The XX Factor

My Gwyneth Paltrow Stockholm Syndrome

I didn’t think much about Gwyneth Paltrow until she came out with her lifestyle newsletter, Goop, in 2008. It was right after the stock market tanked, and via her new web platform Paltrow was crowing about how her life is good because she’s “not passive about it. ” The implication there being that if you’re life isn’t good, it’s because you’re not trying hard enough. Considering all the advantages she’s had in life (starting with her wealthy and connected parents), I was deeply irked by her inability to acknowledge that privilege and her tone-deafness more generally. I’m not the only one . In the intervening two and a half years, Gwyneth has become a multi-media juggernaut: She has a new book , is back starring in blockbusters , and she is a frequent guest star on the TV show Glee . Last night on another Glee appearance , she obliquely addressed her online adversaries:

I get it. We live in a culture of insults. I mean we’re constantly bombarded with these images of people who are richer than us and happier than us, and have more interesting sex than us, and it makes us feel terrible. You know, we tear them down to feel better about ourselves.

She’s still that same entitled lass she was just three years ago, and yet, I am curiously immune to irritation at this latest sentiment! Perhaps it’s celebrity Stockholm Syndrome: She’s so ubiquitous I can’t get away from her, and I’ve started making my peace with her (this can also happen with questionable fashion trends ). I even somewhat admired her willingness to dish about her draconian workout methods in a recent interview with Self (“I do 45 minutes of cardio five days a week, because I like to eat. I also try for 45 minutes of muscular structure work, which is toning, realigning and lengthening. If I’m prepping for something or I’ve been eating a lot of pie, I do two hours a day, six days a week for two weeks.”) Perhaps with some Clockwork Orange -style continuous loop viewing of the movie Sliding Doors , I will be shelling out for luxury Hong Kong hotels just so I can emulate the great Goop herself.