Gwyneth Paltrow on wellness, celebrity menopause criticism, and the famous vagina candle: ‘My instincts were right’ | Ents & Arts News

Mar 13, 2024 | Uncategorized


Gwyneth Paltrow has told Sky News she feels a sense of “satisfaction” in knowing her “instincts were right” regarding her move to becoming a pioneer of wellness, before it became the trillion-dollar industry it is today.

The Hollywood A-lister and Oscar winner, who has largely left acting behind after setting up her lifestyle business Goop, has faced some criticism and raised eyebrows about some aspects of the brand, including jade “yoni” vaginal eggs and guides to everything from detoxing to yawning.

However, since she launched in 2008, the wellness industry has become big business.

Gwyneth Paltrow
Image:
Paltrow launched Goop in 2008. Pic: Reuters

Speaking to Sky News’ The UK Tonight in a UK exclusive interview, when asked how she feels looking back at some of the criticism she has received, Paltrow said: “I think it’s actually funny at this point, you know, when I look back and I think about how mean people were about a number of things.

“We always just talked about things early. I think there is maybe a satisfaction, to know that, not to be glib, but just to know that I was on to something, my instincts were right. And I think it’s reaffirming, for myself, and going forward… if I really believe in something and I think it’s interesting and I think people might want to know about it, I’m happy to share about it.”

‘You can sit in a meeting, but get the benefits from meditation’

Paltrow, 51, is now launching a new mindfulness app, Moments Of Space, which aims to teach an “eyes-open” approach to meditating. “I like to say it’s for people who think they’re too busy to meditate, or their minds are too active to meditate,” she said.

“What you essentially do, you’re kind of led through a guided meditation where you start to explore with a very softened gaze, the space – the negative space around you, the positive space around you, and you’re able to sit in a meeting and listen, but kind of get the benefits from meditation.”

Another health issue Paltrow has spoken out about is the menopause, with other celebrities such as Davina McCall in the UK and Naomi Watts in the US trying to encourage people to be more open about it.

Davina McCall at the Yesterday premiere in 2019
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Davina McCall is campaigning to educate people more about menopause. Pic: Reuters

However, in a paper on the subject published earlier this month experts, including from the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, and King’s College London, said the stage of life is not a disease and is being “over-medicalised”.

Commenting on the paper, Rachel Weiss, founder of the Menopause Cafe charity, said the pendulum had swung from “‘put up and shut up’ about menopause to sensationalising”, and that there was a danger of hearing too much about “celebrity horror stories”.

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‘I have a spicy sense of humour’: Paltrow on viral vagina candle

Paltrow told Sky News: “I think that’s, quite frankly, really reductive and disrespectful. I think menopause has always been a very difficult thing to pass through… for me, that’s like a relic of the patriarchy, you know, trying to silence women and that therefore keeps them out of their power.

“But if we all come together and say, this is happening, let’s share information, this is nothing to be ashamed of, that’s where you see progress.”

Gwyneth Paltrow gives her acceptance speech after winning the Oscar for Best Actress at the 71st Academy Awards March 21. Paltrow won for her role in "Shakespeare in Love," which won for Best Picture. **DIGITAL IMAGE**
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Paltrow won the best actress Oscar for her performance in Shakespeare In Love in 1999. Pic: Reuters

‘I thought, this is crazy. I’m not dumb’

Speaking about making the leap from actress to businesswoman, Paltrow said the one thing she would want other women to take from her experiences would be “not being afraid to ask questions”.

She continued: “When I was starting, I was so aware of everything I didn’t know and it made me feel self-conscious and insecure. I wish I had asked questions with more frequency earlier. There was a period of time, when I started learning about e-commerce and operating an e-commerce business, I would have to Google under the table certain acronyms and stuff.

“One day I just thought, like, this is crazy. I’m not dumb, I just don’t know yet. I just haven’t learned. So I gave myself permission to really ask questions. And there’s a vulnerability in that. But I think asking questions is the fastest way to learn and succeed.”

Paltrow also commented on one of Goop’s most famous former products – the This Smells Like My Vagina candle – saying: “I have a very spicy sense of humour, which those who know me well know.

“That candle was really about me being tired of women having shame around their bodies and the sort of very misogynistic framework that a lot of culture operates in. And so we just thought it would be kind of punk rock and funny, having no idea it would become the viral candle that it did.”

When it comes to social media, Paltrow admitted she can find navigating it “difficult” and that some platforms can be “incredibly anxiety-provoking”.

However, she recognises it’s importance for connecting with people – and when she does post, she says she isn’t afraid to speak her mind.

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“I can’t fake it,” she said. “If I’m going to go on there, I’m going to be myself and I’m going to be honest. That’s me, for better or worse. I think I’m a very authentic person, one way or the other. So, you know, that’s my style.”

Finally, with roles for women in Hollywood becoming more varied and more considered in recent years, Paltrow commented on a potential return to the big screen.

“You know, I’m about to embark on a different phase of life, my son is going to university in the Fall, so, you know, things can shift and change. With my job as CEO at Goop, it takes up all of my time. But who knows? I’m not actively pursuing it. I am very busy with my day job, but I’ve learned enough not to say never.”

Watch our full interview with Gwyneth Paltrow on The UK Tonight on Sky News at 8pm



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