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    Posted on Jun 8, 2016

    I Copied Gwyneth Paltrow's Privileged Lifestyle For A Day And Kind Of Hated It

    I Gooped myself!

    Taylor Miller / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed. Jason Merritt and Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

    Hi, I'm Chelsea and I consider myself a fairly healthy person (look how seriously I take my hydration!).

    Erin Chack

    I generally eat healthy, and exercise regularly, and my New Year's resolution was to try and practice more self-care. Lately, that's mostly entailed a biweekly therapy appointment and a weekly "self-care Sunday" where I just do a sheet mask and call it a day. Hey, it's something.

    I've always enjoyed a good lifestyle recommendation, but lately, I've been kind of anxious about all the options there are out there for self-improvement.
    Like, what's good? What's bad? Where do I even START? It feels never-ending.

    This is where Gwyneth Paltrow, Queen of Ridiculous Lifestyle Blogs, comes in. A lot of people love to hate her.

    Cindy Ord / Getty Images

    I don’t personally hate her ("hate" is not a good look, IMO), but I get why people are bothered by her: A famous person telling people how to live their lives as if everyone were a millionaire is cringeworthy at best.

    For reference, a noteworthy "bang your head against the wall" moment was when she said it was so easy for new moms to fit their workouts in (discounting the fact that most mothers, working or not, do not have personal trainers, nannies, or a gym that will look after their kids while they get those squats in).

    Because she's been everywhere these days recommending the good life, I wanted to put it to the test: How many of these things could I actually do in one day? Could my life improve that fast?

    View this video on YouTube
    Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

    Vagina steaming was left off because our health editor was adamant I not subject my vagina to such an unhealthy practice. The bee sting facial was also left off because, uh, bees die when they sting and don't we have a bee population problem?

    This is how it breaks down: $45 for each exercise class + $50 for one day of groceries +$15 for one smoothie + $125 for cupping therapy + $35 for a drink and french fries, $50 for essential oils + $425 for Goop products I used.

    Hey, nice job stimulating that economy, G. But also: HOLY SHIT, this better make me the radiant, problem-free unicorn this lifestyle promises.


    Chelsea Marshall

    Background: To get all that Goop time in, Gwyneth wakes up real early, so I had to, too.

    Experience: Listen. I am not a morning person. Of course, I was getting up to go to a workout class and not work so there's a tremendous amount of privilege in that right off the bat. Hey, in my last job, I had to get there at 5 a.m. when I wasn't working the overnight shift. I get it. But there's something different to me about getting up and working out at that time. I was cranky.

    The workout


    Background: So the Tracy Anderson Method is an exercise class that famous people LOVE but Gwyneth loved FIRST. She normally does TWO HOURS every day... I take a 45-minute spin class and I feel accomplished. Anyway, there are two parts to it: an hour of strength training and an hour of cardio. The only cardio available was the advanced so I had to take that class on DVD at home.

    The Experience: I was expecting a really snooty environment, but that's not what I was met with. The front-desk guy was nice and set up my stuff, and the room itself felt more like old-school gym than "everyone pays 1K/month to be here" vibes.

    THE WEIRDEST part though was that during this beginner/intermediate class, the teacher NEVER spoke except for a very faint clap and near-whispered "good job" at the end. It was the most confusing workout experience of my life and honestly, if I pay that much for a class ($45/class!), I want some cheerleading! I want someone to correct my form! I AT LEAST want someone to tell me what to do!

    I start feeling extremely creepy about this experiment.

    Chelsea Marshall

    I had spent so much time planning this day and thinking of Gwyneth Paltrow as this elusive lifestyle rather than a person that I forgot I was spending a hell of a lot of time thinking about someone I don't know. It was weird and I felt about as creepy as this face-swap of the two of us.

    Give my dog "child" some coconut oil before taking her to "school"

    Chelsea Marshall

    Background: So in this article, Gwyneth says she ALWAYS gives her kids flax seed oil at the beginning of the day. I couldn't confirm that flax seed oil was actually OK to give to dogs so I opted for vet-approved coconut oil.

    Experience: Hadley, my dog, doesn't go to school, so instead we hung out and ate some coconut oil. She loved it and it's really cute to watch her eat out of a spoon. I know Gwyneth's kids are cute, but are they "dog eating out of a spoon" cute? I don't think so. No one is.

    Make the $200 smoothie

    Chelsea Marshall
    Chelsea Marshall

    Background: Somewhat recently, Gwyneth published her $200 breakfast smoothie and everyone went berserk at it. In reality, all the weird ingredients that you have to buy in bulk add up to $200, so per smoothie, it's really like $12–$15.

    Still expensive, but not as expensive.

    Experience: OK, I have to be up front here: I'm from L.A. and some of my L.A. sensibilities still linger in that I will try almost any healthy thing and learn to like it. I didn't hate this smoothie. It was chalky, looked like diarrhea, and definitely didn't yield very much actual smoothie (my main complaint!), but it wasn't horrible.

    Put those good intentions into the stuff that goes on my face

    Chelsea Marshall for BuzzFeed

    Background: A recommendation on Goop was to put "good intentions" into your makeup and skin care every morning. My co-worker Sarah did it, and I wanted to try it for myself.

    Experience: The people at Goop sent me some free products from her skin care line to try out, and let me first say: They are very nice. I have no idea what the long-term effects would be, but they smell nice and the packaging is nice. That being said, for the price, good intentions should be flowing out of this stuff. I put on the recommended "tunes" and said to myself and my makeup, "I am confident and powerful and so is my makeup." I don't think I did it right and I felt weird doing it. Also I'm pretty sure everything looked the same.

