Gwyneth Paltrow is continuing her moral superiority internet tour by sending out her latest GOOP newsletter. I have a feeling that despite Gwynnie’s “F*ck the haters” attitude towards the public’s reaction to her site, she really must care after all. Because it’s clear her feelings have been hurt. And while she tries to wrap up her tears in a blanket of supremacy in the form of so-called “experts,” it’s blatantly clear that Gwyneth essentially sent out an email to thousands of people that was simply meant to reassure her wounded ego. Maybe next time she should just forward it to herself.
Back in the day, I had a “frenemy” who, as it turned out, was pretty hell-bent on taking me down. This person really did what they could to hurt me. I was deeply upset, I was angry, I was all of those things you feel when you find out that someone you thought you liked was venomous and dangerous. I restrained myself from fighting back. I tried to take the high road. But one day I heard that something unfortunate and humiliating had happened to this person. And my reaction was deep relief and…happiness. There went the high road. So, why does it feel so good to hear something bad about someone you don’t like? Or someone you DO like? Or someone you don’t KNOW? I once asked the editor of a tabloid newspaper why all of the stories about a famous British couple had a negative bent. He said that when the headline was positive, the paper didn’t sell. Why is that? What’s wrong with us? I asked the sages to shed a little light.
Here’s to washing our mouths out with soap…
The best part is that instead of just sticking in the massive 2,145 word tisk-tisk lecture from her experts – which chides us for our “evil” thoughts, negative energy, and mean-spiritedness for ever having the audacity to gossip (presumably about Gwyneth) – she starts off by including a question supposedly submitted by one of GOOP’s readers. We’re meant to believe that this question is the basis for the two thousand word diatribe, and not Gwyneth’s wounded soul. Presumably she has one that can be wounded.
I’m curious about the spiritual concept of “evil tongue” (speaking evil of others) and its pervasiveness in our culture. Why do people become energized when they say or read something negative about someone else? What does it say about where that person is? What are the consequences of perpetuating negativity or feeling schadenfreude?
How convenient that someone just happened to write to Gwyneth – in such familiar, superior tone – and ask about what kind of terrible people we all must be if we gossip about her? I’m sure there’s absolutely no chance she wrote that herself.
Listen honey, it’s simple. If you want people to like you, or at least write nice things about you, climb off your high horse. Otherwise, yes, people are going to delight when you fall off it. Stop telling everyone else how to live their lives, stop making it clear you think you’re better than us (or at least explain to us why you think that – I’m still puzzling over where it comes from), and try to be a grateful, humble, nice person. And if you can’t be those things, at least be quiet.
Here’s Miss Goop arriving at Claridges Hotel in London on March 13th. I wanted to caption the header photo “Bow to me peasants!” Images thanks to BauerGriffinOnline.