幸运飞艇分析软件自动Conventional wisdom states that no one walks in Los Angeles. But if you see a lone willowy blonde strolling around the West Side, take a closer look. It might just be Gwyneth Paltrow. “Walking is my new thing,” Paltrow says. “My best mom friend out here is a real walker. She was living in Hong Kong with her banker husband, and I was in London with my musician husband, and we moved to L.A. after having been expats for a long time. She started taking me on walks.”
Not like picturesque strolls on the beach, but rambling hikes home from dinner, or ambles as breaks from the workday. It’s simple enough to sound like something people would parody about Paltrow: a woman who is trying to get somewhere even when she’s just relaxing.
Gwyneth Paltrow is someone people make fun of: She’s too out-there, too privileged, a modern Marie-Antoinette. But look closer and what you’ll find is a pioneer. Paltrow has spent more than a decade building one of the wellness industry’s most recognizable brands and driving home the idea to her millions of admirers (and, yes, a few trolls) that wellness is the new wealth—in her case, literally. In 2019 the wellness industry was worth $4.5 trillion globally, and Paltrow is poised to earn her fair share in 2020.
Just as Martha Stewart did when she launched an empire based on entertaining, Paltrow—who has been on the receiving end of Stewart’s ire—has inspired an army of lifestyle brand copycats, from Kate Hudson to Elle Macpherson and Julianne Hough. She has also earned the grudging respect of her industry. No less a critical authority than the New Yorker recently called The Goop Lab, Paltrow’s Netflix series, “great TV and genuinely educational.” At a time when health-related anxiety is so prevalent, is it the star of Contagion who might ultimately keep us calm?
People may say Paltrow, who has been accused of spreading misinformation, is out of touch, but, if anything, she’s in on the joke. “You just have to decide to be the weirdo walking,” she says with a kind of self-assurance that makes it seem as if plain old walking could be the one thing she’s doing differently from the rest of us.
She has to be doing something: Paltrow has a kind of golden glow, even with no makeup on and wearing an old Celine sweater and baggy jeans, sitting at a conference table in the Santa Monica offices of Goop, her lifestyle empire. Maybe it’s the nutritious spread of crudités and spicy cashew dip a member of the food team has brought in. Or the new GoopGlow vitamin C and hyaluronic acid serum she raves about. Perhaps I too could achieve everything she has if only I ate this way all the time, or walked that much. Or maybe not.
[This story went to press before the novel coronavirus pandemic shut down most of the global economy. This week, we asked Paltrow about what she's doing during this terrifying time. For the last few weeks, she and the Goop team have been supporting a variety of causes to help those affected by COVID 19. “I find that the best way to metabolize the fear that many of us feel during this time is through generosity," Paltrow told us. "There are numerous people risking their lives to ensure that we’re lucky enough to shelter in place, and they need us. The Frontline Responders Fund is dedicated to protecting those brave souls with necessary PPE gear, ensuring they too can come safely home to their families.” This week, Goop is also donating 25% of profits from their GOOPGLOW 20% Vitamin C & Hyaluronic Acid Glow Serum to the Frontline Responder’s Fund, as well as 25% of the profits of the G. Label outfit Paltrow wears in this story. You can find them all . For more ways the Goop team is helping, head over to their site .]
None of us is Gwyneth Paltrow, who became a household name as an actress in the 1990s, dated a slew of handsome and famous men (and married two of them), won an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Golden Globe, and is today more famous than ever as a wellness tycoon. “I’m sort of semiretired a bit from acting,” she told Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet at the Golden Globes last January, “because I have a company”—even though she’ll appear in the second season of The Politician, premiering this summer.
Goop launched in 2008 as a newsletter—early issues included suggestions about what to hoard from French pharmacies and a dispatch from dinner with José Andrés—and has since grown to comprise the Netflix series (which Fast Company called “the future of media” and seems poised for a second season), a podcast, a franchise of wellness summits, a book imprint, retail stores and popups in several countries, countless products (from vitamins to bath soaks), and an 11-day cruise around the Mediterranean, planned for this summer, during which guests will eat food partially curated by Goop and participate in workshops in the categories Body, Mind, and Soul. Paltrow herself will host intimate fireside chats.
Goop has $82 million in funding, more than 250 employees, and a C-suite full of working mothers.
“Gwyneth could have a much simpler life not being a CEO. She is an unbelievable actress with a great career who could coast along,” says Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix, who worked with Paltrow on The Goop Lab. “But she really runs that company day-to-day. Often, when you work with a celebrity of her caliber, you sort of tiptoe around how to present to her, but Gwyneth isn’t precious about herself or the brand. She comes to play.”
