Thursday, January 13, 2011


Gwyneth Paltrow Enlists Rich Overachievers to Share Tips On Being the Best

Today's GOOP newsletter is an answer to someone's prayer, which is the field that Gwyneth Paltrow is in. A woman wrote in to Paltrow asking her if she could please explain once and for all how to balance being a mom and working and having a life. Paltrow recruited two ladies she knows—very dear friend Stella McCartney and venture capitalist Juliet de Baubigny—plus herself, with whom she is an acquaintance, to talk about how very, very rich women with jobs and children manage their time, because I suppose what GOOP is, in the end, is a dreamcatcher belonging to someone else, a colorful web hung high upon a hook just out of reach, which ensnares all our wishes to be rich and perfect in someone else's fine sticky (actually string) threads, then displays it for us to look at and admire, but never touch, though we might yet try, and try again. "Do these crazy things that these crazy ladies do and ye shall inherit not the earth but maybe cash. Ye shall be on the board of a very important charity, because of that cash," etc.

Juliet de Baubigny, who is a partner at a venture capitalist firm in California, starts her day around 5:30 because this is the only way she can get "me time." Her "me time" flips the definition of "me" on its head in a depressing yet insidiously familiar way: it involves checking her e-mail on a portable device, then going to the gym, where she reads some feeds—"Facebook, Twitter and categories that are important to me: business, technology, style, design, fashion"—on a slightly larger device that she says she could not live without. She wants you to know that she wouldn't be able to get to the gym during the week unless she had her trainer show up at her door on Monday mornings. Don't you have...? No? Moving on to the category of hair.

A great time saver is to have a weekly blow out.

Which is completely free if you have acquired a lot of money, whereupon things that cost a little money start to seem like they cost nothing.

In the category of work:

I have the benefit of an amazing assistant, without whom I could not make it happen.

See above. Also, what is the woman who wrote in to ask the question about work-life balance doing right now, I am beginning to wonder? Is she still alive?

In the category of friendship, de Baubigny says:

I try to organize a girls’ night once a quarter.

"Ladies, how is week one of Q2 looking for you? Let's be prepared to discuss our previous quarter's emotional earnings and how we can do better for each other in Q2, specifically how can we give each other better tips on work-life balance."

Stella McCartney, who is about to have her fourth child, gives a fairly reasonable response, actually, and Gwnyeth's, while composed in a crazily long paragraph with no breaks and few periods, is also rather normal-sounding, honest, and not full of bragging followed by attempts at modesty. Reader Sarah Koenig suggested we compile an F/M/K for this particular GOOP, and I think, based on the above, we have our answer, though the first one has the potential to be, yes, satisfyingly slapdash, but no fun:

Fuck Gwyneth Paltrow
Marry Stella McCartney
Kill Juliet de Baubigny

See you gals in Q2!

21 Comments / Post A Comment


Also, on the subject of makeup: Be sure to get a tutorial from someone named "Wallet."

Liz Colville

I KNOWWWW oh god this was the best. the best.


I mean, really. Doesn't the evocation of so much tanned hide that you stick in your back pocket just scream, "I feel pretty"?

Bonnie Downing

Fuck Gwyneth Palrtrow? Or Fuck Gwyneth Paltrow? Because really those three words together are the only phrase that can truly express my complicated feelings for her.

I read a review of Country Strong somewhere this week that called her something like, "the opposite of America's sweetheart." Related: I want to see that movie. In earnest.


Wallet Lubrich! She sounds well-bred.

It's almost as good as the guy GOOP features when Gwyneth raves about all her fasts and cleanses: Dr. Junger. I like to pretend it's a Spanish J.


Hahahaha! "Dr. Hunger" is just perfect.


Oh thank goodness, have been waiting with baited breath for this one! "Plus herself, with whom she is an acquaintance." Just wonderful.


God I love this website.

Bonnie Downing

"I just pop the old cabeza in to see if there are any deadlines or fires that need putting out. "

Casual! Busy! Spanish!


"...I suppose what GOOP is, in the end, is a dreamcatcher belonging to someone else, a colorful web hung high upon a hook just out of reach, which ensnares all our wishes to be rich and perfect in someone else's fine sticky (actually string) threads, then displays it for us to look at and admire, but never touch, though we might yet try, and try again."

Perfect. Just absolutely fucking perfect.


Pass me a slice of oatmeal. I'm in.

Captain DuClark

"This way breakfast takes a few minutes to make and I have the time to talk to my children about their day . . . . This fall, my children started at the same school, which is such a time saver for me. . . . After the children are in bed, I print out the family calendar for the week. It has all the activities and schedule, and I put it in on the board in the kitchen so that everyone knows who is where and where they are supposed to be!" -Juliet de Baubigny

It's good that she has the VC money coming in because I foresee quite a few stints in rehab for her kids. It's actually pretty depressing.

Liz Colville

Julieeeetttt. The others are just wonderful sweet angels in comparison. I mean, and this goes without saying, respekt to this woman's level of professional success, BUT LOOK AT WHAT IT'S DONE.


Juliet scared me far beyond appropriate for a character contained in an e-newsletter.


Julieeeetttt is (sadly) not an anomaly among corporate overachievers. I know VPs in my company that have 3 nannies because they travel 5 days a week.


That woulda been helpful for me as a kid, actually. Instead of having to think up a lie on the spot to explain where I was when I was really smoking pot in the alley behind school and stick to it days later, I could just look on the calendar. "What do you mean, our neighbour saw me huffing glue outside the gym? Couldn't have been me! It says right here that from 3:35-5:15 I was at piano practice."


Julieeeett is not only on a first name basis with him, but to her, he's "Bobby" Shriver.

eleanore w

I love the "amazing assistant" one. I want one of those. In fact, shouldn't every woman have one of those!?



I actually subscribe to her weekly GOOP email thing (I know, I know). I still can't figure out if I love her or hate her, but the whole thing is so compelling.


Gwyneth's "random" "manic" day sounded contrived yet one dimensional. That takes talent, right?

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