July 25, 2018

"The minute the phrase 'having it all' lost favor among women, wellness came in to pick up the pieces."

"It was a way to reorient ourselves — we were not in service to anyone else, and we were worthy subjects of our own care. It wasn’t about achieving; it was about putting ourselves at the top of a list that we hadn’t even previously been on. Wellness was maybe a result of too much having it all, too much pursuit, too many boxes that we’d seen our exhausted mothers fall into bed without checking off. Wellness arrived because it was gravely needed. Before we knew it, the wellness point of view had invaded everything in our lives: Summer-solstice sales are wellness. Yoga in the park is wellness. Yoga at work is wellness... The organic produce section of Whole Foods. Whole Foods. Hemp. Oprah. CBD. 'Body work.' Reiki. So is: SoulCycle, açaí, antioxidants, the phrase 'mind-body,' meditation, the mindfulness jar my son brought home from school, kombucha, chai, juice bars, oat milk, almond milk, all the milks from substances that can’t technically be milked, clean anything. 'Living your best life.' 'Living your truth.' Crystals...."

From "The Big Business of Being Gwyneth Paltrow/Inside the growth of Goop — the most controversial brand in the wellness industry" by Taffy Brodesser-Akner in the NYT Magazine.

From having it all... to having little symbols of nonexistent meaning... essentially having nothing... but nothing in a graspable, tangible form. And it even has a face. The face of Gwyneth Paltrow.

ADDED: The "mindfulness jar" really is a thing kids are making. I did a search to make this image. Click to enlarge and read:

43 comments:

BADuBois said...

That face... looks like it needs a cheeseburger and some sitting out in the sun, it does. Not very healthy-looking.

jeremyabrams said...

"We're not in service to anyone"? I'm in service to my family - though not to any one member - and so is my wife. I think that's a better orientation.

rehajm said...

...that she’s a privileged, white rich lady who is into some wackadoo stuff

She is that. I must be only person alive that finds her compelling, or will admit to it. She's found a niche to serve and she serves it well. That's definitely not nothing.


Taffy however has an acute case of logorrhea. Does Gwyneth sell a solution for that?

traditionalguy said...

Maybe we could call these special thinkers "Jarheads."

Interestingly, in the world of slogan making, the best word for the human need for wellness, wholeness, and having nothing missing, is called Being Saved. That is literally the definition of Salvation. And you can find it on line, or at brick and mortar dealers everywhere. Just look for the steeple with the symbol of the crossed trees.

rehajm said...

That face... looks like it needs a cheeseburger and some sitting out in the sun, it does

That photo of her= Lost Olsen Twin.

Earnest Prole said...

White, upper-middle-class American women, the richest and freest women in all of human history, and also the unhappiest.

tim maguire said...

Wellness is just an attitude of healthy living. Get exercise, eat well, pay attention to posture, sleep, stress, etc. It doesn't have to be commodified, except that everything in our society is.

Ralph L said...

My late Step-Monster tried every wackadoo stuff she could find, for 24 years on my father's dime. I believe she had borderline personality disorder and Munchausen's. There was a big hole in herself she could never fill.

Lord knows how many people she screwed up as an RN and teacher.

Tina Trent said...

Mason jars used to be for fruit preserves. I could barely stand up in the un-air- conditioned kitchen when the members of my woman's club (correct term) in Florida would preserve the strawberries and kumquats to sell at club fundraisers throughout the year, as they had done since 1908.

Several of the women were well into their nineties and could still raise a dozen full mason jars at a time out of huge pots of boiling water. They remembered when the not-so-loved kumquat preserves had to be worked into every meal, because they were there and because they needed the food. They laughed about it and shook their heads.

How perfect that the new agers have taken something that women used to take pride in because it represented hard work and frugality, but also the creativity of home and hearth, and love for family, and turned it into a jar of nothingness, a glowing ugly gee-gaw, an empty, sterile thing.

rehajm said...

Non Goop families have a swear jar.

Henry said...

Taffy Brodesser-Akner uses the aside supremely well:

[Goop published Q. and As with healers like] Steven Gundry, a cardiac surgeon, [who] believes that lectins, a protein in some foods, are dangerous for people with autoimmune diseases. (There are a great many people who do not believe this.)

But what is most interesting about the article is that it answers Richard Cohen's question about why people like Trump:

One critic of Goop, gynecologist and obstetrician Jen Gunter, "has criticized Goop in about 30 blog posts...Tampons are not vaginal death sticks, vegetables with lectins are not killing us, vaginas do not need steaming..."

But the result of the pushback just meant more traffic back to Goop. "I can monetize those eyeballs," said Gweneth Paltrow.

Goop had learned to do a special kind of dark art: to corral the vitriol of the internet and the ever-present shall we call it cultural ambivalence about G.P. herself and turn them into cash. It's never clickbait, she told the class. "It's a cultural firestorm when it's about a woman's vagina.

tim maguire said...

Nicely said, Tina.

Henry said...

an empty, sterile thing.

Or not so sterile. It was the preserve makers who knew the importance of sterile.

Ralph L said...

G.P. has given up (most of) her raccoon makeup. With a wig, she can walk the streets unnoticed.

Sebastian said...