幸运飞艇分析软件自动For this, Paltrow has become the object of many people’s complex emotions: jealousy, admiration, disdain, awe. As her friend and sometimes collaborator Gucci Westman, the makeup artist, puts it, “In the way that there’s only one Coco Chanel, there’s only one Gwyneth.”
If Paltrow seems to have used movie stardom—the ultimate prize for most actresses—as a stepping stone on the way to her true calling as captain of industry, it could be because she was trained for it. The daughter of the late director Bruce Paltrow and actress Blythe Danner, she was raised in L.A., where she went to the haute-bohemian private school Crossroads, and then in Manhattan, where she lived at East 92nd Street and Fifth Avenue and attended the girls school Spence from seventh grade on.
幸运飞艇分析软件自动It was a gilded life, but also a pretty normal one. When she was 12, Paltrow got a job at a toy store on Madison Avenue. “I got fired because I went on spring break, but I didn’t tell my boss. I just didn’t show up for duty. I thought the world stops when you go on spring break,” she says, laughing. “I was devastated, but it was a good lesson.” She got another gig at a ski shop after that.
Even as a high school student, Paltrow stood out. Maybe being raised by acting royalty gave her a certain ease in the world, or maybe she knew she was destined for something bigger. The writer Jill Kargman also went to Spence, and she got to know Paltrow, who was two years older and playing Titania in the school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
幸运飞艇分析软件自动“She auditioned me to be in Triple Trio, her nine-person singing group. I got in and she took me under her wing—we were both sopranos—and I was always at her house rehearsing,” Kargman says. “I remember going to one of her Christmas parties, and Christopher Reeve and Michael Douglas were there, and I was so in awe and she didn’t give a shit.”
Paltrow wore the Spence uniform with a certain swagger. Everyone wore tights, but hers were thigh-highs, and she took advantage of her height to go to nightclubs like Nell’s or MK while still underage. “What we figured out was that the more upscale places would let you in, but if you were trying to get into the Irish bar on Second Avenue, they wouldn’t,” Paltrow says. “We thought we were so sophisticated, talking about Dostoyevsky and cutting school to go to the Met. Margot Tenenbaum, but maybe with less eyeliner.”
Paltrow’s family wasn’t especially woo-woo. “There wasn’t a lot of wellness in the house,” Paltrow says. “My mother was environmentally conscious. She helped pioneer curbside recycling in Santa Monica, and we were the house that had the Hansen’s natural soda.”
Still, Paltrow was always a bit ahead of the curve. “She would eat french fries and drink champagne,” Kargman recalls, “but when yoga was still a weird thing that superspiritual people were doing, Gwyneth was doing it.”
It was when her father was diagnosed with throat cancer, in 1999, that her journey to wellness really began. “His treatment was so brutal, I was thinking, almost out of desperation, that we had to be able to do something else to help him,” she says. “That’s when I started to research food and nutrition.”
幸运飞艇分析软件自动It was also when she quit smoking Camel Lights—mostly. In a 2013 interview Paltrow copped to smoking one cigarette a week, and today when the subject of smoking comes up, she says, “When my life insurance policy expires in 20 years, I’ll start smoking.” Maybe she’s kidding. Maybe.
Paltrow’s father died in 2002, the same year she appeared in a West End production of Proof; a movie version three years later would be her last major leading role. It was a lot to give up in a short period of time. Her acting career (launched in part by working with Harvey Weinstein, a mogul she would later help topple) had firmly established her as a star, thanks to parts in such movies as The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Emma, and a future as the sort of star who barely needs a last name seemed to be destined. But it was then that Paltrow took an unexpected turn.
In the early 2000s, after her father had died and she had married musician Chris Martin, Goop began. The year 2008 doesn’t sound like such a long time ago, but when the newsletter launched, what she wrote about—mindfulness and green juice and acupuncture—were far from mainstream topics. In the years since, the company has grown to accommodate more of its founder’s interests, as well as her intellectual wanderlust.
Paltrow says she has stayed interested because the project indulges her urge to push the boundaries of a life well lived. “I really believe that being alive is just a process of—if you’re not wasting your fucking life—figuring out how you can impact the world positively. You can choose to engage in your life and participate in it, or you can back out and criticize everybody else in your arena.”
幸运飞艇分析软件自动Not that her practice has exempted Paltrow from life’s troubles. She has gone through the normal things people do, albeit on a much bigger stage: a broken engagement to Brad Pitt; a divorce (or, um, “conscious uncoupling”) from Martin, father of her children Apple and Moses, who are now both in their teens; a second wedding to the producer Brad Falchuk.
