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Conscious Uncoupling—A Real-Life Guide

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    Yesterday, Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle site, goop, went down in a fiery hell storm after she posted news of her separation from husband, Coldplay singer and future judge on The Voice, Chris Martin. Paltrow wrote a heartfelt letter to fans stating, “We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and co-parent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.”

    And, just like that, Gwyneth Paltrow turned the end of her marriage into a very on-brand concept. But, what does it all mean? Allow us to explain.

    Is Gwyneth Paltrow unconscious?

    Nope. She's conscious. She is just consciously uncoupling.

    What does she mean by that?

    It means separation but with friendly connotations. It also means that now the only things Paltrow and Martin will share is a love for their children and an aversion to their marriage. (It's also worth mentioning there is a five-month recovery program of the same name, written by Katherine Woodward Thomas. Her version and Paltrow's do not appear to be connected.)

    Then why not just say that? What gives with the new terminology?

    Gwyneth Paltrow, the person, and Gwyneth Paltrow, the brand, are one. They are wedded by flaxen hair and an absence of gluten, and where one goes the other follows. Gwyneth Paltrow is not just a vegan; she's a macrobioticist. Gwyneth Paltrow is not a best friend; she’s Beyoncé's best friend. Gwyneth Paltrow does not simply divorce; she consciously uncouples. Separation or divorce is for your aunt who loves sharing pictures of a dog cuddling a kitten on Facebook; it’s for your parents or friends or someone with a good quaaludes prescription. But, a plain, old, beige divorce is just not what Gwyneth Paltrow is all about.

    But…why?

    At this point, Paltrow has successfully converted herself from a mere actress into a new-agey, farm-to-table advocating, easy-breezy, bonafide lifestyle guru. Every facet of her life has been carefully cultivated to present her this way. The divorce is just another way to take something from her life and turn it into a part of her brand. By taking something terribly painful, dressing it up in a flowy tunic and Kabbalah bracelet, and calling it “consciously separating,” Gwyneth is able to turn the separation into something manageable and more controlled. A little more Gwyn. Is it patently ridiculous? Sure. But, so is everything about Gwyneth Paltrow (have you ever seen the woman dance?). It's also empowering. Where other people might bow their heads and quietly admit they're getting a divorce, Gwyneth's chilling blue eyes will lock with yours as she says, "A divorce? Oh, that's nice. Me? I'm getting consciously uncoupled."

    Is she the first one to have CU'd?

    Not even close. But, other than this Katherine Woodward Thomas, Paltrow does appear to be one of the first to use the phrase. But, their separation is just the most recent in a long line of amicable separations. See who else consciously uncoupled and just didn't know it yet.

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