"Wellness was maybe a result of too much having it all, too much pursuit, too many boxes that we’d seen our exhausted mothers fall into bed without checking off. Wellness arrived because it was gravely needed. Before we knew it, the wellness point of view had invaded everything in our lives // From having it all... to having little symbols of nonexistent meaning... essentially having nothing"

Cuz women, especially well-to-do, dare I say white, American women are special.

Caroline said...

“Vanity, thy name is woman”

DanTheMan said...

>>White, upper-middle-class American women, the richest and freest women in all of human history, and also the unhappiest.

My dad used to say "Some people aren't happy unless they are miserable."

ga6 said...

The overwhelming success of capitalism has resulted in the children of shop girls, factory workers and hourly farm hands having too much time on their hands and too much money to spend. Someone has to take it away from them by fair means or foul.

DanTheMan said...

>>too much money to spend. Someone has to take it away from them by fair means or foul.

The functional definition of the Democratic Party.

SGT Ted said...

Time for a Marketing Bullshit tag?

The 70's called; they want their New Age back.

SGT Ted said...

"White, upper-middle-class American women, the richest and freest women in all of human history, and also the unhappiest."

'My dad used to say "Some people aren't happy unless they are miserable."'

There's a reason soap operas are successful.

Oso Negro said...

So...Buddhism must be the state-sponsored religion at whatever school is having the kids make mindfulness jars.

buwaya said...

There is, it seems, an enormous population of neurotic narcissists.
A visit to a San Francisco Whole Foods will confirm that.

Created by a demented, decadent system of education and mass media.
What is anyone who is "not in service to anyone else"?
A pointless, purposeless object merely cluttering the universe.

walter said...

Is she still pimping vag-steaming?
Maybe one gets desperate with a growing Goop issue.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

SoulCycle, açaí, antioxidants, the phrase 'mind-body,' meditation, the mindfulness jar my son brought home from school, kombucha, chai, juice bars, oat milk, almond milk, all the milks from substances that can’t technically be milked, clean anything. 'Living your best life.' 'Living your truth.' Crystals...."

This is word salad. It might as well be written in a foreign language for all the substance it conveys.

WTF is she talking about? Seriously.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Oh...I see.

A "Mindfullness Jar" is like a big snow globe except without the little diorama inside. Sheesh.

Fernandinande said...

Mindfulness jars are investigations into the structure of Being itself and calls to action within that Being. They have deep psychological significance.

glenn said...

Her mother was better looking.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Fernandistein

Yabut.....do they (Mindfullness Jars) have cute little houses and villages that you could imagine being in? Do they have snowmen with tiny hats. Dogs frolicking in the snowfall. Itty bitty trees with glittery snow on them.

NO. :-D

Since the owners of the jars seem to have a rather loose grip on their own minds, I guess the jars are as good a place to store their minds so they don't totally lose them.

To be serious. I guess the jars are better than nothing if it truly keeps these people from going crazy.

Clyde said...

The 'mindfulness jars' remind me of snowglobes, only with colored snow. Because white snow would be racist and stuff. And what snowflake today would want plain white snow to visualize xer emotions?

Sebastian said...

"Mindfulness jars are investigations into the structure of Being itself and calls to action within that Being.

The Germans have words for that. At least, Heidegger did. Who also thought, if I remember correctly, that certain Truths could only be properly expressed in German. Not for me to call that a mindless conceit. RH or YH could verify.

Fernandinande said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...
To be serious. I guess the jars are better than nothing if it truly keeps these people from going crazy.


Hence the link to the bullshit that J. Peterson is peddling.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

"Summer-solstice sales are wellness. Yoga in the park is wellness. Yoga at work is wellness... The organic produce section of Whole Foods. Whole Foods. Hemp. Oprah. CBD. 'Body work.' Reiki. So is: SoulCycle, açaí, antioxidants, the phrase 'mind-body,' meditation, the mindfulness jar my son brought home from school, kombucha, chai, juice bars, oat milk, almond milk, all the milks from substances that can’t technically be milked, clean anything. 'Living your best life.' 'Living your truth.' Crystals...."

There are moments when I really miss Crack Emcee's comments. This is one of them.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

Feminism has made these women the emotional equivalent of ‘hood-rich. Gold chains and flash rims rather than a stuffed 401K.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Bullshit is bullshit, but you have to take bullshit that women like seriously.
For some reason. Equality, probably; I dunno.
When men embrace bullshit it's pathetic and proof of their man-baby ways.
When women embrace bullshit it's brave & empowering.

California Snow said...

My wife is totally into this and one thing I can tell you is IT IS EXPENSIVE.

tcrosse said...

Does Taffy Brodesser-Akner really exist, or is that name a fabrication like Libby Gelman-Waxner ?

Omaha1 said...

Gee it was so awful when kids had to get dressed up and go to Sunday School every week to learn about the Bible and the moral foundations of American society. Thank goodness they can now get their substitute religion making "mindfulness jars" at school.

DanTheMan said...

>>They can now get their substitute religion making "mindfulness jars" at school.

Next up: Global Warming macaroni art.


Blue@9 said...

These people have too much fucking time on their hands.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Women seem to start from a general premise that they must be doing something hugely wrong, and their job is to find out what.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Ignorant bliss seems to be a progressive condition. This may have become a forward looking ideology when Femen.. ists denied women's franchise. Pro-Choice is two choices too late. Political congruence ("=") aided and abetted progressive confusion.