It’s just like, the rules of feminism! Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow said in a new interview that drawing comparisons between her and other actresses like Jessica Alba, Blake Lively, and Reese Witherspoon (all of whom run lifestyle brands) is “slightly misogynistic.”
In TIME‘s latest issue, the Oscar winner was asked whether she checks out Lively’s Preserve or Witherspoon’s brand-new Draper James. “This is a very interesting question, because I wonder if George Clooney would be asked about Puff Daddy’s ancillary liquor line,” Paltrow replied. “I’m fascinated how the media in particular are so confounded by entrepreneurial women doing something outside of their box.”
She elaborated: “Jessica [Alba], especially, who’s a friend of mine—our businesses could not be more different. There’s not a lifestyle piece to her business. The fundamentals of our sites are very different.” (Alba’s thriving The Honest Company, which sells non-toxic baby and household products, recently hit a $1 billion valuation.)
Witherspoon launched her first lifestyle website, Draper James, last month. “Our businesses have similarities, but hers has retail,” Paltrow noted. “People are grasping at straws to tie us together and I get it, because it makes a good story, but I’m slightly offended by this sort of generalization that happens with myself and Jessica and Reese and Blake. Yes, there are similarities. But there aren’t stories in TIME written saying, ‘Wow, look at Arnold Schwarzenegger, who did x, y, and z!'”
Still, many top actresses have launched lifestyle sites within a short span of time, which the magazine noted to Paltrow.
“I wrestle with it,” the Shakespeare in Love star replied. “I feel there’s something slightly misogynistic about it. This is a common theme. I think Reese and Jessica and I—I don’t know Blake Lively, and I don’t know if Jessica and Reese know each other—I’m friends with both of them and I speak to both of them and I want to do everything I can to support their businesses. I’m not articulating it well, because I haven’t completely worked out what it is, but I feel very proud when Jessica was on the cover of Forbes. I think that’s amazing. You can quantitatively say, ‘Look what she’s done, she’s been able to conceive of a business and scale it to that size, in that amount of time.’ But we have such different businesses.”
Paltrow has been trying to change the comparisons. “I think you just put your nose to the grindstone and build your business and scale the best way you know how. You just keep going in hopes the story becomes not people pitting women against each other, which is not founded in truth. There’s no competition,” she claimed. “None of us think we’re in each other’s space. I don’t know how you do it! You just get to f—ing work! I think we’re in a funny time for women. We are more and more the breadwinners in families across America or contributing equally; there’s a shift happening sociologically and psychologically. People are wrestling with this new archetype of being a woman with a brain who’s also sexual and trying to do more than one thing at a time. I also feel proud. Why would I not want to do that, if it’s a passion?”
The ultimate lifestyle guru Martha Stewart, meanwhile, spoke to Us Weekly last month about the actresses’ endeavors, and shared advice for the aspiring entrepreneurs. “If you have a good idea, and you feel really good about it, and you have the wherewithal and money to invest in a good idea, go for it!” Stewart told Us. “Go for it. I mean, there’s certainly room for the development of new brands.”
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