When People Try to Say White People Don’t Have Culture

Image via Getty.
Image via Getty.

In the February issue of InStyle, professional healthy person and View From the Top star Gwyneth Paltrow unequivocally put the frustrating assumption that white people have no culture to rest by offering the magazine her own version of “Um try again sweetie ;).”

When asked about her divorce from Coldplay frontman and fellow white person Chris Martin, Paltrow said (emphasis mine):

He’s at my house every single day. We have our own lives but we still have our family life...To this day, Chris would take a bullet for me, even though I’m not his wife. I honestly think Chris and I have contributed something positive to the culture of divorce.


She goes on:

I’m like, this is my role. I’m here to do this...A friend told me if you’re a trailblazer, you’re the first one through, and you get the cuts because you’re hacking the path.

A couple things. Post-divorce co-parenting was a concept long before Paltrow and Martin began doing it, and using the term “conscious uncoupling” wasn’t even Paltrow’s idea in the first place, so why can’t Paltrow just let her personal actions exist in the vacuum of her own life? Why must she justify them as having positive cultural reverberations in order for them to be good decisions?

It’s OK that she and Martin split (because hey, not my life), and it’s OK that she and Martin are happy (again, not my life), but the assumption that unhappily married couples with young children are using their contributions to “the culture of divorce” as some kind of guidebook when consciously uncoupling themselves is wildly self-aggrandizing, even for Paltrow.


I don’t think normal people could care less about a couple of super-rich celebrities when making the decision to divorce. Maybe when redecorating the house or changing up their wardrobe after the papers are signed, sure. But not before.

Staff Writer, Jezebel | Man

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What I think of when I think of “white people” and “culture.”