Gwyneth Paltrow Accidentally Relates to- and Still Manages to Alienate- Plebeian Mommy Blogosphere
One of the things we all know about Gwyneth Paltrow is that she kind of epitomizes the bubble of privilege, frequently invoking the ire of pretty much everyone else on the planet when she pulls her “I’m a mom just like you!” schtick or just basically being born on third base and acting like she hit a triple.
Paltrow has attempted to fashion herself as a bit of a hipper Martha Stewart, offering up lifestyle tips on her website GOOP and advocating foods, practices and products that are- for most families- a bit out of reach. But she always comes back around to her version of “I’m totally accessible Gwynnie!” which usually just manages to piss everyone off.
Interestingly, it seems that Paltrow has finally managed to relate to some average moms- while alienating a fair few others- speaking in a Bazaar interview on the topic of the expectations of motherhood, feminism, and the general conundrum of balance faced by many women with children nowadays. As a single mom with no choice but to work, though, I can see that even while speaking to some moms, her comments still smack a bit as being made by someone who has never had make hard choices other than Per Se or Nobu. What Paltrow said was in the context of advising a friend, and she commented:
“…I said this may not be feminist, but you have to compromise. It’s been all about you and you’re a big deal. And if you want what you’re saying you want—a family—you have to be a wife, and that is part of the equation. Gloria Steinem may string me up by my toes, but all I can do is my best, and I can do only what works for me and my family.”
Ah yes, Gloria Steinem. I remember that time she knocked on my door and gave me a stern talking to about casual use of the term “bitches and hoes.” So embarrassing, but I’m glad she is the All-Seeing Feminism Police to enforce these things. Anyway, Paltrow may have touched a nerve there with some, though others felt that it acknowledge some of what women have to think about every day, as well as the feeling that you are either being a good mom and housewife or a good feminist, but not both. Yet- in the demographic I already identified about- this part stings a little:
“I have little kids in school. I want to maintain my marriage and my family, so I have to be here when [husband and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin] comes home.”
Eep. I can only speak for myself and not all mommy bloggers- which I am only by merit of the facts people have exited my body and I blog by trade- that whether Gwyneth realizes it, that statement is loaded with judgment, double standard, sexism and yes, privilege. Especially in America- a place she’s said before she’s not too hot on- the single-income family is all but dead- and while you might identify with that statement in your heart or gasp love your career, being unable to live it (or worse, suffering the circumstance of a marriage that fell apart under strain or a child who needed you when you were in a mandatory meeting) makes you feel inadequate enough without someone with boatloads of money, a nanny and a Pilates trainer who lives at their house driving the knife a bit deeper.