This year I’ve been trying so hard not to be fat that I completely overlooked the new health trend: clean sleeping. Gwyneth Paltrow is majorly to blame for this fashion, which I can only hope to enjoy one day, as — like most writers — I have the sleeping patterns of a sewer rat.
But Gwynie will not have it. In her latest book Goop Clean Beauty, she wants to awaken the world to the benefits of a good night’s kip. Apparently, it’s important to sleep (who knew!) and, to get the optimum amount of shut-eye, heated socks and copper-infused pillowcases are absolutely essential.
I would take Paltrow more seriously, but I’m still reeling from the shock of her past advice, which became a little too prurient for my liking — she seems to have a pathological obsession with other women’s vaginas. I imagine she views them through a Jamie Oliver-style lens, as if wondering how to cook up a fabulous Christmas goose. Previously Paltrow has encouraged women to steam their vaginas; more recently she has advocated the use of putting a jade egg up there to create ‘feminine energy’.
(I still have no idea what a jade egg is, incidentally, other than it costs $66 and is the size of a golf ball. All I know is that I don’t want to, cough, you know.)
Occasionally I’ve asked myself if we could build a Donald-Trump style wall around Gwyneth Paltrow. Metaphorically, that is — I’m not that mean — although I do feel that if I read much more of her medical advice, I might damage my brain.
Indeed, her advice could be deemed a sort of dangerous speech, worthy of being banned from the internet, in that it is quite possibly ruining women’s vaginas. Her egg and steaming tips have been condemned by gynaecologists, as has most of the Goop website — no better than Scientology in its deranged musings and followers.
Unfortunately I fear that Paltrow inhabits a religious sphere that seems to grow all the time, populated by the ‘clean women’ of the world, from Deliciously Ella to Kayla Itsines to Kate Hudson. All of whom have dedicated their lives to helping others become leaner, cleaner and enlightened.
Among the female species, we do seem to have become fascinated with the sharing and imparting of bodily wisdom, as if the cleansing of the body is the cleansing of the soul. We want to be as shiny and ethereal as Paltrow, regardless of the fact that the body does not always offer a window into our dietary or sleeping habits.
But it’s probably more about luck than anything. There are women who can eat a McDonald’s several times a week and maintain a figure like Paltrow’s, as are there women who rein in their calorie intake and still hold weight. In spite of my relatively healthy lifestyle, my body is a bit like one of those velcro hats you chuck balls at: food sticks to my poor self.
That is the ultimate deception of the ‘clean women’ cult. I don’t see clean lifestyle: I see great genes. And whether it’s helpful to your body or not, take it from Paltrow: it’s clearly not good for your brain.