GOOP

Gwyneth Paltrow, of all unlikely persons, has a new lifestyle blog – GOOP – the name derived from her initials G and P. In the food section (“Make”) she offers practical good-sense recipes suitable for young women like herself at home with small children, recipes even more suitable for young women like herself at home with cooks and nannies and part-time bloggers.

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When GOOP was attacked on the websites of both Tina Brown and Arianna Huffington, the internet’s evil step-sisters, right away Mr. Henry felt compelled to rise to poor Gwyneth’s defense. After all, isn’t she the only American screen actress ever to have delivered a convincing English accent?

As a fellow celebrity Mr. Henry appreciates Gwyneth’s conundrum. How do you spread the simple joy of being you without appearing to gloat or preen?

Is it wrong for an artist to be self referential? Back in the 17th century did not Rembrandt’s rivals accuse him of painting too many self-portraits? Who today would make that argument? (And it should be noted that Rembrandt in black leotard body-suit didn’t cut half the figure Gwyneth cuts doing leg raises for her new workout video, or rather he cut twice the figure Gwyneth cuts…….let’s not belabor the point.)

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Granted, some of her recipes aren’t really recipes, the one for boiling frozen peas, for example. Instructions on how to eat an artichoke may perhaps be unnecessary for “grownies” reading her blog. Moreover, to season a roast chicken do we really need to hunt down ½ teaspoon of Mallorcan hibiscus salt? For reasons left unexplained the only other meat she discusses is turkey, mostly ground for meatballs or sausage.

Nevertheless the site is beautifully designed and the writing is replete with sunny, winning, personal asides. Her noteworthy blunder, however, comes in a discussion of what she calls detox or “Master Cleanse.”

“If your bowel movements get sluggish, you can accelerate things by drinking half a cup of castor oil or using a mild herbal laxative. Bowel elimination is paramount for correct detoxification.”

Whatever the merits of this grandmotherly advice, when earthbound mortals imagine stars nestled in their starry pantheon, thoughts of sluggish bowels have no place in the picture. A certain mystery is lost. For future posts it might be best, darling Gwyneth, to leave poop out of Goop.

One Response to “GOOP”

  1. raincoaster February 26, 2009 at 4:06 am #

    Oh, I completely disagree. Why, whenever I think of Gwyneth Paltrow, it’s the very first thing that springs to mind.