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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at C of C chapter.

For years I’ve read dozens of accounts espousing Gwyneth Paltrow as the IT woman of Hollywood. She has adorable kids, impeccable clothes, an unreachable vegan diet, and a near perfect lifestyle brand: Goop. While I would casually read the accounts of Gwyn’s vagina steaming, or scroll through slideshows of her perfect camel coats and platinum hair, I never felt the need to look up Goop. Gwyneth Paltrow represented a kind of woman I did not relate to: too put together, not really attainable, and trying immeasurably to come off as “cool”. At least that’s how I felt until I recently read Alana Massey’s book of essays: All the Lives I Want. 

In Massey’s first essay she posits that there are two types of women in the world: the Winonas and the Gwyneths. The former friends represent one adult woman who is enjoying the single, unattached, artistic life, while the other is the PTA wonder mom. The Winonas represent a breed of woman known more for quirk than composure. Like Massey, I believed myself to be a Winona. In high school, most of my time was spent playing bass in a punk band, reading Sylvia Plath, and hanging out at local coffee shops. I could much more likely star in Beetlejuice rather than the blockbusting Iron Man. And then I started to think: Are these women really that different? Am I really a Winona? 

When I finally worked up the courage to type the four letter word (Goop) into my browser I immediately realized what an error I had made to discredit Gwyneth. For about six months I have been vegan. With this dietary change came a dedication to yoga, an interest in apple cider vinegar, and a religious-level belief in probiotics. What I found on Goop was my own personal wonderland. Recipes for probiotic soups, suggestions for “clean” beauty, and tips on finding your Gwyneth-level perfect fall uniform! As a health nut, fanatic blog reader, and camel sweater believer I had to take a moment and think: Am I a Gwyneth? Could I be interested in punk AND collagen drinks?

My dive into Goop made me realize that just because someone seems perfectly manicured and full of new wave advice about immune support through genital steaming, doesn’t mean she can’t be funny, cool, and relatable. Wellness and lifestyle is all about doing what’s right for you and your life. Embracing counter-culture and being kind to your body and environment are not necessarily mutually exclusive. 

While I may never truly know if I’m a Gwyneth or a Winona, I know that I will be easier on seemingly “perfect” celebrities.. and I will be signing up for Goop‘s newsletter! 



Zoë is a student at College of Charleston, her major is undecided. She loves house shows, vegan food, and clothes.