Fashion Film

Why Can’t We Look Away From Gwyneth Paltrow?

Gwyneth Paltrow wears a jacket by Bottega Veneta, swimsuit by Araks, and Quatre Classique necklace and hoops by Boucheron.

On the night of the Oscars, Gwyneth Paltrow was busy getting her roots touched up, so she tuned in to the ceremony on her laptop. When her friend and former Iron Man co-star, Robert Downey Jr., won his first Academy Award, she posted a celebratory video to her Instagram Stories, showing her followers the livestream on her computer and then flipping her iPhone camera around to reveal her signature blonde hair covered in tin foil as she squealed with glee.

Naturally, the Internet was interested in nothing but the rare, split-second glimpse of Paltrow’s screen. Sure enough, all of her Safari bookmarks were visible. They included New York Times Cooking, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and, of course, Goop. But also: Expensify, Looker Studio, which is a Google data visualization tool, and RTR Diligent, a software that governing boards use to communicate. “LinkedIn and Expensify sending me,” tweeted writer Peyton Dix, shortly after Paltrow posted.

If anything, Paltrow’s desktop is proof that she’s involved in her company in all the boring ways any other CEO has to be—not just the pretty face of it. If you’ve recently applied for a job at Goop, she might even be looking at your LinkedIn profile right now. “I mean, I have a company of 200-plus people,” she says with the verbal equivalent of a shrug. “We are always hiring, so I’m on LinkedIn quite a bit.” She’s also on Slack, although only until 5:30 or 6 p.m.—a boundary she set during the pandemic.

Gwyneth wears a cardigan by G. Label by Goop, shorts by Loro Piana, bra by Araks, and Quatre Classique necklace and large bangle from Boucheron’s Quatre 20th Anniversary Collection.

More revealing than Paltrow’s bookmarks was the public’s desire to meticulously unpack every single one of them, as though they might uncover some new nugget of information about her that they could criticize, copy, or both. “That’s hilarious,” she says when I tell her of the reaction online, although she isn’t laughing.

The idea of Paltrow having to engage with such plebeian tasks as logging receipts and “circling back” on Microsoft Outlook is funny because it’s so out of character. She’s never pretended to be like us, which is part of her appeal. (“I can’t pretend to be somebody who makes $25,000 a year,” is an oft-quoted remark of hers.) Her email sign-off might as well read, “sent from my $62,760 indoor hammock.”

It is precisely because of her obvious privilege that she’s got us hanging on her every word, desperate to believe that if we do and click as she does—if we pin the same photos, save the same Times recipes, and maybe even stick a jade egg up our vaginas while we’re at it—we can be a little bit like her. And it’s her down-to-earth aura that tricks us into thinking we might. When we spoke, Paltrow’s voice oozed from my iPhone speaker like honey made from bees in a celebrity’s Montecito backyard. I’d pay anything to sound like that, and never wanted to hang up. If there were a Goddess of Aspiration, Paltrow would be it.


In 2008, when Goop was founded, the public was particularly starved for direction. In the face of economic collapse and general doom and gloom, Prophet Paltrow emerged as a figure you could trust to tell you how to make yourself feel better. Sixteen years later, the vibes are still very much bad—perhaps worse than they were before—and we clearly still crave her self-assured guidance and blissed-out lifestyle, which only seems to become more blissed-out with each passing day. Paltrow’s methods may be unconventional, but the woo-woo of it all is half the fun.While countless other celebrity lifestyle brands have petered out, Goop has remained relevant by touting the newest, craziest-sounding thing, with its fearless leader the first to incorporate it into her wellness routine. 

It’s easy to forget that Goop, which is now a multimillion-dollar behemoth with multiple offshoots, started as a humble newsletter—one sent straight from Paltrow’s laptop to subscribers’ inboxes with recipes for turkey ragu and banana nut muffins. Today, everyone and their mother is doling out recommendations for a fee on Substack, myself included.

Gwyneth wears a dress by Alaïa and Quatre Classique hoops, large bangle, small ring, and large ring by Boucheron.

Add this to the long list of cultural movements, in addition to wellness, that Paltrow was at the forefront of—she essentially invented “conscious uncoupling” and “quiet luxury” before we had terms for them, and she was one of the first celebrities to bestow larger-than-life names on her children. On a more serious note, she was also one of the first women to go on the record about having been harassed by Harvey Weinstein. And, for better or worse, she’s figured out how to use online skepticism and hate to her advantage.

Arguably one of Paltrow’s greatest feats has been commodifying many things that were once considered free: recommendations, orgasms, and now, peace of mind. Having begun meditating in the ‘90s, she got back into the practice during the pandemic. In March, she announced that she had become co-owner of Moments of Space, an A.I.-powered meditation app that guides users through short, eyes-open meditation sessions that can be enjoyed from anywhere.

