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At Goop Wellness Summit, Gwyneth Paltrow Talks Family, Power and Ex Chris Martin: “He’s Kind of Like My Brother Now”

Gwyneth Paltrow hosted her latest In Goop Health wellness-centric summit on Saturday at the Goop company headquarters in Santa Monica, where she talked about family, power and her ex-husband, Chris Martin.

The In Goop Health concept debuted in June 2017 and this year marks the brand’s 15th anniversary. Guests paid $1,200 for a general admission ticket to $3,500 for a Weekender Pass, which included a two-night stay at Shutters on The Beach hotel in Santa Monica and two exclusive dining experiences.

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For the occasion, Paltrow reeled in close friend Cameron Diaz (co-founder of organic wine brand Avaline) as a surprise guest panelist alongside Olympic gold medalist track star Allyson Felix (founder of athletic footwear brand Saysh) and G9 Ventures founder Amy Griffin to discuss “redefining power.”

“She’s still the biggest movie star ever, even after not working for 10 years!” exclaimed Paltrow, while introducing Diaz, who emerged from a self-proclaimed retirement to star with Jamie Foxx in the forthcoming Netflix feature Back in Action.

“It’s so great getting older actually,” said Diaz, who turned 51 in August and was teased by Paltrow for referring to herself as in her fifties. “As we get older,  it’s that ability to be more resilient and vulnerable, which doesn’t sound like they go hand in hand. But I think resilience and vulnerability is true power.”

At another point in the conversation, Diaz declared, “Imagine the world if women ran it!” and encouraged those in the audience to build their own businesses.

Vaginal microbiomes were on topic in a talk by nutrition experts Shira Barlow and Maya Feller, yet this pared-down In Goop Health conference was devoid of sensationalist trends. (Vaginal jade eggs and “This Smells Like My Vagina” candles were subjects at past summits.)

Two sessions highlighted Moments of Space, an app and platform focused on an “eyes-open” approach to meditation. The most unconventional moment may have been when guests were asked to sing and shout out “Sawubona!” (a Zulu greeting that translates as “I see you”) in a breakout workshop led by clinical psychologist, minister and Pepperdine University professor Thelma Bryant, a trauma recovery specialist and author of the book Homecoming: Overcome Fear and Trauma to Reclaim Your Whole, Authentic Self.

Gwyneth Paltrow Says Ex Chris Martin Is "Kind of Like My Brother Now"
Gwyneth Paltrow Says Ex Chris Martin Is "Kind of Like My Brother Now"

Homecoming: Overcome Fear and Trauma to Reclaim Your Whole, Authentic Self


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As she did last year, Paltrow starred in a 30-minute “Ask Me Anything” Q&A session, donning the puff-sleeve cashmere Cosmo sweater from the G. Label by Goop collection with a sleek pencil skirt by Lafayette148 New York. Most guests had attended multiple summits and engaged in a clubby, convivial way with the Goop founder and CEO, who coached one woman on the college application process, based on her own recent experiences with 17-year-old son Moses and 19-year-old daughter Apple (currently a student at Vanderbilt University in Nashville), shared with Martin.

“In the case of my daughter, [she] was so focused on one place,” said Paltrow. “Honestly, if she hadn’t gotten in, I don’t know what we would have done and that’s totally the wrong approach! Hit the road and see as many places as you can — in the range of the ‘reach’ schools to the ‘likely’ schools — because we want them to feel good about the choices and there really are so many great places. A college counselor told me if your kid accidentally dropped their personal statement on the floor of the school, you’d want to pick it up and know it was him. So be as specific as possible.”

Mentioning a recent trip with Martin and their children to look at potential colleges for Moses, Paltrow said: “I’m still very close with my ex-husband. We’ve sort of morphed it into a true family. I know it sounds really weird to say, but he’s kind of like my brother now. And it’s hard for people to understand, but I did really make a commitment that he would stay my family, and I think we suffer a lot less because of that. I think it’s incredibly painful for a woman, when you’ve co-mingled your DNA with a man, if you have no contact and acrimony and nothing between you. So if you’re able to, transmogrify that into a different type of relationship and family. That’s what we’ve been able to do, thank goodness.”

As for the subject on her mind a lot lately, Paltrow shared: “We’ve kind of worked our way through a lot of taboo subjects at Goop. … I hope we’ve shed some light on trying to rid shame in certain areas, whether it’s how to divorce slightly nicer or about women’s sexuality. I still feel that so many women are really struggling with being in touch with who they actually are and what they actually want.

“We put so many layers of ‘should and shouldn’t’s’ between our true essence and all the responsibility. I feel like my work now is really around trying to cultivate a deeper listening for myself instead of the knee-jerk, ‘Yeah sure, I’ll do that for you,’ or ‘No problem, I’ll be there,’ or ‘Yeah, I’m getting a massage, but I’ll make you a sandwich.’ I started to realize that I don’t think I know the answer half the time to what I want. And what is the practice that we can develop to help listen?  It’s kind of controversial because the patriarchy is so perfectly built on us feeling like we have to do everything, all the shoulds and the shouldn’ts.”

This year’s more simplified summit did not include workouts or outside vendor booths, beyond wellness shots from Hydration Room. Rather, a corner shop showcased a curation of Goop products such as books, G. Label fashion and jewelry, Goop Beauty, sex toys, supplements and Athleta x Goop “Power of She” sweatshirts. Down the hall, guests could test the latest Goop Beauty offerings.

Gwyneth Paltrow Says Ex Chris Martin Is "Kind of Like My Brother Now"
Gwyneth Paltrow Says Ex Chris Martin Is "Kind of Like My Brother Now"

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The breakfast menu included avocado toast; overnight oat cups with fruit and cashew butter; and power balls crafted of dates, pistachio nuts, matcha powder, vanilla, rose petals and NB Pure Plant Protein, an event sponsor. Lunch manifested as a sampling of greatest-hit salads, soups and desserts from Goop Kitchen, Paltrow’s L.A.-area clean food delivery concept, which expanded to Costa Mesa in July.

Guests were gifted an Athleta Solace Bra and Salutation Stash Mesh Tights, plus a swag bag packed with an array of beauty and wellness products from other brands sold by Goop, including a Chorus couples massager/vibrator by We-vibe.

Gwyneth Paltrow Says Ex Chris Martin Is "Kind of Like My Brother Now"
Gwyneth Paltrow Says Ex Chris Martin Is "Kind of Like My Brother Now"

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Goop’s anniversary year has been action-packed. In September, the company expanded into color cosmetics with a line of multi-tasking, skin-nurturing Colorblur Glow Balms ($34) in five colors that can be used on cheeks and lips. October marked the rollout of a more affordable, mass-market Good.clean.goop line of essential beauty and wellness products ($20-$40) at Target and Amazon. On Nov. 1, a two-bedroom Goop Villa debuted at The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach that can be booked for stays of at least one month. Decorated with design firm Ronen Lev, complete with collaborative Fromenthal wallpaper, the villa is stocked with Goop Beauty products and G. Label clothing in a guest’s sizing, courtesy of a Goop concierge, no less. On Nov. 6, Paltrow took home the 2023 CFDA Amazon Innovation Award, presented by Amazon Fashion, for Goop’s forward-thinking approach to business.

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