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Give Me Music, Not Correctness

The greatest living celebrity profile writer is Taffy Brodesser-Akner. She has breathed life into a previously dormant form by writing not about celebrities so much as writing about the contemporary world through the lens of fame.

The core question of her work is essentially: What does it mean that this person is famous in this way, and for these reasons, and at this time? Her subject is 21st century America, viewed through the lens of famous individuals.

Like all great writers, after you’ve finished one of her articles, you’re not only better informed about the subject at hand, but have also experienced multiple opportunities for self reflection, as you consider challenges to your existing world view.

For example, I did not think I was interested in reading about Gwyneth Paltrow in her capacity as CEO of her Goop lifestyle brand, but Brodesser-Akner’s profile is an absolute masterpiece, and having read it now several times, I have a much better understanding of how and why people like Paltrow and movements like Goop gain traction in our cutlure. 

After finishing the profile, I went to Twitter and shared an extract of a paragraph I found particularly brilliant, a description of Paltrow preparing a dinner that would be shared by Bodesser-Akner, Paltrow, and Paltrow’s fiancé, producer Brad Falchuk.





The use of “devastating” to describe Paltrow’s kitchen, somehow turning an adjective into something specific and meaningful is worthy of 1500 words all by itself. It is literally perfect in the way it carries a mélange of emotions. It is “devastating” in the sense of being stunning, or mind-blowing, but at the same time, Brodesser-Akner is also implying that it’s too much for mere – non-Goop – mortals to grasp.

And of course, “devastating” carries a whole raft of negative connotations as well. Brodesser-Akner is reminding us

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