Is it just me, or has Gwyneth Paltrow been spotted with an awful lot of pasta lately for someone who’s proselytized about the evils of carbs? I don’t want to hate on angel hair, and god knows there’s nothing better than someone (anyone?) serving me a bowlful of carbonara, but as Gwyneth appears in photo shoot after photo shoot promoting her new cookbook, My Father’s Daughter, I can’t help but wonder what’s up with the myth of the skinny girl and the spaghetti. Because last time I checked, just about every weight loss expert admits that to look at all like Gwyneth, most of us have to cut carbs.
But here’s the ugly truth that Gwyneth knows all too well: Bun-less burgers and hard-boiled eggs just don’t look as good as sexy carbs. Her father had it all figured out: Carbs sell. Want food porn? Hold the chicken breast; bring on oodles of noodles. There’s nothing more attractive than a big Italian meal, with rich, sumptuous sauces poured over coma-inducing pasta. And if food is going to be photographed anywhere near GP, it’s gotta be able to stand up to her good looks, therefore: Photos of long, skinny arms embracing bowlfuls of long, skinny noodles.
But the problem with this picture is that, as Gwyneth has intimated herself, all the refined flour in pasta doesn’t add up to a healthy diet (or the svelte figure that she’s known for). The actress, whose workouts rival her cooking for fame, is a big advocate of low-carb diets featuring whole ingredients instead of processed products (and, sorry, but white pasta isn’t a whole grain, people). I’d never forsake a celebrity their carbs, and I don’t like the idea of judging other women’s diets at all, but there’s something perverse about the myth of the skinny girl and her spaghetti: Yes, there are 14-year-olds with metabolisms that could plow through all the penne, orzo, bowtie, and tortellini in the world, but in our 30s and 40s, most of us can’t look like Gwyneth Paltrow if we manga pasta as often as her photo ops suggest she does.
In a recent post for Blisstree, nutritionist Lauren Slayton explained that skipping carbs is practically a prerequisite for looking as lithe as GP in a bikini this summer:
…the reason some people lose weight on gluten-free regimens is simple: Many foods that contain gluten just aren’t healthy. Breads, muffins, cookies, and cakes aren’t exactly the recipe for skinny jeans and two-piece bathing suits. (Put another way: Bagels are not for thin people.) The reason every fad diet is low- or lower-carb is simple: It works.
So while magazines like to make Gwyneth look pretty and give her a plateful of carbs, the reality is that her relationship with pasta is just as complicated as our own. Here’s some insight into the real word of the skinny girl and her favorite sexy carb: