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Gwyneth Paltrow Comes Out as a Smoker (Sort Of) in Harper’s Bazaar

My editor is currently on vacation, so there is no check on the contents of this post — apart from my own (faulty) common sense. I bring that up because I am about to start writing on the topic of Gwyneth Paltrow, especially dangerous territory because … I think I tend to be overly mean about her (even when reigned in by my Gwyneth-appreciating editor), which inspires some tFS readers to be overly hard on me — that's fair in most instances, but I accidentally took three melatonin yesterday (I thought they were multivitamin gummy bears!) and I am still too groggy to even think of tolerating disagreeable comments. But we need posts! And there is so much to say about Gwyneth's Harper's Bazaar cover and accompanying interview…

Photographed by Daniel Jackson for the glossy's May issue, the actress and lifestyle guru is styled in the cut-out bandage top which opened the Balenciaga Spring 2013 runway show (originally modeled by Kirstin Kragh Liljegren). Great! Fantastic. Of all the problems anyone could have with Paltrow, her appearance is not one. Consistently flawless, she dresses like an extremely rich attractive person with taste — and since she is actually all of those things (not just striving towards them, like most people), it's a hard look to mess up. 

In the interview, Paltrow talks about that time she tried Botox ("I looked crazy. I looked like Joan Rivers!"), refers to Shawn Carter as "Uncle Jay" in conversation with the reporter, and reveals her guilty pleasure ("My one light American Spirit that I smoke once a week, on Saturday night").

There are currently dozens of articles in Google News about the HUGE BREAKING NEWS of Gwyneth's once-a-week cigarette habit. And for good reason! People will click on that headline because the subtext is, Little Miss Perfect Is So Perfect She Can Even Smoke a Cigarette Once a Week, At a Precise Scheduled Time and Not Get Addicted. That's the way celebrity media works so okay — but in Paltrow's case, it's not enough to know about her Saturday night smoke, we also have to read about her preferred brand. The sad part is, I don't even think that remark was sponsored; Paltrow's entire existence is just filtered through a commodity lens. She's selling something all the time — including herself, as a legitimate role model. 

Images via Harper's Bazaar