Gwyneth Paltrow Critics Using Class Warfare

I must admit I have a girl crush on Gwyneth Paltrow. I could be president of her fan club.

My heart has been consciously spoken for since I saw her in Emma, a cinematic version of the Jane Austen classic in which Paltrow perfectly embodies a 19th century stuck up Englishwoman.

Okay, so maybe it wasn't all acting, maybe Paltrow really is stuck up, which makes her a perfect target for ridicule.

Everything, especially the advice she doles out on her lifestyle website Goop, is subject to biting insults from the snark brigade, comprised no doubt by people who could use her health and beauty expertise the most.

For men, she's like the aspirational girl in high school they desired but never got, and for women, she's the girl they hated and tried in vain to become.

I have to say, even I've laughed out loud at a few of her Goopy suggestions, and I don't think Princess Paltrow intended them to be funny. For a cultural observer, she's a gift that keeps on giving.

But invariably, it seems to me, the "Gwyneth Wars," as I like to call them, are predicated on something pretty simple: class warfare.

A beautiful, privileged woman who likes Europe, fine wines and high art versus the Philistine public.

There's nothing new under the sun, and leave it to Washington to politicize Gwyneth even more.

Paltrow waged her latest health campaign Capitol Hill Wednesday afternoon.

She's lent her name to the "Just Label It" movement, which is fighting a bill, already passed in the House, making it harder for the Food and Drug Administration to require GMO labels. For those not fluent in Goop-ese, GMO's are Genetically Modified Organisms, found in many food products today. The American Medical Association has explained GMOs are harmless, but others aren't convinced, and think there should at least be disclosures.

Paltrow is one of over 200,000 signers to a petition to stop the bill.

I'm not here to debate the merits of the bill, or the nuances of the scientific research. What I do know is that the debate has already joined the "Gwyneth Wars," without a fire being shot.

I felt a collective sigh of relief among Gwyneth fans when she managed to get through a congressional press conference without saying anything too, well, "Gwynethy."
"I'm not here as a scientist. I'm here as a mom who thinks I have the right to know what's in the food I'm feeding my family, "she said, sporting her perfectly sleek blonde mane, despite the humidity.

Opponents of the petition are already employing the terms most often slung at Gwynnie: "out of touch" and "Hollywood elite."

"Out of touch Hollywood celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow want Congress to enshrine their lifestyle choices into law while ignoring the everyday realities facing American families," explained flak for the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food, adding that the "extreme agendas of Hollywood elites" were no match for hard science.

Senator Barbara Boxer took the bait. Boxer, one of many legislators at the conference, answered for Gwyneth when someone asked her to respond to the perpetual "out of touch" allegation.

"It's not worth answering," Boxer replied. "When people try to ridicule you whether you're senator, or a teacher, or a truck driver or an actress, they want to shut you down," she said.

"If you weren't effective, they wouldn't bother with you."

So it's not about the labels, and it's not about Gwyneth. It's about you.