Gwyneth Paltrow on family, co-parenting and a trip to Paris with her dad (VIDEO)
Gwyneth Paltrow — actor, mother of two and founder of goop, a lifestyle site making quite a media impression indeed — spoke this Friday at our BlogHer15: Experts Among Us conference in New York City.
Paltrow chatted with BlogHer cofounder Elisa Camahort Page about co-parenting techniques, the beauty of her first trip to Paris with her late father and why she (like so many of us!) took an office job.
The keynote conversation transpired in a standing-room-only ballroom, touching on family, death and business alike. Camahort Page’s questions revealed a sort of uber-multitasker of a woman, facing down many of the juggling aspects of life that other women do.
Why did Paltrow launch goop, for example? She just “kind of wanted a place to organize my stuff. I wanted to have an opportunity to answer my own questions,” she told Camahort Page. “Originally I was just gonna put some stuff online and have a private site for my friends,” she said, until friends suggested she put her thoughts in newsletter form. “The inception was for my little community,” she said, “and I kind of stupidly didn’t think larger at first when I was first doing it.”
Paltrow had a moment of pause once she’d launched the newsletter and reflected on who might get it. “’Who am I communicating with?’ I sort of had a lot of passion, and I’m very passionate about travel and health and wellness and food and trying to become a better person, so I think in essence I was using the website in order to get closer in a sense, closer to my community.”
“You super leaned in!” laughed Camahort Page. “Forgive the expression.”
“I love that expression,” replied Paltrow, smiling.
Eventually a London businessman offered to help Paltrow turn her little newsletter into a business. Most recently, Lisa Gersh — formerly of Martha Stewart Living — jumped on board. Of working with a person Camahort Page termed “a media powerhouse,” Paltrow said, “Lisa Gersh came on and was like, ‘OK, this is what’s happening,’” and I was like, ‘All right!’”
As to the nature of the goop reader, Paltrow said, “I think that our woman is — it doesn’t really matter what her income is, but she’s a really engaged, forward-thinking person. She wants interesting options. Originally people thought, ‘Oh, it’s too expensive, [that’s] not approachable.’ That’s really not the case.”
Turns out Paltrow treats her job rather like the rest of us do, getting her kids to school, then showing up at the office every day to lead her editorial team. Her goal, she says, is not to always have her brand be Gwyneth Central, but to have goop eventually stand fully on its own. “My dream is that in 20 years someone will say to me, ‘Didn’t you have something to do with that?’”
And Paltrow has feelings about her site’s reception in the media, of course: Responding to Camahort Page’s inquiry about whether she reads her own press, she replied with a laugh, “I only read [the] nice things!” Calling much of the press about her “incendiary” and “about pageviews,” she continued, “I’ve been in the public eye my whole life. It’s a bizarre learning curve. You really have to find a way to separate the words of a person you respect… from people who are just in pain and are projecting their own shit on to you.” (This particular comment earned a few whoops from the bloggers in attendance.)
And about that “public eye,” Paltrow shared a sweet memory of her father, the late Bruce Paltrow, who took her to Paris for a weekend when she was 10 years old. Her story brought down the house:
As for co-parenting, which she does with ex-husband Chris Martin, turns out celebs are trying to juggle everything just like other parents. She’s trying to figure out how much access to social media her tween children should have — the 11-year-old is not yet permitted a phone — and it turns out her values sync up nicely with Martin’s: