Hindu Scholar: Gwyneth Paltrow is immature; Goop is superficial, not spiritual

Gwyneth Paltrow
The tagline for Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop website and weekly newsletter instructing us on everything from overpriced places to stay in London to overpriced fashion is “nurish the inner aspect.” Gwyneth sometimes includes quotes from spiritual “leaders” on ways that we can become more enlightened by doing things like not gossiping about her and reading books to our children. According an American Hindu scholar, Gwyneth’s Goopy words of quoted wisdom don’t mean much considering all the promotion of consumerism she does on her website:

Hindu scholars have poked fun at GWYNETH PALTROW for using religious terminology to promote her “mundane” weekly Goop blog.

U.S. Hindu leader Rajan Zed suggests the movie star should take the trouble to learn more about the ancient religion before using taglines like “nourish the inner aspect” on her website.

Zed fears Paltrow is leading impressionable minds astray by suggesting her weekly musings are deep and philosophical – and then just writing about material, “external” matters.

He says, “There are not many deep, spiritual and philosophical thoughts in the blog, which are an essential part of nourishing the inner self.

“The actress needs to grow-up and stop writing about mundane topics like ‘Boots by Gucci’, ‘Banana Pancakes’, ‘The Hungry Cat’ and ‘Tweezerman’ – in which she talks about taming the unruly eyebrows of men. Instead, she needs to talk about topics like realising self, immortality, deeper reality, eternity, soul, inner realms of the mind and spirit, pure consciousness. That’s if she’s truly serious about inner aspect.”

[From Contact Music via Fark]

I googled this guy Rajan Zed and he has a Wikipedia entry and if he’s being quoted correctly at least he’s a legitimate person. Wiki notes that he’s criticized the film Angels & Demons for misrepresenting the Catholic Church so I would bet that he’s one of those “scholars” that makes a name for himself by badmouthing people. I hate to defend Gwyneth, but to say she doesn’t have a right to pepper her fashion and lifestyle advice with superficial spiritual guidance is like denying Oprah a right to exist. There are also so many magazines that mix self help with more surface level pursuits. Gwyneth is just an easier target because the brand is all about her, and she’s just so smug and unlikeable.

As Kaiser has pointed out, it’s not about Gwyneth imparting helpful advice, it’s about her blessing us mortals with her superior knowledge. This guy probably knows a thing or two about that, and you would think that real Hindu scholars would make it a point to wish everyone well and not put them down. That said, Gwyneth should probably change Goop’s tagline to something more accurate like “aspire to be like me.”

Gwyneth Paltrow is shown on 4/1/09. Credit: PRPhotos

Gwyneth Paltrow

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47 Responses to “Hindu Scholar: Gwyneth Paltrow is immature; Goop is superficial, not spiritual”

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  1. Livia says:

    I don’t know…a good banana pancake *could* be a spiritual experience, under the right circumstances. It depends on the bananas.

  2. Bina says:

    I guess the guru is saying that Gwyneth needs to do some spiritual evolving before she proclaims herself as an authority on the inner aspect. I find her rather focused on issues related to appearance (of the self and of one’s lifestyle), but maybe that’s all she really wants to comment on, and added that tagline to sound all deep and philosophical. It’s a harmless site all in all, though.

  3. Dirty Martini says:

    He’s right of course. But then again–if he was so deeply spiritual and highly advanced himself on this realm, I dont think he’d even be thinking or commenting on this…..He’d be like “Gwyneth who?”

    So I’ll continue on being my own shallow and pithy self…….thinking poorly of both of them.

  4. j. ferber says:

    A Hindu scholar sounds more like a professor, so his bent would not be to
    “wish everyone well and not put them down.” As an old, mean-spirited professor of mine once said, “Scholarship is a bloody business.” They make names for themselves by fighting with each other for supremacy (I suppose like rap stars having “beefs” with one another). If this guy wants to get his name out there in the general public, he did it by commenting on a Hollywood star. But about Gwyneth, as much as I personally don’t like her myself, she is now over 35 and it seems people are now looking at her flaws with a magnifying glass. Has she always been annoying and people just hadn’t discovered it before, or is the tide turning against her because she’s become just another hated or irrelevant “older” woman in Hollywood?

  5. anastasiabeaverhausen says:

    Well it’s true that it’s awfully silly to say “nourish the inner aspect” then talk about boots and perfumes and the best restaurants.

  6. Feebee says:

    I think we’d worked out she is immature and superficial but it sounds more official coming from a “Hindu scholar” (I’ll disregard his own faults for now).

  7. boomchakaboom says:

    Maybe she should just stop treating spirituality like so much product placement in a woefully lame attempt to add substance to what is actually just a bunch of whipped up egg whites, or GOOP.

  8. Michelle says:

    She’s just an innocuously pretentious and narcissistic twit… Is anyone really dumb or desperate enough to take any of the so-called “advice” from Fishsticks?

