One story caught my attention this past week in the land of celebrity gossip. In an interview with the Mail on Sunday’s You magazine, Gwyneth Paltrow revealed she suffered a miscarriage during her third pregnancy. “I had a really bad experience when I was pregnant with my third. It didn’t work out and I nearly died.” She goes on to describe the void she feels in her life because of the absence of a third child.
I was instantly struck by the frankness of Paltrow’s revelation. A miscarriage is a profoundly sad event for anyone to experience and it is a profoundly personal event for a celebrity to share. Although about 1/4 of all pregnancies result in a miscarriage, few celebrities are forthcoming about having had a miscarriage. This fact alone makes Paltrow’s revelation noteworthy; her candor will certainly help other women dealing with their own grief.
But we should immediately question why a celebrity shares revealing personal information. Celebrities might lead public lives and want us to respect their privacy but they also depend on us – the fans and consumers – to buy their products. Thus when a celebrity is promoting their latest movie, album, book, or product, privacy becomes a relative term. So why did Gwyneth Paltrow choose to discuss this personal experience that happened several years ago? The (somewhat cynical) answer is that Paltrow is currently promoting her latest cookbook, It’s All Good and she is attempting to rebrand her public image. Continue reading “The New Gwyneth Paltrow”