My bad: I knew Paltrow is an actor, I didn’t know she is one of the people behind the lifestyle website Goop.com. Maybe primarily because I hadn’t heard of Goop.com. It’s got more about clothing than I’m interested in – look at me, do I look like I pay attention to clothes? – but there’s travel, recipes and also a related app with travel guides. And Gwyneth Paltrow just spoke at California’s Code Conference about the site, the app and much more.
According to Re/code, she spoke about anonymous internet comments and how it feels to be “a person in the culture that people want to harm”. Read the full Re/code piece for more but I was especially taken with this series of comments about the internet in general and Facebook in particular:
Facebook actually started as a place to judge women on their pulchritude or lack of it. I think it’s kind of fascinating that a company that’s so huge and that would come to define much of the modern Internet was founded on this objectification of human beings.
Celebrities, we’ve always gotten stones thrown at us and, you know, for good reason: We’re annoying. Some of us look okay, we look like we have money, our lives seem great. That may or may not be the case … Nevertheless, we get it. Or, at the very least, we expect that it’s part and parcel to what we do. Anyone in any field who has their head rise above a poppy in the field, they get their heads chopped off. It’s our human nature to feel that way, and to do it. … Everybody takes shit, it’s just the way it is.
Perhaps the Internet has been brought to us as a test in our emotional evolution. What is growth? What is maturity? It’s being able to experience an external event and creating the space within to contain that experience, to see it through the filter of who you really are, to not be reactive. To see someone in a dress you don’t like, and instead of writing from a username like shitebomber207: ‘Who does this fat bitch think she is,’ or whatever, even though you might feel that way, just stopping and saying to yourself, ‘I wonder what this image represents to me that I feel such a surge of anger?’ To love the Internet for what it provides, but to know it’s not real, and it’s sometimes dangerous for our development.
I don’t ever expect my venture Goop.com to contribute and advance the collective code-base or redefine social selling, though don’t count us out. But I expect us to be ourselves no matter what the reaction, to know that it’s okay to be at once irreverent and practical. … And above all, to not give a fuck if the Facebook guys think we’re hot or not.