06 October 2010
3 guilt + pleasure
i love the gwyneth paltrow newsletter. i love the gwyneth paltrow newsletter enough that an odd lot of my conversations these days kick off with a some variety of "so i was reading in this week's gwyneth paltrow newsletter..."
that may lead you to question the quality of my conversations, but i assure you, they are winning. gwyneth paltrow's newsletters hit on some pretty powerful stuff.
like unprotected sun exposure. who knew that was a good thing? or that vitamin d was a hormone? and that we can be happier, totally fulfilled people if we sit outside for 20 minutes every day without slathering on spf 390?
i did not know this. judging from my mother's terror over the freckled shoulders i was sporting from the unprotected sun exposure i enjoyed this summer, neither did she.
and yes, there are some topics that might perhaps be best left uncovered. the sex life of Jesus, for one. the detox cleanse. the hilariously condescending revelation that in nashville they cook this really yummy stuff called "fried food." all somewhat unnecessary but the one thing that can be said about the gwyneth paltrow newsletter is that the gwyneth paltrow newsletter is never dull. were it published in any other venue, the material on postpartum depression might almost be called ground-breaking.
perhaps it's just because i'm between tabloid subscriptions and winter's coming and there is so little sun in which to expose oneself and the resulting life of lower quality has left me starved for any celebrity high i can find, but each week, i find myself looking forward to the gwyneth paltrow newsletter with excitement increasingly akin to my enthusiasm for baked goods. i have mixed feelings about this.
which i shouldn't, because long, long ago- somewhere between reading the other boleyn girl and becoming a tabloid subscriber- i came to hold the belief that no one should feel guilt or shame for the quality of their entertainments. that the phrase "guilty pleasures" was a misnomer (unless you get off on guilt, in which case, have at it.) because it's pleasure. and pleasure can't be fully enjoyed if you're all guilt riddled about it and, really, who gives three beans if the cultural value of something you enjoy is considered somewhat questionable by the world at large.
it may very well be that i believe this because i'm often exceedingly low brow.
regardless, i was counseling kara beautiful gold in this philosophy the other night. and in the midst of offering proof that her fondness for romance novels wasn't the world's worse vice, something horrifying occurred. i said this: "yeah, yeah, the gwyneth paltrow newsletter is great. and y'know what's really helped with my writing lately? that miley cyrus song 'see you again.'"
as the words came out and the blush rose up my cheeks, i realized that maybe i was wrong. maybe, yes, there are some pleasures about which we should feel guilty. miley cyrus is probably one.