The Vagenda

Gwyneth’s Meltdown, and The Man Who Mistook His Girlfriend’s Face for an Anus

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Was there ever a more tantalising coverline than ‘GWYNETH’S DISTURBING MELTDOWN’? If so, I haven’t seen it. Even the ‘BEYONCE MARRIAGE MELTDOWN’ (e-acute was missing, natch) of a few weeks back failed to plough the depths of female celebrity suffering to the standard that I have come to associate with Grazia. Thankfully, they are back on form, with a special report on Gwyneth’s ‘bizarre outbursts’, one of which took the form of a Goop post implying that water had feelings. Yes, I really did just type that.

According to the post, Gwyneth is fascinated by ‘the growing science behind the energy of consciousness’. Somewhat ironically for a consciousless being, Grazia sees fit to highlight this as mounting evidence of some kind of mental collapse. It is ‘an odd thing to say in public’, announces Grazia, but ‘it could be argued harmless enough.’ HOWEVER, couple it with comments made by Paltrow that compared the experience of being trolled on the internet to fighting in a war, and you’ve basically got enough ammo with which to section her.

As anyone on Twitter will no doubt be aware (99% of journalists, 5% of normal people) this prompted something akin to a (virtual) war, with Paltrow being (virtually) flamed and firebombed by a number of (actual) soldiers and veterans as a dumb privileged airhead who should keep her dumb rich whore mouth shut. Meanwhile, the rest of us stood by and witnessed the long-awaited death of metaphor as a rhetorical device, thanks to a humungous twitter hand grenade, followed by the building of a gate to the entire internet emblazoned with the words ‘those who seek nuance must look elsewhere.’ Fuck.

Of course, none of this really accounts for the fact that, METAPHORICALLY SPEAKING, being a woman on the internet is, actually, quite like being in a war. Granted, having macho, numbknuckle men electronically inform you how they want to rape, murder and dismember you on a regular basis is not the same thing as being raped, murdered and dismembered in a warzone. Anyone who is not an idiot knows this. There is a conference in London this week being hosted by Angelina Jolie on the use of sexual violence as a weapon in armed conflict – this is a serious issue affecting and destroying the lives of women across the globe, and it’s nowhere near on a par with being told that someone wants to stick a rocket up your cunt on Twitter (an actual tweet we once received). But there are parallels to be drawn. All kinds of abuse can have a duhumanising effect. The existence of one form of abuse does not negate another. I can’t believe I am having to say this.

Not that Grazia is interested in any of this, mind. Instead, they use it as evidence that Paltrow is ‘pushing some virtual self-destruct button’ (the latest magazine slang for ‘being a woman and expressing an opinion’ I assume?) because of her break up with Chris Martin, which has, it is heavily implied, sent her insane (if being insane now = saying ill advised things on twitter, I can think of a few more people in need of giant butterfly nets, stat). The rampant speculation continues on for another two columns or so, but here’s a summary of the rest of the article:

Blah blah blah mask of perfection slipping, blah blah conscious uncoupling confusing blah stupid bitch is not a real working mother blah blah something she said at a party relayed by a frenemy blah BLAH BLAH BLAH who writes this shit.

Elsewhere in Grazialand, they’re suggesting that you wear a dress that looks like a towel. I kid you not. It may even LITERALLY BE a towel. A £950 towel. How anyone can take anything they say seriously is beyond me.

In other female suffering news, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban may be heading for divorce. The evidence for this? ‘Apparent flirtations with other women.’ Note the use of apparent, legal eagles, for this is nought but boundless gossipmongering, as is the accusation that Beyonce ‘HAS BEEN CHEATING TOO’ through the medium of allegedly ‘banging her bodyguard’ with whom she has been ‘spending a lot of time behind closed doors’ in a manner which displays no links to the nature of his profession or hers. No, it’s to do with sexy time, obviously. It’s scintillating stuff, made only more scintillating by the fact that the bodyguard’s name is ‘Julius.’