  9. Pufft says:

    Cleary this guru was so intrigued with GP’s goop blog that he took the time to read and memorize most of her ‘mundane’ ramblings, all of which, I’ll admit I have not yet had the pleasure of reading.

    You know you’ve made it in Hollywood when a spiritual reader, I mean, leader, takes the time to page through your ‘on-line diary’.

  10. Wresa says:

    Agnostic Graduate: No S#@T, Swami

  11. TaylorB says:

    She really looks like her mom in that first picture.

  12. Aleksa says:

    I worked it out for myself ages ago…

  13. Kathy says:

    GOOP – An indulged, cosseted poor little rich girl’s guide to life as developed by growing up in Hollywood while developing a spirituality based in trends and fantasy. Banana pancakes are the deepest and most sincere part. It’s Gwyneth version of “Let them eat cake!”

  14. Arvedia says:

    I think the tagline is quite appropriate for her. Cooking banana pancakes, visiting expensive hotels and wearing designer clothes make her feel snug and superior, and that´s probably the extent of her spiritual life. She is really just advertising her mental and emotional poverty.

  15. paranel says:


  16. lc says:

    Don’t defend Paltrow – this guy is right, even if you disapprove of him having a wiki page. There is nothing even remotely “nourishing” to the innner aspect about material goods, which is all she writes about.
    She’s just one more narcissistic celebrity that believes her own hype and press. I would sooner take spiritual – or practical – advice from a homeless lunatic than this vapid, entitled twat.

  17. gigantor says:

    Oh please, let the poor girl have her website. It’s not like she’s doing any harm – indeed, laughter is often the best medicine and the Goop website is nothing if not laughable…

  18. j. ferber says:

    Kathy, I like your lines, “The banana pancakes are the deepest and most sincere part. It’s Gwyneth’s version of ‘Let them eat cake!’” According to a history teacher of mine, Marie Antoinette said that in all innocence and ignorance when told by someone that the people had no bread. It wasn’t malice, and I don’t think it is on Gwyneth’s part, either. Both ladies just happened to live in their own little bubble during tough economic times.

  19. mamalama says:

    Is it just me,or does anyone else think her hair looks like crap in this picture?

  20. A. Nonnie Muss says:

    Do you really need a scholar to tell you these things? GP’s point of view is typical of western people who get really into yoga – they think it makes them spiritual to pose on a mat – in India it is merely one component of a much broader idea of what makes a spiritual life. People in the western world want spirituality without any intellectual component whatsoever and without any humility, and in the eastern world that is simply not the idea. It’s not as if this a celebrity plague only, though – anyone who lives in NYC or another large city with lots of yoga-brained dimwits has seen this way of thinking in action.

  21. TT says:

    I don’t understand all the criticism about GOOP, she doesn’t force it down anyone’s throat. I enjoy it and read it every week because I signed up for it. If she wants to send tips and books and recipes to people who ask to receive it whats the problem?

  22. Chin Lee 3 says:

    She has always been smug, condescending and full of hubris. Now that she has “GOOP”, irrelevant can be included in her portfolio.

  23. lb says:

    Rajan Zed is right. Gwynnie, though, is not the only one responsible for twisting our external materialistic desires (the ID) into some kind of spiritual rational. The American Buddhist claims cover with such a spiritual identity yet has all the same bourgeouis assets and social networks.

  24. Jen B says:

    To be fair, the “inner nourishment” is for her recipes and food page. Yes I’ve looked her blog over, and I’ve found her recipes to be the only interesting thing because they’re healthy. Expensive clothes, I can do without, and travel…been there done that, and probably made more of it on less money.

  25. nonsense says:

    i believe the hindu scholar has every right to point out that what gwyneth is doing is superficial and she should not be dropping names (in this case, spiritual terms) to mislead people into thinking that doing whatever she is suggesting will bring some kind of spiritual nourishment.
    i think his main concern was the misunderstanding of the spiritual idea and not of the existance of GOOP at all.

    And as ferber has already mentioned he is a SCHOLAR, which means it is partly also his job to give social commentaries to contemporary affairs, be it of something as low as “GOOP”.

    and @ferber: marie antoinette allegedly said “let them eat cake”. other sources claim it to be a propoganda so i wouldnt trust your history teacher 100% on this one.

  26. sarah says:

    “I don’t know…a good banana pancake *could* be a spiritual experience, under the right circumstances. It depends on the bananas.”

    Livia, your post belongs on a t-shirt or bumper sticker, or written on my kitchen wall. It sounds like something Woody Allen or Christopher Walken would say…hilarious!

  27. Ggirl says:

    Yea, I could nourish my inner aspect if I had her money. As Gwynnie would say, “How sad for you”

  28. Dingles says:

    I pity anyone who buys into the path of Hollywood “spirituality,” which is paved with expensive red string bracelets, yoga mats, self-congratulatory charity balls and Church of Scientology membership cards. Relaxation + feeling smug does not = spirituality, something Gwyneth doesn’t realize. She’s been so far up her own ___ for so long that she probably never will discover what it means to be truly spiritual.

