No, I don’t think you’re a terrible person.
And no, I do not begrudge you your wealth. It’s yours. You earned it.
I have to believe that deep down in that gluten and dairy free, Pilates toned shell of yours, you really, genuinely mean well.
I actually think that privately, you’re probably quite puzzled as to the backlash you seem to constantly be the recipient of. It seems that every time you open your mouth about motherhood, identifying with the common woman or offer commentary about the SNAP benefit programs, you are pummeled in the press and on social media.
Time and time again, you try your best to appeal to the masses, the middle and lower classes to be more precise, and show them how much you truly care about their plight and “understand” them.
You try to bring awareness to one issue or another, but why doesn’t it ever seem to work out how you want it to?
Here is my middle class take on the whole thing:
I’m actually going to talk about Angelina Jolie for a moment.
Angelina Jolie was an edgy, offbeat (putting it mildly) actress at the turn of the last century. She carried a vile of her husband’s blood around her neck, discussed her penchant for playing with knives and famously wore all black to accept her oscar. This is who she was.
But now look at her.
Angelina has redefined herself as the consummate wife and mother, a UN Ambassador and a true philanthropist. And it has worked. People associate this ideology with her and her overall image.
They take her seriously, both artistically and as a humanitarian.
And she is worth more than you are, so says the great wide interwebs! So what gives, really? She is wealthier than you, but how come her efforts are treated with admiration and respect while yours are not?
Can’t people see that you, too, are only trying to help?
I think your problem, dear, is that you’re sending a bit of a mixed message. You have branded yourself as a high-end lifestyle guru with your site, GOOP, that, for example, sells $1200 Stella McCartney sleeveless shirts.
Then you tell me that you couldn’t “live” off of $29 a day in food for just one week, and caved after only 4 days. And then you rewarded yourself with licorice.
Who rewards themselves with licorice, anyway? In what fantasy land is licorice, and not a greasy bacon cheeseburger, a reward??
Or is that fancy speak for Twizzlers?
Here is my advice, Gwyneth. Ready?
It’s time for you to consciously uncouple.
With your image.
I’m not saying that you should quit GOOP. You should probably keep your day job, actually. It seems to be working out rather nicely for you.
But when you want to engage in charitable enterprise, to bring attention to an issue dear to your heart, I think you just need to close your mouth. And just do it.
Show up at the food banks and dump soup into the bowls of the homeless and shake hands with the man who hasn’t had a bath and a change of clothes in who knows how long.
Get your hands dirty. Roll up your sleeves (though, you’re probably wearing that $1200 top from Stella McCartney and don’t need to ACTUALLY roll up your sleeves) and work. You don’t need to “identify” with someone in order to help them. You simply need to be willing to help.
You know what irks me most about social media? Posting “activists.” People who use their Facebook page to “bring attention” to issues and politics dear to their heart.
Except the only place they ever seem to be doing “good” is on their Facebook page. They aren’t the ones that you’ll see picking up trash from the side of the road, volunteering at their local homeless shelter, walking door to door to illicit signatures for a petition or writing their congress representative.
They are social media activists who pay us lip service in 140 characters or less. And lip service will only get you so far.
Perhaps you really are engaged in charitable activity all your own and it just isn’t publicized. If that is the case, I give you a hearty kudos.
Unfortunately for you, as a celebrity who is enormously wealthy, you will probably have to work twice as hard to be taken half as seriously as a philanthropist. You’ll get flak no matter what you do.
But you’re definitely going to get flak if you keep drawing comparisons between your living life on a movie set while being paid millions of dollars to do so, and the average mom who works 40-50 hours a week and still has to be home to get dinner on the table and the kids to baseball practice.
You can’t say you understand, but then look untouchable.
People believe Angelina Jolie and believe IN Angelina Jolie because there are pictures of her with orphans sitting on her lap in a desolate looking third world country. There are pictures of her consorting with masses of people and looking on intently and seriously and listening to what they have to say.
She talks about it and she walks the talk. Say what you will about her, personally, I didn’t care for her movie “Salt,” but you can’t say that she isn’t trying. Honestly trying.
So log off of your Twitter account. Don’t write about it on Goop. Just do something.
Get out there. Get dirty. Touch people. Hug people. Serve people.
The Common Woman