Peek behind another Swarovski-encrusted closed door, and we will allegedly find Kim Kardashian’s ‘booty room’, a room, for those of you in any doubt, entirely dedicated to her arse. Newlywed Kim ‘wanted to ensure that she had a space of her own, and a booty room seemed like the logical choice’. Yes, very logical. She has also, apparently, hired a ‘bum expert’ at great expense. She could have saved some money by getting with my ex, whose fascination with my back end was such that it shed doubt on his cognitive awareness of the existence of my face. It was as though he has one of those facial blindness conditions from ‘The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat’. Perhaps I should write a book entitled ‘The Man Who Mistook His Girlfriend’s Face For an Anus.’

Then again, as the existence of the ‘bum facial’ attests, Kim is already battling most of the population on that one (incidentally, when, on page 34, Grazia asks ‘CAN YOU REALLY BE FRIENDS WITH AN EX?’ the answer is not a binary ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ as offered by Grazia, but an ‘ABSOLUTELY NOT. HE SPENT THE ENTIRE DURATION OF OUR RELATIONSHIP TRYING TO REAM ME UP THE CAKEHOLE, AND THEN ACTED LIKE A TOTAL DICK DURING A DISPUTE ABOUT COUNCIL TAX. I HAD TO MOVE TO ITALY TO GET AWAY FROM HIM, THOUGH HE WAS THE FIRST GUY I SHAGGED WHO HAD A SIX PACK AND HE DID INTRODUCE ME BORGES SO THAT WAS A BONUS.)

But back to Kim’s arse. I feel that I have actually become more stupid since reading this article. By the time I reach the end of the magazine, I’ll probably need to retake my year six SATS.

 Thankfully, by page 45, Grazia has upped the intellectual ante by launching a campaign against the gender pay gap. I have absolutely nothing snarky to say about this. Fair play, guys. Fair play.

It’s good to see magazines embracing feminism, every little helps after all, and we’ve always said that our ultimate goal is not to render them obsolete but rather ourselves. If The Vagenda didn’t need exist, then it would be an indication that women are getting the media they deserve. Unfortunately, we’re still in a place where Edie Campbell is being denigrated for her ‘mullet and crazy trousers’ which make her look ‘just a bit circus clown.’ Caley McWilliams, another Grazia fashion jury member, goes further when she says: ‘This looks like a pair of mismatched pyjamas. Disappointing.’ Yes, she actually uses the word ‘disappointing’ to describe another woman’s outfit. She’s basically saying: ‘Sorry lady, but your sartorial choices have failed to live up to my entirely subjective views on what is aesthetically appealing, to the point where it may have ruined my day. Your autonomous choices have failed me, and I feel very let down.’ Bizarre.

Grazia also has a piece entitled ‘Don’t call us hipsters’ about how calling a hipster a hipster is no longer, er, hip. ‘My beard just sort of happened’ says Ricki Hall, 26. Good to know Ricki, good to know. Polly Vernon has some thoughts on fertility, and there are two ‘real-life’ confessional stories – one from a woman who has lied to her boyfriend about being able to have babies, and another from a woman whose intrusive thoughts tell her to push men under trains. This bring the Grazia female suffering quotient to a potential peak of six and, while I’m glad that they are covering serious issues affecting women in Britain today, I’m discomfited by the niggling feeling that, were either of these women celebrities, their stories would be framed in an entirely different way. One woman’s ‘DISTURBING MELTDOWN’ is another’s harrowing true life experience, and if that isn’t evidence of the dehumanising nature of celebrity coverage, then I’m not sure what is. You’d need to ask Gwyneth, if they haven’t carted her away by now.