    Take my dog on a longer walk and check emails

    Instagram: @theseamar

    Background: I had originally planned to take my pup to doggy day care since G runs her kids to school. But since I was home most of the day, I got to hang with her!

    Experience: I mean, great. I got to hang with my dog more.

    Make lunch and a snack from Gwyneth's new book

    Chelsea Marshall

    Background: I picked a cacio e pepe zoodle recipe and a zucchini and carrot muffin recipe because I assumed I would be very hungry.

    Experience: This took me way longer than I thought it would. Like I thought in total, both recipes would take me 1 hour tops. It took me 2 hours. Also, I misread the directions and made a recipe for three people, not just me. It tasted good, but can someone please tell me why eating two zucchinis as "noodles" is any less weird than eating just two zucchinis for lunch? Exactly. It's the same. Thank god for the muffins.

    P.S. Did you know this is what a spiralizer does to zucchini? ME NEITHER.

    Chelsea Marshall

    Cupping Therapy

    Taylor Miller for BuzzFeed

    Background: Cupping is an ancient Chinese medicine practice that's supposed to help with healing various ailments. It works by drawing impurities to the surface using glass cups as a sort of vacuum. Basically, the person performing it wipes the cups with alcohol, sets them on fire, and when the fire is gone, puts the cups on your back. Twelve years ago, Gwyneth showed up on the red carpet once with those huge red welts, and everyone not in the know was like "WHAT ARE THOOOSE?" Naturally, I had to try it.

    Experience: First of all, I know how insane my back looks: It looks like I got run over by a truck and then pecked at by a bunch of birds. But I swear it didn't hurt at all. I went to a Goop-approved cupping place and my overall experience was really nice. It was more like a nicer doctor's waiting room than a spa, but the actual practice felt like a deep-tissue massage targeted at my tightest muscles. I can't verify the science behind it (hey, neither can Gwyneth probably!), but I do know I left with a lot more energy than I came in with and the process was relaxing AF.

    I WORKED, OK? I originally allotted this time to get my ol' vag steamed, but since it was nixed (see above), I did some of my normal work. But hey, G does this too.

    Make dinner

    Chelsea Marshall

    Background: I found this kimchi fried rice recipe on Goop, and it's another one where they replace a "bad" carb (heavy emphasis on those quotes btw) with a "good" carb. I guess this was featured in a Cameron Diaz book called Put an Egg on It, so I did.

    Experience I KNOW this whole day was filled with relaxing things in between work. And I know how this is going to sound, but when I got home, this was the last thing I wanted to do. I wanted to get in my PJs, order delivery, and go to sleep. But I couldn't. So I made this kimchi "fried rice," and I added an egg 'cause I was craving some protein. It was good.


    Chelsea Marshall for BuzzFeed

    Background: The only "vices" that Gwyneth has talked about are martinis or old-fashioneds, french fries, and one cigarette every Saturday. While I know she doesn't do this every day, I had to try 'em out.

    Experience: I mean, it's a drink and french fries. What was there to complain about? I don't smoke and don't really understand how the whole healthy lifestyle thing met with a cig, but hey, to each their own.

    Joseph Predham

    Background: I couldn't do the advanced cardio at her studio so I opted for a streamed video of the class.

    Experience: Listen, I know I shouldn't have done this after a few drinks. But it was fun and I DID IT. I definitely preferred the video since it actually told me what to do. Plus, Gwyneth says she brings these with her when she's on set. And like, I'm on set right now. Of my life. Ugh, I'm so tired.

    Bath and Goop's face mask

    Chelsea Marshall for BuzzFeed

    Background: So I guess EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, she takes a bath using some fancy AF oils and epsom salt. Look, I like baths, but EVERY NIGHT? Also, I don't want to point fingers or anything, but this woman lives in California, and I'm starting to think she may be the source of the drought. Since I wasn't going to do her bee-sting facial, I figured I'd try her face mask at the same time. ~Double tasking~.

    Experience: I like baths from time to time, but A) I live in an NYC apartment with a bathtub that never looks clean even after you do a deep clean. It's pretty standard for New York when you're not rich AF. And B) Who the fuck has the time for this?

    The bath oil was fine, but it wasn't better than squeezin' in some liquid body soap (which is what I do, so sue me). I guess she exfoliates too and I just use my made at home coffee/coconut oil blend. (Hey, I'm a lady on a budget and it works!) I brought a drink in with me 'cause YOLO. As for the face mask, it did make my skin baby soft and it kind of burned so I guess that's how you know it's working. I didn't want to like it, but I liked it, OK?

    PLUS, as ridiculous as the price tag on this stuff is, she wanted a specific product she wasn't seeing on the market and went and made it. Why shit on that?

    1. All these glamorous things that beauty blogs tout do not account for any of the pain of getting there, doing the thing, and still having to go back to work. There is privilege in it, of course, but it also doesn't seem to be a worthwhile goal.

    2. Yes, a lot of this stuff is excessive. But I'd probably do some weird shit as a millionaire too. Like travel around the world with all my animals, Noah's ark style.

    3. Obviously I didn't expect my life to change in one day, but I DID expect to feel more glam in a way that would make me feel better overall. But honestly, you can't exfoliate yourself out of your problems, as much as marketing tries to tell you otherwise.

    4.. There is an element of the Goop life that's really worthwhile, and that's the self-care aspect. It doesn't need to be as expensive as Gwyneth Paltrow's recommendations, but there's an underlying message: It IS OK to take a minute for yourself every day. (Or hey, how about starting once a week? Even for five minutes!) There is a certain martyrdom culture in NOT doing that, so I actually think it's cool that Gwyneth endorses self-care, even if her version is extreme.

    Disclaimer: Some products were supplied to BuzzFeed free of charge.

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