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A Virtual Hug for Blythe Danner

I’m going to start by admitting that I don’t really get celebrity hating, specifically Gwyneth Paltrow.  Does she say clueless things?  Yes.  Is she out-of-touch with how the average person lives?  Yes.  Is she a product of her upbringing, as most of us are?  Absolutely.  But she doesn’t really warrant hate.  She doesn’t kill people in order to get attention for her agenda*.  She doesn’t blame certain groups for the ills of the world or deny the existence of atrocities.  She isn’t violent.  She doesn’t rape.  She doesn’t hit or strangle.  She doesn’t abuse her children.  All in all, she’s a fairly innocuous person, easily ignorable.  I know because I’ve ignored her for years so I’m positive that it’s do-able.

That’s okay.  She’s technically ignored me for years too.

Gwyneth Paltrow

Image: WEBN-TV via Flickr

Reading the gleeful deconstruction of Paltrow comments — from her conscious uncoupling to her words about movie star parenting — all I could think of was Blythe Danner.  How Blythe Danner was taking the evisceration of her daughter.

Because the truth is, I can handle (within reason; I mean, I’m not a stone statue.  I have feelings) anything you throw my way about myself.  You can mock me until the cows come home, and most of it will roll off my back.  I can keep it in perspective.  But mock my kids?  I will hold a grudge so long that your great-grandchildren will feel my wrath.  Yes, I am blind to seeing foibles in the people I love, and I will defend my inner circle to the ends of the earth.  And that also means that my heart goes out to Blythe Danner.  Because I’ve got a feeling that Gwyneth can handle her own criticism.  But it is very hard to know that there are people out there talking shit about someone you love.

So… Blythe Danner, whom I’ve also managed to ignore for several years now (seriously, it’s not hard.  I barely remember some of these celebrities exist until they pop up in a news article), my heart goes out to you.  It cannot be easy to have a loved one in the public’s eye and to feel that wave of hate directed at your child.

Back to my GOOP-free existence.

* I’m making a lot of assumptions here, but until I hear otherwise, I’m going to keep assuming Paltrow isn’t mowing down innocent old ladies.


1 KeAnne { 03.30.14 at 8:17 am }

You’re right. I’m absolutely not a fan of Gwyneth but nothing she says or does impacts me & I should let it go after a hearty eye roll. And I have never felt so ferocious as when defending or protecting D. Call me weird? Your problem. Call my son weird? I’m taking you down.

2 Nicoleandmaggie { 03.30.14 at 8:38 am }

We blame the patriarchy. nicoleandmaggie.wordpress.com/2013/11/20/on-privilege-and-patriarchy-and-gwyenth-paltrow/
And save our hate for people who deserve it, like the Koch brothers.

3 loribeth { 03.30.14 at 9:06 am }

I have no great love of Gwyneth, for all the usual reasons. But as Nicole & Maggie point out above, there are others who are more deserving of our attention & scorn.

I hadn’t given Blythe Danner much thought, but I did think about the two children involved here & how this must be affecting them. Mary Elizabeth Williams on Salon put it well:


She also reminded me that Gwyneth is “one of us”(this one is worth a read):


4 Elana Kahn { 03.30.14 at 9:42 am }

Gwyneth is actually my 4th cousin, and I don’t like to see her bashed even though she has no clue who I am from anyone else. People need to save their hate.

5 Lori Lavender Luz { 03.30.14 at 11:43 am }

I hadn’t thought of this angle. As usual, you are wise and compassionate.

I am Goop-less, as well.

6 Aerotropolitan Comitissa { 03.30.14 at 12:21 pm }

I would hope that, if Gwyneth was doing those sorts of things, we’d be hearing about that instead.

7 a { 03.30.14 at 12:31 pm }

*Plays devil’s advocate*

But don’t you at least sort of wish that Blythe Danner is on the phone to Gwyneth saying “well, that working mom stuff was kind of a dumb thing to say…”

8 Queenie { 03.30.14 at 1:55 pm }

Whenever I see people obsessing over the details of some celebrity, I think “wow, their lives must be really great–they have so few personal problems that they have time to waste focusing on someone they don’t even know.” 🙂

9 jjiraffe { 03.30.14 at 2:35 pm }

I read an interview with Blythe Danner where she talked about going online once and falling down a rabbit hole of criticism about her daughter. She, not surprisingly, was filled with rage at what she saw and as a result, she stays away from the internet.

10 Pepper { 03.30.14 at 5:17 pm }

So true. Though I agree with the above commenter who hopes Blythe Danner is on the phone questioning Gwyneth’s comments…

Also- when you make your living in the public eye, you do have to think about what you say, whether it’s fair or not. You need to use your forum wisely.

11 Persnickety { 03.30.14 at 7:16 pm }

I agree, she may not be doing terrible things, but she does have a privileged voice, and one that decision makers might listen to. That’s really where the damage is. Some idiot lawmaker will see her comments and place a higher value on those than the average persons.
That said, everyone says foolish things, especially when they are emotionally off balance. I cringe more for her kids than her mum.

12 Orodemniades { 03.30.14 at 7:35 pm }

What Persnickety said.

I wouldn’t mind Gwyneth if she would just STFU.

13 Buttermilk { 03.30.14 at 9:36 pm }

Gwyneth needs to be careful of what she says because she’s a celebrity? Hmm…I think if I were a celebrity I would just keep my trap shut then – just to be safe. (That probably means I wouldn’t make a very good celebrity at all.) Warhol said, “Don’t pay attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches.”

14 St. Elsewhere { 04.01.14 at 1:51 am }

I have loved her for her acting prowess, but her divorce and all that dust that is flying completely escapes.

Why is everyone bothered so much? She isn’t the first celebrity doing it.

15 St. Elsewhere { 04.01.14 at 1:52 am }

completely escapes ‘me’.

16 Geochick { 04.10.14 at 11:46 pm }

I find her out-of-touchness amusing more than anything. And I remind myself daily that damn near all celebrities are narcissists. So, she says some weird crap that I totally can’t relate to (hi, Gwyneth, since when is YOUR job harder than mine????) and kind of pisses me off. But really, she doesn’t have the first clue what a geotechnical engineer does, so then I can get all up on my holier-than-thou horse in my head and it’s all good.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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