There have been professional missteps as she has found her footing as an executive, including a 2012 dust-up with the New York Times over an article that implied that Paltrow had used a ghostwriter for her first cookbook and a 2018 judgment of $145,000 in civil penalties stemming from misinformation about the benefits of jade vaginal eggs Goop was peddling.
Today she feels as though the ship has been righted, recently telling the New York Times幸运飞艇分析软件自动, “In the beginning, when we were selling third party products…we would restate claims that they made on their website that turned out not to have any basis behind them. Those are mistakes that we made early on that we don’t make anymore.”
Goop has hired its own scientists and regulatory team, and her claims seem believable. And those jade eggs? They’re on her wish list to cover in season two of The Goop Lab. Paltrow isn’t a health nut dilettante, trying every wacky thing she hears about; rather, she appreciates that her pursuit of wellness keeps her in a constant state of discovery.
Her current cocktail of practices includes a weekly visit to the Class by Taryn Toomey, dance-cardio classes with Tracy Anderson, CorePower Yoga, rolfing, sweating in her at-home infrared sauna, and meditating a little bit every day. If you bring up an interesting practitioner—like an extremely hard-to-book colonic healer in Venice—she’ll write it down in a bound notebook she keeps by her side.
She understands that people think she’s naive or lacking in self-awareness because she’s a devotee of so many modalities. “You can keep resisting it, but I’m on the right side of this,” she says. “I’m watching the market. I’m watching what’s happening. I think what this wellness movement is really about is listening to yourself, tuning into what interests you, and trying things. Find what makes you feel better and go from there.”
The key to Paltrow’s devotion to wellness is that she doesn’t see it as just one idea you have to swallow and espouse. “What’s silently incendiary is we’re all saying we are more than one thing. Why can’t I get acupuncture and read a scientific paper? I can be intellectual, I can be sexual, I can be maternal, I can be all of these things.”
幸运飞艇分析软件自动Her critics call her a snake oil salesman; her followers laud her as a kind of savior, and as a role model of modern female corporate ambition to boot. Sitting in front of her, dipping my endive into the same cashew dip, I stare at her freckles and tiny crow’s feet and realize the question is not so much whether I believe what she says but do I want what she has and will I do whatever she’s doing to get it?
幸运飞艇分析软件自动“The magic of Goop is that Gwyneth herself is an aspirational brand,” Sarandos tells me later. “She embodies the principles she’s talking about. She’s authentic.” That’s an overused word these days, but he’s specific about her unique allure. “She is not terribly careful with her words, and people respond positively to that. That authenticity distinguishes her from just being a spokesperson—they believe she believes—and sometimes she’s recommending a restaurant and sometimes it’s a product she’s selling.”
This idea of multiple selves is central to understanding Paltrow’s perceived contradictions. She can have the most radically feminist episode of The Goop Lab include an onscreen female orgasm, and she can sell a candle called This Smells Like My Vagina, which is clearly a joke but nonetheless made headlines. (Privately, she’ll do an impression of her mother asking her about the issue.) She can swear that she’ll never act again and then film a role in the second season of The Politician, a Netflix series her husband co-produces. And she can tease that she can’t wait to start smoking again, even while being this paragon of health. There’s a sense that if you take every word that comes out of her mouth too seriously, that’s your problem, not hers.
幸运飞艇分析软件自动“I don’t want to unnecessarily move myself from one box to another one,” Paltrow says. “In this society we like our women in one digestible way that we understand, but if you try to be something else, we don’t like it. People couldn’t for a long time believe that I was running a company, until they heard me say, ‘I’m giving up acting. I’ll never be onscreen again.’”
So she forges on with Goop, digging into the role of philosopher-queen and sharing the knowledge that she is a woman comfortable with where she is and how she got there. She doesn’t care if that makes her a target. “The people who are triggered by me—‘I don’t like her because she is pretty and she has money’—it’s because they haven’t given themselves permission to be exactly who they are,” she says.
Goop is about allowing its fans to “ask whatever question they want, to live their lives exactly the way they want to live them, to be empowered to have difficult conversations and to be direct,” Paltrow says. And that—more than cashew dip or infrared saunas—is why the criticism doesn’t bother her. “It doesn’t mean anything to me, because it’s not about me,” she says with a smile. “It’s about what I represent, and that’s about you.”
In this story: Hair by Adir Abergel for Virtue Labs at SWA Agency. Makeup by Jillian Dempsey for Jillian Dempsey and Goop at SWA Agency. Nails by Ashlie Johnson at The Wall Group. Tailoring by Susie Kourinian. Set design by Julien Borno at The Owl and the Elephant. Production services provided by Viewfinders US.
This story appears in the May 2020 issue of Town & Country.