The other day, I listened to Gwyneth Paltrow’s interview with Kim Kardashian on her Goop podcast. It was interesting to hear these two cultural forces in conversation with one another. I found myself reflecting on Gwyneth’s observation that Kim operates as multiple “archetypes” at once, whereas, socially, we tend to prefer to categorize people in one column at a time — e.g., the maternal archetype, the intellectual, the sexual, the business-minded, etc. — which has often led to backlash and belittlement for Kim. I wondered whether Gwyneth felt the same way about herself? Has she encountered difficulty or denigration maneuvering from the Hollywood Golden Girl to the Mindfulness Master she has become? She seems to me to have a much finer-honed, more straight-forward presentation than Kim, which makes her a bit easier to digest. My head spins a little bit when I think about all of the businesses and projects the Kardashian Empire undertakes — it is all related in some sense (fashion, beauty, wellness), but it’s staggering, and difficult to shore up with the entertaining but admittedly aloof celebrity personas they cultivate on their shows, alongside their highly sexualized iconographies elsewhere. Meanwhile, I see Gwyneth mainly as a wellness guru and business mogul. But she does (and has done) so many things, too! She is an Academy-award-winning actress, a passionate home cook/foodie, a style icon, a singer, owner of a business with multiple product lines, a mother, a wife, an influencer, a wellness guru, a podcast host–! Of all the things, though, I consistently marvel at her finesse as an interviewer. She seems totally natural and unrehearsed, yet her questions are so well-put, her phrasing perfectly tuned. As an example, in the interview with Kim, Kim is commenting that she’s “always in a good place,” e.g., she accepts what’s happening as what’s meant to be, and Gwyneth replies unflinchingly: “Yes, you always do seem sanguine.” When was the last time you heard someone use “sanguine” so fluidly?! I know Gwyneth and Kim are polarizing figures, and I don’t know that I fully embrace their values and/or the stakes with which they are playing in their respective pursuits, but still I respect anyone who stands out there in the arena and does something really well.
Anyhow, at one point in the conversation, Gwyneth describes Kim as “a romantic” and then identifies herself the same way (“I am such a romantic, too”). I found the portraiture funny — are there people who identify as unromantic? I certainly have friends in my life who are more on the all-business, to-the-point, no-mincing-words side of the spectrum, but I’ve also watched many of them fall in love and get married. They’ve never opened their hearts about these experiences but I catch glimpses of the tenderness beneath. For example, we are friends with a couple who — while wildly fun to have cocktails with and delightful companions in general — are fairly stiff-upper-lip on the emotional front. Still, the romantics in them slip out in some of the stories they’ve shared, in which, for example, the husband spent the night in airport so his wife could take the last seat on a plane to get to her sister’s wedding. Or the way the wife carefully and intricately checks her husband’s social calendar and priorities before committing to something. She does it endearingly: “Oh, we’d love to, but I need to check because he had mentioned something about xyz and I know it matters so much to him to make that a priority.” These details are not, to me, the buttresses of standard friendship, or companionship, or even family. They bear the moon luster of romance.
I mean, I guess what I’m saying: aren’t we all romantics?
Perhaps sometimes we mistake romance in its forms. It’s not always dramatic kisses on train platforms or elaborate professions of adoration.
What would you say to this:
Every other morning, I go running. On those mornings, I return to the house and find that Mr. Magpie has placed my coffee mug on the counter and filled it with boiling hot water so that it is pre-warmed whenever I am ready to fill it.
Is there any way to receive that generosity unromantically?
+The best book I’ve read in awhile. I’m elbowing my way through Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell right now. I loved her previous book, but this one is a struggle.
+What would you study if you were going back to school tomorrow?
+Love ecru jeans for this in-between season.
+I am so incredibly pale right now, I’m determined to find a self-tanner for my body. I feel like I’ve polled you all many times for help on this front but keep shying away once I have the intel because I’m scared – ha! I don’t want to look orange and I also don’t want to smell. Is there any product that delivers?! I’ve heard good things about St. Tropez mousse, SaltyFace, and Isle of Paradise. I know enough to know I need a mitt to help with application but…help! Need some recs!
+Adore this $50 white eyelet skirt.
+Pottery Barn has some really great storage solutions for small spaces. Like, these would be a great way to add hanging space to a small nook in a home. I’m thinking back to our NYC days and I would have loved to install this along the back wall of our closet!
+I’m not usually a denim shorts girl but I do kind of love the idea of tucking the Xirena top into these.
+Love this dress.
+I feel like this doesn’t look like much on the website, but this gauze dress would be a workhorse come summer. Great as a cover-up / beach / relaxing at home. I love this gauze pieces — so soft and easy to wear. The same brand also carries a great striped gauze button-down.
+Chic summer caftan.
+Adore this classic pedestal bowl for holding citrus/fruit on a counter.
+Really love the latest spring collection at Minnow. Planning on buying mini one of these terry dresses. Can’t decide which color!
+Love this chic dress for my tennis/golf ladies.