Let's face facts: We all love to hate Gwyneth Paltrow. And she makes it really hard not to hate her. She still looks like that all-too-pretty popular girl from high school, with her over-whitened teeth and sleek blond locks. Her dating pool has been A-list all the way (we're talking Brad Pitt and Ben Affleck before she settled down with her soon-to-be ex, Coldplay rock star Chris Martin). She has an Oscar, for God's sake. And as the celebrity daughter of a celebrity couple, she's never really ever set foot in the real world, which explains why she doesn't quite get why we won't be spending $450,000 on our spring wardrobes. Nor does she understand why her recent comment about how much harder she has it, working 14-hour days on a movie set, than those of us with "office jobs," is setting the social media abuzz. (Don't even get me started.)
But as she's undergoing this divorce (ahem...conscious uncoupling), I'm feeling a teeny, tiny bit bad for her. Because in some ways, she's just like you and me (or at least, like those annoying acquaintances we haven't had the heart to unfriend yet). We've all been guilty of trying to make our lives look better and more perfect than they really are. We shove the dirty clothes out of the Instagram shot we're taking of our kiddos finally playing nicely together for once. We gloss over the fact that we fed our kids chicken nuggets five times this week, and instead showcase the awesome tofu stir fry we whipped up on Sunday. (And we also neglect to mention how the kids made barfy noises when they looked at the dish.) Gwyneth's just kicking her efforts to look perfect up a notch by getting some pseudo experts to reframe her crumbling marriage as a success, and by name dropping all her famous friends into interviews (Beyonce, Jay-Z, etc., etc. ad nauseum).
Gwyneth also has a tendency to get (more than) a little judgy. Like when she said that she'd rather die than let her kids eat Cup a Soup. Or when she talked about how she couldn't wait to get back to Europe, because America's such an "adolescent culture." But let's face it—we're all judgy. Even with our very best BFFs, and most especially with strangers. (Have you ever seen some of the comments on blogs and Facebook pages? Seriously, it's enough to make even the Grinch cry.) And didn't we all have a lot of fun dissing her choice in baby names? (Apple, anyone?)
But still, who really wants to be in her expensive shoes right now? No matter how you try to spin it, divorce sucks. And it's got to be even worse to break up your marriage when you're always in the public eye and you have small kids you're trying to protect.
So maybe we don't really believe her (and we kind of roll our eyes) when she comes out with a gem like: "I'm just a normal mother with the same struggles as any other mother...There's absolutely nothing perfect about my life, but I just try hard." But she does have a struggle that many families are facing right now—and one I definitely don't envy her.
Tell us: Do you love or loathe Gwyneth Paltrow?