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Words do this to us. They feed us even before we see. They build expectations. They are things too. And they lead us to see other things in a certain way. Words activated like and paired with the visual are the message.

Gwyneth v. Martha: Fantasy Smackdown

Andrea Chesney

“I haven’t eaten at Gwyneth’s house and I’ve never seen how she lives. But if she’s authentic, all the better. And I certainly hope she is. She really wants to be part of the lifestyle business. Gwyneth, for example, has a book on the bestseller list. She must be doing something right. She’s a charming, pretty person um who um has a feeling for lifestyle. She wants to be a lifestyle arbiter, fine. Good. I think I started this whole category of lifestyle.”   –Martha Stewart

Our not-at-all-real, totally-made-up fantasy smackdown between two other ladies:

GP:  I am a lifestyle arbiter.  Everyone tells me that I inspire them, so GOOP is just being what I am doing and having while not acting and singing.

MS:  Welcome to the club I started, but do not recall offering you a membership to join. 

GP:   This is my book. People kept saying to me, that’s wonderful! So I made a book.  By the way, you can help save the earth if you put your work lunch in a Mason jar and carry into your work in your $3000 Celine tote. A Mason jar won’t fit in a clutch. If I went to work I would put salsa in my jar. You can get a genuine Mason jar on my site for forty five dollars. For two hundred dollars, you can get one that I once put my children's broth meal in. It will be signed by a hungry child.

MS:  Charming. Tell me, I haven’t had dinner with you, but I saw you become nearly squashed with your child by a school bus in LA while zipping around the bus on a very small scooter.  Were you rushing to a lovely organic produce market? Because I might suggest: a home garden, versus traffic death, would be a good thing.

GP:   I am frequently asked by people about my hyperlocal vegetable beliefs, which I talk about in my journal of confusion and hope. So, no, it was just a joy ride with a young child. Also I am asked how I keep my perfect weight on scooters and off.  I tell the people to work out all day, walk everywhere (London is best for this, so move there), eat the cleanse I sell and wear the pants I sell. We all look for clothes. This is a fashion fact. So you can buy a fall wardrobe on my site. Put your two hundred thousand dollars on the table and have an entertaining shopping time!  Also, while we are talking about tables, I want to warn you about carbs and meat, the menu of peasants, unless you are in Italy cooking for a television program for a fee.Those are different calories because the celebrity chef and the European-squeezed type professional television oil cancel them out. 

MS: You are a pretty person, but you don’t know much about oil, do you?

GP: Wash your hair with oil from the BaoBab tree. So many people say to me, look at your hair!  And I say, yes, I know, and also, while your hair is drying you will have some time to make sure your bangles are ethical.

MS: Okay really I mean it: this time, say something authentic as a lifestyle arbiter.

GP: Beans are the perfect food. Stella McCartney is the perfect designer. Jeans are the perfect pants. My tea towels cost $50. One has a skull. I would also like to add: thighs. They are a bad thing. 

MS:  I hereby withdraw even my previous weak barely supportive horrified comment and release the suppressed deep laughter it came with.