For Paltrow, even a rapidly evolving technology that many see as an existential threat to humanity can be harnessed for self-actualization. She doesn’t fear it. “People are so scared of A.I.—what’s going to happen to how scripts are written, or how music is written,” she muses. “But I do think that on some level, we are spiritual creatures. We crave that deep resonance that happens when someone’s spirit or intellect, or the combination of those things, touches you and makes you think outside the box. I think there will always be a need for that.”

Gwyneth wears a dress by Miu Miu, underwear by Eres, and Quatre Radiant Edition large rings by Boucheron.

In addition to anticipating and shaping culture, Paltrow creates it. Last March, her Utah civil court trial against Terry Sanderson, a retired optometrist who sued her for allegedly committing a “ski-and-run” at a fancy resort seven years prior—and whom Paltrow then countersued for $1—reached new highs in public fascination and meme-making merriment. The New Yorker called it Paltrow’s “Best Role in Years.”

Joseph Martin, who co-wrote a two-man musical about the whole ordeal titled Gwyneth Goes Skiing, which went up this winter to sold-out crowds in London, called the trial “solid gold” for creatives like himself and his collaborator Linus Karp. “It’s the contrast of a serious courtroom and the ridiculousness of questions like, ‘Are you friends with Taylor Swift?’” says Karp, who plays Paltrow. “The stakes don’t feel nearly as high; it’s not life or death. You’re just like, This is something we can consume and enjoy.” Somehow, she’s the one-percenter you want to root for.

Since the trial, Paltrow has been able to joke about it herself. “After my ski trial, I got two types of texts from girlfriends,” she wrote in Puck’s 2023 Guide to Mirth & Merriment (another newsletter). “They either (gingerly) asked if I was okay or (gingerly) asked me when the G. Label by Goop belted cardigan I wore would be back in stock.” She then linked to the sweater, adding that it’s “great for holiday parties or courtrooms.”

Gwyneth wears a sweater by Polo Ralph Lauren, skirt by Celine, underwear by Fleur du Mal, Quatre Radiant Edition necklace, rings, and Quatre Classique hoops by Boucheron.

When I bring up the musical, which will travel to Park City, Utah, in May, Paltrow replies with her famously smooth, unflappable zen that she’s aware of the production but doesn’t have plans to see it anytime soon. “I try not to engage much in that kind of stuff,” she says of the hullabaloo over the trial in general. “When you’ve been in the public eye like I have for so long, and you are sort of a mover of culture, I think it’s best to not analyze too closely. I let it be what it is.” In other words, Paltrow might say to the culture the same thing she said to Sanderson at the end of the trial: “I wish you well.”

Besides, she doesn’t really understand memes. There was one she had to ask her kids about recently. “This one meme, ‘I’m baby,’” she says. “I’m like, What the fuck? What does that mean? And then everyone tries to explain what ‘I’m baby’ means. I finally got it.” As for TikTok? “That’s never happening,” she says. Television? “Kind of a sad state.” (Although she did like True Detective.) Magazines? She reads a few, but many have “gone by the wayside.”

“I would love there to be a return to self,” she says of her hopes for the future of culture. “Not in a narcissistic way, but everybody gets such a barrage of incoming stuff all the time that I think people become disconnected from themselves. There’s a lot of anesthetizing that goes on in the culture. People don’t want to feel pain or discomfort, which, unfortunately, is part of being human. I feel like everybody’s getting pulled around on a leash by culture right now—all the ‘shoulds.’ I wish for a return to a really robust inner life.”

Gwyneth wears a coat by Marc Jacobs and Quatre Classique necklace by Boucheron.

It's no surprise, then, that Paltrow has just launched her own meditation app. She’s also got a Goop gel water cream in the works that she’s excited about. Plus, she’s preparing to become an empty nester in the fall when her youngest child, Moses, heads off to college—a transition that will allow her to set her alarm later and, of course, meditate more.

“But who will explain the memes to you?” I ask. “Luckily, I talk to my daughter multiple times a day, and I’m sure when Moses goes it will be the same,” she says. “But in the meantime, until September, I have my son here to explain to me what all these crazy things that pop up are.”

All jewelry from Boucheron’s Quatre 20th Anniversary Collection. To learn more visit
Creative direction by Marcos Fecchino
Hair by Cody Renegar
Makeup by Georgie Eisdell
Nails by Ashlie Johnson
Photography Assistance by Facundo Aguirre
Styling Assistance by Laura Cheron and Andrew McFarland