Gwyneth Paltrow Thinks Being Compared to Jessica Alba, Blake Lively and Reese Witherspoon Is "Misogynistic"

"People are grasping at straws to tie us together and I get it, because it makes a good story, but I'm slightly offended," the Goop founder says

By Zach Johnson Jun 05, 2015 12:02 PMTags
Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese WitherspoonBilly Farrell/BFAnyc/Sipa USA

Jessica Alba has The Honest Company. Blake Lively Has Preserve. Gwyneth Paltrow has Goop. Reese Witherspoon has Draper James. True, the four actresses have developed their own lifestyle brands, but that's where the similarities end.

In TIME's latest issue, on stands now, Paltrow was asked if she looks at the other stars' websites. "This is a very interesting question, because I wonder if George Clooney would be asked about Puff Daddy's ancillary liquor line," the actress and entrepreneur, 42, fired back. "I'm fascinated how the media in particular are so confounded by entrepreneurial women doing something outside of their box."

"Jessica, 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. Reese launched—our businesses have similarities, but hers has retail," the Iron Man 3 star said. "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!"

(Paltrow isn't joking, as The Honest Company's organic body oil is featured in Goop's June 4 newsletter.)

What does Paltrow make of the constant comparisons?

"I feel there's something slightly misogynistic about it," she said.

"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, who said she will not "film anything" in 2015 in order to devote herself to Goop, tries to ignore 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 told the magazine. "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?"