonderful and I am not "passive", but I would not deign to tell other people how to live. Maybe because I've been on the other side where every thing sucks and nothing is right…

    Most humans, unlike Gwyneth, have empathy and that empathy is what causes them to shut up and listen, instead of creating vapid and self-congratulatory web-sites.

  • Ted says:

    Ooo, if I ever see Paltrow on the street (which, in Milwaukee? unlikely), I'm gonna have to have a large group of people to keep me from punching her in the motherfucking face. "Life is good because I am not passive about it"? Really? Because I have been out of work for a month-and-a-half on State healthcare in Wisconsin trying to get gall bladder (which was FILLED with stones and all kinds of scarred up). My life is mediocre (at best) because I am not passive about it.

    To paraphrase the late, great George Carlin: fuck Gwyneth and everyone who looks like Gwyneth.

  • Ted says:

    That would be "gall bladder SURGERY" – I wasn't trying to just obtain a gall bladder, I swear.

  • Ellen says:

    Ted, word re: teh face-punching.

    I am wondering why GP hasn't yet received the beating she so clearly needs. I mean, don't they have ass-beatings in England? I'd do it myself but I really don't have time to fly over there right now.


    Dear England,

    If you would kindly throw a proper ass-beating in the direction of Gwyneth Paltrow, we promise to do the same to Posh Spice. Whaddaya say?

    Signed, U.S.A

    P.S. Whatever you do, don't return her to us, mmmkay? No backsies!

  • Jen S says:

    The first thing I thought of was Amy Poehner doing Hillary: "HAHAHAHAHEEHEEHEEEHEE YOU'RE RIGHT SARAH! If I had this campaign to do over again, I would have WANTED IT MORE!"

    God, Gwynnie, shut UP. I like your acting abilities fine, and you do seem to have some, but please quit trying to pretend you're a regular Joette. You got the tall, the blonde, the skinny, the connections, and the money. Your base level is soaring above most people's heads like Devil's Tower. I can't wait for your investments to dry up and you and your rockstar husband and carefully groomed infants are forced to roam the land, eating cheeseburgers.

    I gave up my dreams of an acting career when I realized that I would never be thin enough, by Hollywood conventions, to get anywhere. Even if I went on Gwyn's patented "Filtered Water and Organic Paper" diet and yoga'd my way to Nirvana. So her genetic code can just shut it.

  • Leonie says:

    I'm just trying to work out what the acronym stands for, really.

    Go On, Ostracise Paltrow!
    Gwyneth Only Offers Poo
    Greatly Overestimated Old Piffle

    This could be quite fun. I hope she doesn't unveil what it supposed to mean anytime soon. This could keep me busy.

  • Mary says:

    @Amie – Gillian Anderson just sounds like a middle-class English person when she's interviewed on British TV. There's nothing particularly fakey or mid-Atlantic about her accent.

  • jkc says:

    "Goop" is the substance that shoots out of all of your orifices after an all-macrobiotic diet.

  • Beth says:

    I really can't stand the pretentious Palt. I wrote a blog about her ridiculous website. I'm also uncomfortable with the comments about punching her in the face or kicking her ass. I get it. It's a joke. But with the amount of violence in the world, particularly against women, I think it would be better to talk about what a snotty bag of douche she is without discussing ways you'd like to beat her down. YMMV.

  • Jade says:

    Kristen Says:
    Because, you know, skinny = pretty pretty princess, and fat = ugly troll. I've hated her with the fire of a thousand nuns ever since.

    Most awesome typo ever… if it was indeed a typo.

    Also @ Ellen – The reason no-one has smacked Gwynnie is because she travels with large mean bodyguards and as soon as you get within whacking distance she will run off shrieking into the middle distance and one of them will sit upon you until the police arrive.

    Gwynnie is a product of her environment – let's just hope that if she's ever in a situation where she has two hungry children screaming for their dinner, no money in her bank account and nothing but macrobiotic rice, agar agar and a bottle of soy milk in her cupboards she remembers that you can't be passive about it so sitting down on the floor and bursting into tears is out…

  • Kris says:

    Oh man, Sandman used my favorite Annie Savoy quote. If that was the kind of stuff Pretentious McAssclown dished out on her website, we'd all be Goop converts. Haaaate.

  • Alyson says:

    "bag of douche"


    I'm also a tad frightened at the comments about kicking her ass. One can choose to look at a website, or not. Until she starts encouraging her fellow movie stars to dodge their income taxes and run Stop signs, she's not really hurting anyone.

    That said? Perhaps she needs to take a bit of her own advice, and to a greater extreme. Send her to a Third World country and make her live like a Peace Corps volunteer for a few months. Let her see what it's like to live with the annoyances of fame but without the privileges of developed-world wealth and infrastructure. Let her deal with the whole village getting up in her face all the time, but without her PA, driver and housekeeping staff, let her deal with intestinal parasites and incredibly limited local cuisine, let her live without reliable electricity and running water and little or no Internet access, much less central air conditioning. Let her struggle for her turn at the post office because nobody knows how to stand in line. Let her live in a place where the economy is so weak that a third of the local populace is out of work, and then we'll see what she has to say about being passive about life. Let her have to take the bus along with everybody else while she sticks out like a sore thumb by virtue of her tall skinny whiteness, to say nothing of her fame as a movie star.

    THEN maybe she'll come up with something a bit more substantial than "I like to be in spaces that are clean and feel nice" before she tries to offer herself up as a lifestyle guru.

    I mean, really, Gwynnie: if you think your target audience is all other young, skinny, glamorous, rich movie stars, then perhaps your exhortations for them to cook for their loved ones and clean up their offices are actually kind of helpful, but…do you think they're accustomed to living in spaces that are filthy and feel nasty? Do you really think this makes you look like a person who has something to SAY?!

    Yikes. How about this, Gwynnie: design your own website. Put some content on it before you show it to the public. Don't name it GOOP. Give your staff a holiday before you say anything about other people's housekeeping. Acknowledge that your life story isn't comparable to the rest of ours. Choose your target audience and get to know them before you expect them to listen to you. Don't put the words "spaces that are clean and feel nice" on the Web.

  • Sandman says:

    I have a sneaking feeling that GOOP is not an acronym for anything, but a nickname GP was called as a kid. I toyed with the idea that her middle names might be Ophelia Olivia, but luckily this does not appear to be the case. I think Alessandra may be on to something, in that perhaps GP feels uncomfortable in her skin because of how extremely lucky she is? Perhaps her website, in its wrongheaded way, is an attempt to "give back"? Annnnd I've officially thought too much about this. @Jen S: "filtered water and organic paper diet", hee! Also: "seaweed pantry" is going in my JenV Is So Awesome journal.

  • Margaret in CO says:

    Actors are just pretty hand puppets. We should not listen to thier advice nor care what they think. Thier whole function is to be so fake we believe it for a second.
    Just my own opinion…don't listen to me either! Hahaha!

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