Rona Dougall: Gwyneth, get real, we’re not all like you

Gwyneth Paltrow promoting her new book 'It's All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great'. Picture: Getty

Gwyneth Paltrow promoting her new book 'It's All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great'. Picture: Getty

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THERE she is in the papers again, promoting her new book: blonde, tanned, toned and lovely, dressed in yet another designer outfit.

Gwyneth Paltrow is the poster girl of the moment for wholesome living and perfect parenting.

Her latest cookbook, It’s All Good, is all about gluten-free, sugar-free, low carb cooking. Critics are taking a pop at her for taking Hollywood neuroticism to new levels. Many say the cost of actually making these insanely healthy meals runs into hundreds of pounds.

I’m sure her children would murder for a decent ham sandwich – although the actress-turned-healthy eating guru reassures us that Apple and Moses are allowed to eat Oreos occasionally. Well, hang out the bunting.

She also has a lifestyle website called “goop”, which she started in 2008 “to share all of life’s positives. From creating a delicious recipe to finding a perfect dress for spring, Gwyneth began curating the best of lifestyle to help her readers save time, simplify and feel inspired.”

Crucially, Gywneth will tell you what the must-have buys are for the season ahead. For instance, this spring any woman worth her salt must have a red gloss leather jacket, a steal at £1,335, a Christian Laboutin tote bag, retail price £1,525 and Saint Laurent leather pumps, a veritable bargain at £410.

I know, I’m being a total bitch here. I’m just jealous. My mothering and “lifestyle” skills (not to mention my wardrobe) are so woefully rubbish compared to hers.

As I write this I have a raging hangover and my children are next door playing on the 
XBox and the computer. They are frighteningly good at these games thanks to the hours they’ve put in. The ten-year-old is a computer whizzkid because of her mis-spent youth. You need your firewall updated? She’s the go-to girl.

Soon I will haul my sorry behind down to the kitchen and slam a Sainsbury’s own pepperoni pizza in the oven. And if the girls are very, very lucky I will manage not to burn it. Hey presto, a culinary treat. Or possibly disaster.

I would offer them the remains of the lovely Easter eggs Granny gave them for pudding, but I scoffed them when I came in last night.

In stark contrast, the Oscar-winning goddess hires tutors to teach her offspring Latin and Ancient Greek.

Gywneth recently revealed in a glossy magazine that she got through the cold and depressing month of January by assigning it “international month”, and amusing Moses and his big sister Apple with a visiting Italian chef, Japanese anime screenings and hand-rolled-sushi lessons.

We got through January by putting on an extra jumper, watching copious amounts of telly whilst eating wine gums and shouting at each other a lot.

To a mere mortal, all of this stuff is extremely depressing. Women like Gwyneth Paltrow just set the bar far too high.

I like her so much more when she confesses to a sly cigarette once a month and is pictured leaving a beer hall in Munich looking slightly 
bleary-eyed.

But even then, she has to go and spoil it by having Robert Downey Junior as her drinking partner. I mean, come on, that’s just showing off.

A recent survey on childhood happiness found that what makes kids really happy is going swimming and their mums and dads being content, preferably together.

Its not a big ask, is it? When I was a child there were no elaborate, expenstive days out or exotic holidays, no electronic gadgets or DVD players and certainly no helicopter parenting.

Sundays were usually spent going for a family walk with the cat and cleaning out the hamster’s cage with cold 
water.

In the summer holidays we played in the fields behind our house, rode our bikes and rearranged our collection of sheep skulls in the Wendy House.

My mum didn’t have a hectic timetable of after-school activities all planned for us. We just, kind of, got on with it.

I still remember, though, the feeling of security and contentment as all six of us settled down to watch television together on a Saturday night, and the simplicity of our young lives.

It certainly didn’t do me any harm. In fact, my therapist thinks it sounds great.

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