Gwyneth Paltrow’s bone broth diet is cheerless, sad and the world is far from ‘wellness’

(ES composite)

Another day, another “wellness” piece of advice for celebrities. This time from Gwyneth Paltrow, the doyenne of celebrity’s ridiculous wellness advice, including the benefits of vaginal steaming and yoni eggs.

Except that Paltrow’s recent findings are far more shocking than making Kegels with $66 rose quartz.

During an interview with the podcast The Art of Being Well With Dr. Cole sincerely confided in a makeup-free Paltrow, 50, who was on an IV vitamin drip, that she typically ate coffee, bone broth and veggies on a day that also included fasting and working out with Tracy Anderson.

The Oscar-winner and owner of lifestyle brand Goop was unsurprisingly tugged on social media for it. Commentators said she “glorifies (sic) starvation” and “is a snake oil saleswoman” and “very, very sad”. One wrote: “I’m going to eat a whole tub of Nutella for lunch as a big f**k you to Gwyneth Paltrow”.

Paltrow owns a stake in lifestyle brand Goop, which is valued at around $250 million (Getty Images)

Paltrow owns a stake in lifestyle brand Goop, which is valued at around $250 million (Getty Images)

Actress Jameela Jamil urged her Instagram followers not to listen to celebrities discuss their diet, claiming that “most of them have some kind of eating disorder,” while model and body positivity activist Tess Holliday Paltrow accused of “glamorizing” eating disorders.

Obviously, Paltrow’s meals are cheerless. But honestly, did anyone seriously think she’d do something normal like eat a bowl of spaghetti bolognese topped with grated parmesan? Of course she does crazy things like just a sip of bone juice for lunch. After all, this is the woman who said she was “completely unbalanced” and eating carbs during the pandemic.

Look, if she wants to live on bone water, steamed veggies, and the fumes from vagina-scented candles, fine. In that regard, Paltrow should be pitied: she’s the product of her environment — years of scrutiny in Hollywood, decades of being told she had to look a certain way.

Paltrow is now as famous for her lifestyle advice as she is for her acting career (AFP via Getty Images)

Paltrow is now as famous for her lifestyle advice as she is for her acting career (AFP via Getty Images)

Still, it remains deeply problematic for a Hollywood icon to so casually share what looks a lot like eating disorder news with the world in the name of well-being.

“You know, there’s a lot of impressionable people who think the right thing to do is fast until noon and then slurp bone broth with two hours of exercise,” says a woman in her early 40s who struggled with eating disorders in her teens and admits that her teenager would have copied Paltrow’s diet.

“[The video] should never have been posted. It’s just so, so irresponsible.”

Paltrow’s comments are damaging enough on their own, but when viewed in the context of a world where weight-loss injections are now sold in boots, where runways are populated by emaciated people, and where Kim Kardashian not long ago was proud of it purring about how much weight she’s lost, and how she managed to fit into Marilyn Monroe’s dress for the Met Ball — they’re going to be a disaster.

Any high-profile person who talks about their body or diet can help send countless people down the online rabbit holes of #Proana (proanorexia): Numerous studies have found links between media exposure – from social media to magazines – and the development of eating disorders. In early 2022, the NHS announced it was treating a record number of young people for eating disorders.

For older millennials and Gen Xers who witnessed the Y2K “shrink me skinny” mania firsthand as kids and teens in the 90s and early 2000s – their attitude feels both dated and like an instant time machine from 20 years ago at. This was an era of protruding hips, jagged collarbones, and miniskirts served with a thigh gap. Magazines drew circles of shame around the cellulite of female celebrities. It was miserable.

For many people, including Paltrow, the notion of size zero never completely went away. It hid in plain sight and held hands with health: #strongnotskinny, veganism, obsessive Pilates or distance running. There have been hints of taller models walking the runways in recent years, but they are still considered uncommon to the point of tokenism, particularly when designers who used plus-size models did not have plus-size clothing for actual customers to purchase create.

Paltrow’s bone broth regimen is regressive and harmful, but it’s also a reminder that women aren’t allowed to just exist as they are. We must always strive for improvement, through detox, nutrition, or wellness. We always have to be a problem that needs a solution – because that’s where money is. Women who feel like shit in their own skin are lucrative. Unattainable ideals of beauty are an evergreen cash cow. Like it or not, Paltrow, who owns a large piece of Goop worth $250 million, is a part of this issue.

No doubt Paltrow fans have and will support her, saying things like, “It’s not about being skinny, it’s about feeling good…” which is the standard response for anyone in the wellness space when blaming will promote eating disorders.

But it’s just not good enough. We are destined to be a developed and progressive society, and yet we still seem to accept that women embrace starvation in the name of well-being. How sad and unhealthy is that?

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