    The most well-known (and widely worshipped) figureheads of religion put an emphasis on rejecting material things. As Jesus said, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to find heaven.

  29. uppity says:

    It took a Hindu scholar to note that this site is ridiculous and shallow?

  30. j. ferber says:

    People are so down on Gwyneth, I’m tempted to defend her as an underdog (though she is certainly not that).

  31. bagladey says:

    Gwyneth Paltrow is boring. Can you give us some Chris Martin news maybe? That may be more entertaining, but I really have no interest in GP and don’t know anyone who does.

  32. cap says:

    Whoever thinks Gwyneth is just being picked on because she’s over 35, I can honestly say I hated her from the get go. She has always posed as a fashionista and great NY socialite which she is not. She is an uneducated, daughter of an unsuccessful Jewish tv producer, 1/2 nutty enviro-crazy hippie actress. She has trashed America on more than one occasion. She is ugly and dull. Why she thinks anyone would follow her advice on GOOP is beyond narcicism. She is delusional.

  33. boo says:

    That being said, do I think Rajan Zed is a tool? Yes I do.

  34. drm says:

    Any advice that has “buy” “get” “spend” or is about the acquisition of material goods is NOT spiritual. Its about lining someone’s pockets. One of the things that strikes me about Gwyneth’s blog is how out of touch she is. We are in a global recession and all she can think about is what to eat, what clothes to wear (featuring pictures of herself), which hotels to stay in etc etc etc.

    And I second the poster who said people’s dislike of her has nothing to do with her age. I’m 43, I’m hardly going to pick on her because she’s 35. Pretention and avarice is nasty no matter what your age and I have yet to read a single positive review anywhere of her blog or her views on life. We are hardly alone in our opinions of her. Wise and spiritual are two words that I would NOT use to describe Ms. Paltrow.

  35. BlueSkies says:

    Forget this, Gwyneth is now dropping another blind item on a past boyfriend who was a drunk and drug addict. Please cover this story. I hope it is in tomorrow’s newsletter.

    I think it is Affleck.

  36. boo says:

    BlueSkies- She has talked about her boyfriends in the past and refered to one as a “complete knuckhead” – or something like that – and it was pretty obvious it was Affleck.

  37. MeowMeow says:

    The more I have read about her, the more I loathe her. She’s such a disingenuous twat.

  38. Codzilla says:

    A. Nonnie Muss: Excellent point. I used to live in San Francisco, and California (as a whole) is absolutely littered with these types. Organic chai tea in an enviro-friendly receptacle in one hand, and the keys to a gas-guzzling Range Rover in the other. Idiots.

  39. Julie says:

    Denying Oprah the right to exist? You say that like it’s a BAD thing.

  40. Jag says:

    She became smug and arrogant to me when she said those disparaging things about the U.S..

    As for the Hindu’s comments, he’s entitled to his opinion, but I don’t have to care. lol

  41. wykkyd says:

    Commentary on the subject here is impressive. Nice to come to a sight full of smart, thoughtful people.

  42. voodoobetty says:


    ROFLMFAO *wipes tear*

    Dammit now i want pancakes.

  43. Brown2010 says:

    The “let them eat cake” quote is actually widely to be a misinterpretation. The word translated as “cake” is actually the same word the french used to describe the crusty dregs of the bread that were cut off from loaves. It wasn’t ignorance or stupidity, she was saying if they can’t afford food, they should eat the scraps of those that can.

  44. As it is says:

    Sorry but have to say, exercise self-analysis here. I think anyone slagging off Gwyneth shows to me pretentious opinions and confirms to me that critics must believe themselves to be superior in that ‘oh how dare she try to be clever and spiritual’ way (in other words – ‘not as clever as me’ I bet). Oh self-righteous ones, stop crossing your legs so tensely in disgust as you type your protestations into the keyboard.
    Jealousy perhaps?
    Keep going Gwyneth. More people look at your website than other never-heard-ofs.

  45. lisa says:

    I hate it when celebs spew their beliefs like they are the pillars of well being. Her site is a joke and just too “out there” for me. Besides, not everyone can nourish themselves with Gucci.

  46. ZenToeNail says:

    Gosh. What a lot of stuff comes out over nothing!

  47. crazy daisy says:

    wow – calling out jewish dad piece is going a little too far imho. who cares if gp’s dad is jewish? for that matter, why care about gwyneth paltrow in the first place? if she want’s to make goop, let her. you don’t have to read it. why does she bother you so much – you don’t know her and she doesn’t know you (maybe that’s the problem?)?! why not try hating something you can work to change – for instance inner city poverty, or world famine, or whale-killing… you’re wasting good hate here, people.