6 thoughts on “Gwyneth’s Meltdown, and The Man Who Mistook His Girlfriend’s Face for an Anus

  1. This is my favourite regular Vagenda piece.

    “Meanwhile, the rest of us stood by and witnessed the long-awaited death of metaphor as a rhetorical device, thanks to a humungous twitter hand grenade, followed by the building of a gate to the entire internet emblazoned with the words ‘those who seek nuance must look elsewhere.’ Fuck”

    Absolutely spot-on, ladies. Hilarious.

  2. Overall I think this is on-point. However, I do take issue with any defense of Gwyneth Paltrow’s recent comparisons/metaphors about her experiences to war (or previously her comments on working motherhood). Let us not defend her purely because she’s a woman. She deserves as much criticism as anyone else would get if they made such pretentious, out of touch comments as she is known for, regardless of what she was going for when she said it. Now, I’m not advocating here for the internet trolls who live exclusively for the opportunity to pounce on her (and everyone else) with their scary vitriol via ALL CAPS USUALY MISSPELED COMENTS, but surely her recent thoughts on life will rightly make most people scrunch up their faces for a second and say… “wtf?” I suppose we should all move on with our lives after that moment though.

    I do understand and agree with the Vagenda folks calling out this magazine’s depiction of Paltrow self-destructing over the break-up, because that is offensive crap in and of itself. Every female celebrity who goes through a breakup is supposedly an absolute mess, based on the in-depth analysis of all tabloids. Meanwhile, while I don’t know her nor do I get the Goop updates, I’m pretty sure Paltrow is going to be fine and will continue to be rich and famous. I guess “Paltrow is fine. Continues to be rich and famous” isn’t a great headline.

  3. Oh yes at that line ‘those who seek nuance must look elsewhere.’ I almost wept. Great piece and I love the (not so) subtle reminder of why you are here.
    I’m an aussie so i got girlfriend and dolly as a pre-teen (lasted 12 months then i realised that the new march edition was almost EXACTLY THE SAME AS LAST YEARS MARCH EDITION! Felt more ripped off than conned by fake beauty)
    So took a year off and moved to cleo and cosmo (oz versions obs)
    Again one year later of course same thing happened
    these magazines just rinse and repeat
    but when I was reading them i got sucked in… Maybe i DO need those socks/bags/jeans/sweater/ect….. get that LOOK and I’d be LOVED and WANTED.
    Now I just sit on public transport and hate people who like nice
    Love your stuff FML

  4. Given my earlier comments, to be fair to Gwyneth Paltrow and I believe other female celebs who have recently been ripped to shreds in the media for analogies gone wrong, I wanted to post this article I just read about the T Mobile CEO. He apparently lashed out at AT&T and Verizon including a rape analogy and yet I am seeing no public outrage. The author notes (“admits”, as though there is a problem with it) that he or she doesn’t care for rape analogies, and there are thus far a couple of comments after the article about it, but in all cases they excuse it away. Interesting difference. He can apparently use the word in whatever way he pleases.

    Also I think it was Charlize Theron who made the rape analogy comment, GP was about war, so now I’m off topic. However, I did earlier say I don’t think we should defend Paltrow so I felt I should post this because I find it aggravating that this fellow can go and do essentially the same thing and no one apparently cares. I haven’t checked Twitter, but I doubt I’d find any big outrage. I didn’t hear anything on the news this morning either, whereas in the cases of Paltrow and Theron at least here in the US their comments were actually on the news. The news! Lord help me, are there not bigger issues to report on? While I did and still do find these instances to be cases of celebrities being way out of touch and not thinking through their statements before they speak, thus saying things that are bound to offend many people, I also think we need to dole out reasonable and equitable responses. So if we’re being fair, T Mobile’s CEO should now be made aware that paying a lot for a cell phone bill is not the same as being raped.

  5. Thank you. Brilliant. I always knew women are not as stupid as many “women’s” magazines make them seem.
    Next step is to help people realize that everyone has complexes of one form of another, that it is perfectly normal and that life is all about discovering them, working through them, accepting them and growing as a result.
    You have my best wishes.

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