Actress, singer, philosopher, writer, editor, comedienne, lifestyle guru, incessant tweeter and blogger, wife and mother. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to the most irritating woman on the planet: Gwyneth Paltrow. Paltrow, for most of us, is a bit like porridge - inoffensive, wonderfully wholesome, but slightly bland. At least she was for me. Then I came across Goop - her personal lifestyle website that posts advice on fashion, recipes and where to shop, and promises to "nourish the inner aspect".
I decide to live a day according to Goop, to take advice from a lady who is clearly not particularly talented at naming things (her children are called Apple and Moses) - perhaps to learn something new, or if nothing else to see what all the fuss is about. She starts by "seizing the day" at 5.30am. I go for 6. I then "begin a process of both realising and connecting to my true essence by focusing, meditating and becoming more conscious of my thoughts, behaviours and true potential". Which is going as well as can be expected until I am distracted by a bleating goat outside my window. I don't think Gwynnie has ever tried meditating on Karama Street. I lose patience and move onto another daily priority - exercise - which, she tells us, makes her "a really happy person", and who can argue with that?
Afterwards I jump in the shower. Her time-saving tip (she is full of these pearls) is to do your post-workout stretch in the shower while the "conditioner is doing its magic". I give this a shot despite the utter absurdity (I really do) but decide to stop before a softening of the brain occurs.
After skipping my recommended morning snack (I can't seem to find coconut water in Spinney's) I make my way across town for a doctor's appointment. On my way back my car breaks down in the middle of a six-lane highway. I can do nothing but stand by the side of the road watching and waiting for someone to plough into my abandoned Yaris and then have me arrested. What would Gwynnie do? I lookat my notes: "Imagine the self as a huge steamship, fully loaded, set on reaching a destination". Not really that practical. I turn to one of Paltrow's many guru friends on Goop for some help: "Our soul has this massive thirst, and we are trying to quench it with a teaspoon," offers one. Thus, for me, comes a crashing end to the charm of Goop as I ring the garage for a tow truck.
You see, this is the problem with bloggers: opinion no longer generates discussion or debate, just more opinion. It's viral and delivered with such punditry, assertion and offensive satisfaction with oneself and all with the unquestionable assumption that anyone else gives a hoot. And it's not much help when your car breaks down.
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