Sunday 24 March 2019

Liz Kearney: 'We're being encouraged to think of our lives as carefully choreographed dramas. But unless you're Gwyneth Paltrow, no one is looking'


'We are being encouraged to think of our lives as carefully choreographed, stage-managed, ‘Truman Show’-style dramas.'
'We are being encouraged to think of our lives as carefully choreographed, stage-managed, ‘Truman Show’-style dramas.'
Liz Kearney

Liz Kearney

Once upon a time, back in a world before Marie Kondo, we worried about David Beckham.

We worried because we read that he liked to line up all his Pepsi cans symmetrically in the fridge, and always in an even number. Anything less orderly made him anxious, he admitted. Poor David Beckham, we thought to ourselves. That must be very hard to live with. Hopefully he's getting himself some help to break free from the tyranny of all those linear Pepsi cans.

But fast forward nearly a decade, and here I am reading a feature in a glossy magazine about Gwyneth Paltrow's pantry. Gwyneth has had the professional declutterers in, and so now her pantry, which I imagine was pretty tidy to begin with, resembles a pharmacy shelf, carefully and symmetrically subdivided into ingredients for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Row upon row of tomato sauce cans are lined up like soldiers, not a millimetre out of place, while the shelves of kilner jars storing cereals and pulses all have their hinges pointing in exactly the same direction, as if Kathy Bates's 'Misery' character had been around for a quick tidy.

Also pictured is Gwyneth's kids' playroom, with its games carefully stashed away in boxes and its soft toys and books colour-coded, thereby removing all traces of actual kids or actual playing. These same professional declutterers have also been busy in stylist Rachel Zoe's closet, where they subdivided her jackets by designer, colour and type, then labelled all the section dividers.

But putting both Gwyneth and Rachel in the ha'penny place was singer Mandy Moore, whose pantry is home to a frankly terrifying pyramid of kitchen rolls - maybe she's expecting a tanker-sized oil spill? - and a collection of water bottles so rigidly arranged they'd make Beckham's Pepsi cans look like a Jackson Pollock painting.

Lining things up like this used to be thought of as odd, and even worryingly suggestive of an obsessive compulsive disorder. But today it is a #LifeGoal; a new way to show the world that you've got it all - and then some. It's absolutely exhausting.

I get that it's nice to have an orderly house, or to remember which press you've stored the juicer in when your toddler is screeching at 5am that he wants ORANGE JOOCE NOW MUMMY but, honestly, nothing can persuade me life would suddenly be perfect if your bookshelves were colour-co-ordinated, or your kids' toys were invisible.

We are being encouraged to think of our lives as carefully choreographed, stage-managed, 'Truman Show'-style dramas. But the thing is, unless you're Gwyneth Paltrow, no one is looking. And no one cares. Frankly, the time spent colour co-ordinating that bookshelf would probably be better spent actually reading the books themselves. Now there's a thought.

Pregnant Meghan put foot in it with stilettos

Meghan Markle has been getting a hard time for daring to keep wearing her very high stilettos right into her third trimester, which apparently means she is putting her fashion priorities ahead of her own health and that of her baby. Doctors warned that she might fall, or damage the ligaments which stretch during pregnancy. All for the sake of looking good, they tutted.

What next? Meghan deemed irresponsible for daring to cross a road, drive a car, eat popcorn, or indeed anything that involves an element of risk? Seems like being alive is a pretty big risk in itself.

Women are used to being policed but as anyone who's ever been visibly pregnant knows, this ramps up several notches when you're expecting. And if Meghan thinks things are bad now, just wait til Junior arrives. She'll really be in for it then.

Irish Independent

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