March 26, 2019

Chrissy Teigen Is the Anti–Gwyneth Paltrow

““Face mask / heat pad / vagina steam,” Chrissy Teigen captioned an Instagram photo of herself this past June, sitting hunched, a white mask on her face, a gray pad on her neck, and her legs parted with a towel draped across her lap. “No I don’t know if any of this works but it can’t hurt right? *vagina dissolves*”

The genital “treatment” Teigen was attempting was popularized by Gwyneth Paltrow, who touts it as healthy for your uterus even though doctors advise against it. The process involves sitting on “what is essentially a mini-throne,” making it an apt metaphor for Paltrow’s lifestyle brand Goop. Her collection of advice and goods are both so quackish and elitist that she is not simply wrong, she places herself on a throne of wrongness.

Teigen, on the other hand, is crafting a lifestyle empire based on down-to-earth-ness. Her products are functional, and bear no fancy claims. Loosely titled “Cravings,” her brand includes a collection of kitchenware sold at Target, her very successful cookbooks, cosmetics, and a partnership with Pampers. She does not try to sell things by lending them deeper meaning. Her goods are ordinary with a little oomph—food that’s highly caloric, plates with gold accents, cream that glitters—and, unlike Paltrow’s, are not advertised alongside ridiculous claims or exorbitant price tags. Some of her stuff appears, at first glance, like it might cost more than many of the painfully plain offerings in the Goop store, but on balance, it’s cheaper. In capitalism, Teigen plays as fairly as one can—and the end result is that even while launching her version of a celebrity-bolstered lifestyle brand, she has positioned herself as the anti-Paltrow.”

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