Friday, April 12, 2013

Gwyneth Paltrow smokes one cigarette a week

This - yes, readers - is the story of the moment. There are several interpretations floating around, or that pop into one's head upon hearing this:

1) Paltrow has humanized herself, revealing an imperfection, thus making herself more (well, less un-) likable.

2) Paltrow has revealed shocking hypocrisy, after lecturing us on the dangers of bread and white rice. She? Smokes?

3) Paltrow has revealed herself even more goodie-two-shoes than we thought - this is her great vice? (Consider the likelihood of a headline, "Lindsay Lohan/Charlie Sheen Smokes One Cigarette A Week.")

4) Paltrow is preempting the inevitable paparazzi discovery that she smokes.

And all of these are plausible. But I'm going to go with another, less-often-suggested possibility:

5) This tells us what we all already, on some level, knew, namely that "health," when offered up in any fashion-and-lifestyle context, is weight. If Paltrow's weekly indulgence were a massive wedge of cheesecake, then you might count me surprised. I mean, it even sounds like the kind of diet advice women once exchanged (and perhaps still do, but less openly) - instead of having dessert, smoke a cigarette. This isn't a hedonistic slip-up. It's still more image-control.

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