Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow Is Now Taking Credit for Popularizing Yoga

Gwyneth Paltrow has many jobs—she’s a CEO, a wellness guru, an actress, and a mom—but being Gwyneth Paltrow is the one that’s often the most-talked about. That’s because, in between advocating for New Age-y women’s-health approaches, like getting intentionally stung by bees to reduce inflammation or combatting depression by “earthing” (aka walking around barefoot), she regularly drops sound bites that send shockwaves across the Internet. Her latest? That she alone is responsible for popularizing yoga in the U.S.

Allow Paltrow to tell the story, though, as she did in a recent Wall Street Journal profile. “Forgive me if this comes out wrong,” Paltrow said, before allowing it to, yes, come out wrong. “I went to do a yoga class in L.A. recently and the 22-year-old girl behind the counter was like, ‘Have you ever done yoga before?’ And literally I turned to my friend, and I was like, ‘You have this job because I’ve done yoga before.’” Forget the repeated yoga booms of the ’80s and the aughts, and thank Goop, which was founded in 2008, next time you’re asked to set an intention on your way into downward dog.

The question of whether the yoga industry’s status as a $16 billion-per-year business in America is all thanks to Paltrow is definitely up for debate, but the Oscar winner maintains that she’s a pioneer of the centuries-old practice. When talking to WSJ about how she shifted her eating in order to connect what she was putting into her body with how it was functioning, she said, “That was the beginning of people thinking I was a crackpot. Like, ‘What do you mean food can affect your health, you fucking psycho?’” She added, “I remember when I started doing yoga and people were like, ‘What is yoga? She’s a witch. She’s a freak.’”

Another thing Paltrow isn’t shy about taking credit for? “Contextual commerce,” which is another way of saying lifestyle-based marketing. “We sort of made it up. It’s the why of why you’re buying something,” she explained. “It’s really about finding things that we love, whether it’s a restaurant down the street here or a face product or whatever, and we write about why we love it, and then it converts really well.” You know, like all those jade yoni eggs she’s selling.

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