The non-guru…and WOMAN!

Sorry if I sound a bit cheeky, but news of Gwyneth Paltrow proclaiming that she is “close to the common woman” is making its rounds.  I caught a bit of it on CNN’s website.

You can read the article/view the video clip here:

Interestingly, CNNMoney filed this story under its “Luxury” news items.  Clearly, this wasn’t a “Celebrities who are like you!” piece.

The cheapest thing I saw sold on Goop’s (Gwyneth’s) website, was a $12 lip-conditioner. The “Goop’s picks” of the day featured $395 track-shorts, a $990 cross-body bag and a $2,260 diamond ear-jacket.  Right now, all yours truly can afford for my ears are Q-tips.  But, I’m sure they’re thanking me!!!  I can get a whole bunch of them for less than $4.  I couldn’t possibly splurge on one ear-jacket for $2,260!  That’s almost 3 months of rent!

I don’t usually do mud-slinging, and I’m not about to start now.  But, Gwyneth pleeeeeease!  RECOGNISE YOUR PRIVILEGE!

To be fair to Gwyneth, she doesn’t postulate that Goop’s philosophy is “I can have it all, and so can you.”  Judging from the prices, YOU BETTER HAVE IT ALL, before you shop there.  In her own words:

What we try to do at Goop is curate and to edit. We know that a woman’s time is her most precious resource and we want to multitask, get a lot done, and what we want to do is provide the best solutions.

I’m incredibly close to the common woman in that I’m a woman and I’m a mother and we all are in a physical body with beating hearts with compassion and love we are all seekers… we all want fulfillment, we all want to live our best lives. We want to be healthy and happy and squeeze the most we can out of life. I think that’s all women.

Hmmm…I was tempted to do a Woman is the Nigger of the World piece, based upon John Lennon’s and Yoko Ono’s observations.  However, I don’t think that the majority of this pertains to Gwyneth Paltrow, unless we’re discussing the roles that she can play in male-dominated Hollywood.

She’s never been poor.  She benefits from a mostly white, patriarchal system, which privileges thinness, white skin and white features, wealth and pseudo-aging.  The latter is the term that I’ve coined for the aging process, seemingly in-reverse.  (Where you get older but you consistently look younger)  This is considerably easier to accomplish, if you don’t actually have to work for a living, can afford plastic surgery and botox.  In other words, you can take a break from your Oscar-winning acting career, to focus on building your brand selling luxury goods.

In my article Dumbination not Domination: Why ‘the secret’ is just stupid, I noted that the American self-improvement industry is valued at close to $11 billion.  John LaRosa, the President of Marketdata Enterprises, released this report in November 2013: 70% of self-improvement consumers are affluent women, living on the East and West coasts of the United States.  There are very few barriers to entry, permitting the activities of numerous entrepreneurs and small firms.  The industry is guru driven.

Gwyneth denies that she is a guru.  She states:

I see myself as an actor and a mother and as an entrepreneur.  I don’t see myself as a guru at all, I think that I’m building a lifestyle business. I’m not a guru because I feel like I’m the one asking the questions, you know? I’m not purporting to know anything. I’m just asking this doctor or that nutritionist or this expert, ‘Hey, what is your take on this?’

Fair enough, but Gwyneth is selling a lifestyle as she mentions:  The idea that you can live your best life, have fulfilling relationships, be healthy, happy and afford astronomically priced goods and services.  Like Rhonda Byrne before her, Gwyneth has recognised that there is a mass of people craving this message.  A giant bloc of consumers who have lots of money and are willing to spend it.  Why not cash in?

Who am I?

I don’t have the privilege of being blind to my own privilege:  I am a woman-of-colour.  An immigrant.  An English-speaker within a dominant, French environment.  A single woman who supports herself financially.  I really can’t afford to be stupid.  Plus, it would be an unatonable disservice to my parents, who paid over CDN $50,000 for my education.

I have a blog and I share information.  I am no guru.  I present my thoughts after research and careful consideration.  I would like to help people.

I would like to inspire people to have hope, and motivate them to be better people.  I am no Communist, but I do believe this capitalist system is appallingly unhealthy, for human beings and our planet.  We need to have more dialogues around the activities that we undertake.  We need to have a greater consciousness beyond buying $200 keychains or $50 vagina steams.  Take it from me–washing your vagina and then going commando, is actually sufficient for its health.  If you must wear underwear, then boxer-shorts and loose-fitting cotton briefs are your best bets.

We must pay more attention to our thoughts, our inner dialogues and our interactions with other life-forms.

I am nobody special, but I am significant as Carlos Santana would put it.  My life began as all human lives began.  It will end as all human lives end.  In between, I’d like for as many of us to be as happy as possible. We are all significant.

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Photo Credits:

  • Gwyneth Paltrow autograph, Sofianeomari, Flickr
  • Myself as a baby (Date unknown)
  • Myself, my mother and my brother (Date unknown)
  • Myself in Kyoto, Japan (May 11, 2019)

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