The film star shouldnt resent being called out by her daughter over an Instagram post
Gwyneth Paltrow is many things an A-list actress, an entrepreneur, a woman who has built a business empire on charging eye-watering amounts for self-care products that sound as if they were invented during a free-association session at the local poetry night but she is not known for being relatable. Yet on Instagram, as she was told off by her teenage daughter, Apple, with a statement one door-slam away from: Youre sooooo embarrassing, something human began to manifest. Paltrow had posted a picture of herself with Apple, wearing ski goggles. Mom, we have discussed this. You may not post anything without my consent, the 14-year-old wrote underneath it, as crisp as the snow behind them.
Paltrows audience of 5.3m was torn, the comments turning into a battleground of pro-privacy advocates (surely ironic, to argue that via Instagram, where one click on a single pair of leggings means never being able to escape from leggings ads for the rest of your mortal days) and people who think Paltrow is perfectly entitled to post pictures of her progeny.
Leaving aside the main question, which is why they didnt speak or text about it, I found myself in the very non-Comment-friendly position of being able to see where each was coming from.
The relationship between parents and children on social media is, at its finest, hilarious and absurd. It is two teams playing a match against each other using different sets of rules. It is football versus golf. It will never come together in anything other than a cloud of chaos. My dad was a late adopter of social media and he still approaches it with an innocence and gusto that make me grateful he does not yet know how to tag. Name one thing your dad taught you, ran one particular Facebook post that he had been drawn to, filled underneath with sweet, inspirational stories about love and growth and strength. How to gut a rabbit, he wrote.
But young people, who had a digital footprint before they could walk, seem to be avoiding their every activity being documented and promoted, no matter how proud the parents intentions. It provides yet more of a hint that they are wise beyond their years; its only idiots past a certain age who will put up with waking the morning after a party to find that their phone is buzzing with notifications because there is evidence online that they started dancing, in the style of a jig, at a certain too-late point of the night. Frankly, nobody needs to see that. The future is in safe hands.