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I have to admit: I admire Gwyneth Paltrow — and you should too

Lorraine Duffy Merkl is a published author, as well as award-winning freelance journalist and advertising creative director/copywriter in New York City. Her debut novel, Fat Chick, was published by The Vineyard Press in 2009. They publi...

Perhaps if people gave Gwyneth Paltrow a chance, they'd see she's quite accomplished

I have a question for the anti-GP contingency: Isn’t that hate bag you drag around giving you a backache?

Let’s unpack it, shall we? I think you’ll feel a lot better.

There’s a very lovely article in the June issue of the U.K.’s Red magazine that only served to reinforce my stance on the former Mrs. Martin: She seems OK.

Others see it differently. The mere mention of this woman’s name can have a slowly-I-turn effect on people. There are times when I’ve looked on fully expecting a person’s head to spin around like Linda Blair’s in The Exorcist simply because Paltrow appeared on a red carpet.

I’ve never gotten it. I still don’t, and here’s why.

More: Gwyneth Paltrow advises revealing yourself regularly

Gwyneth is on par with her peers — for better and worse

Movie star, brand ambassador, designer’s muse… I could be referencing GP, but also Sandy, Jen or JLo. Add Academy Award to the list, and I might be describing Reese, Angie or Julia. They’re all cut from the same beauty/talent cloth. They also all have given interviews and misspoken, shared an unpopular opinion, or portrayed themselves as "regular folks," forgetting momentarily that actual regular women, for whom 9-to-5 and limited resources are a thing, might take umbrage with the comparison considering that celebs have a doting staff and paychecks associated with the word "million."

Gwyneth had "divorce dignity"

No Basinger/Baldwin-type knock-down, drag out plastered across the tabloids. No "nanny scandal" with a custody battle chaser. There was a quiet announcement on her website. Yet, she was still maligned because, instead of using the standard "separated" to describe her changed marital status, she offered "conscious uncoupling." No matter what you call it, all she was telling us was that they weren’t together anymore.

More: Does Gwyneth Paltrow regret 'consciously uncoupling' with Chris Martin

Gwyneth’s website is quite user-friendly

GOOP doesn’t just hawk goods, but offers sage advice from professionals in varied fields. People are always mocking when it comes to her merchandise, claiming it’s ridiculously expensive. These must be consumers who've never read Vogue or gone in a high-end department store. Her prices are comparable with other carriers of luxury brands. GP also sells shorts for $22, like an H&M or Topshop does. (FYI: Thanks to her site, I discovered some excellent restaurants out in Montauk.) Besides her internet business, there's a new skincare line with Juice Beauty, Tracy Anderson gyms and Blo Blow Dry Bar. For someone with only one semester of college, she's quite a business woman.

Gwyneth likes to cook and share her recipes

"I always feel closest to my father when I am in the kitchen," Paltrow wrote in the introduction to her cookbook, My Father's Daughter. Her late dad taught her to slice and dice in order to prepare a meal, just as my husband has taught our daughter as well as our son. I think that’s nice.

Gwyneth isn’t afraid to try things (or fail)

Who hasn't attempted the wacky diet, bought some face cream made from an unpronounceable flower, or purchased one of those "as seen on TV" products? GP has been there in her own way with the vagina steaming or the strict eating regimen. I have heard her in interviews recall something she’d "sworn by" with an embarrassed, "What was I thinking?" It happens to the best of us.

More: Gwyneth Paltrow wants to cleanse you of $425

So you see, perhaps it’s time to trade in the hate bag for something with a little more style and class. GP’s bestie, Stella McCartney, could probably help you with that.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

Perhaps if people gave Gwyneth Paltrow a chance, they'd see she's quite accomplished
Image: NBC
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