Listen, the vagina candle was punk rock, OK?
When Gwyneth Paltrow opened up her Instagram for a Q&A session Wednesday, it didn't take long for a fan to ask about the “thought process” behind the Goop founder and Oscar winner's $75 "This Smells Like My Vagina" candle.
Paltrow defended the viral Goop offering, replying that the candle was meant to be "a really strong feminist statement” about women's anatomy. “So many women have been raised, at least in my generation, to think there’s something wrong with themselves, or that the vagina is weird, or gross, or something to be ashamed of,” she said. “So the candle was supposed to be a very strong, punk rock ‘F you’ to anyone who ever made us feel like that.”
She also clarified that the candle “was not supposed to actually smell like anyone’s vagina,” and added that the "strong feminist statement" was quickly lost in the commotion over its branding, which she said was a shame.
“It smelled like roses and all kinds of things — and that was the point,” she explained.
Elsewhere in the Instagram Q&A, Paltrow touched on breast-feeding when a fan asked if she had breast-fed her children, Apple Martin, 19, and Moses Martin, 17.
"I did breast-feed. I made a ton of milk. I was lucky in that way," she said. "Pregnancy was hard for me but breast-feeding came really easily. The reason that I'm bringing this up is because I feel like there has been so much judgment and stigma in our culture around how people choose to feed their babies. Some women really want to breast-feed and can't for whatever reason. Some women have double mastectomies. Some men in same sex couples cannot have easy access to breast milk."
"There's a million different reasons why women need to use formula and we need to support parents who are making the best choice for them and their family," she said.
Then there was the fan who brazenly asked about the star's sex life with her husband Brad Falchuk. "Do you give Mr. Falchuk a mandatory BJ?"
To which she stylishly replied, “I mean, define mandatory.”
Another fan asked how Paltrow has taken to the role of stepmom, added that they asked because they struggle with the role themselves.
"I did find it really hard at first, you know, there's no book on this," Paltrow said. "Nobody tells us what to do. And in fact, all of the existing media around what a stepmother is casts us in this evil, villainous light. So it's kind of like trying to avoid land mines."
She added that entering a family as a stepparent means that you're joining a family that has dynamics already in place. "There's all kinds of fear around loss and what does this new person mean? But, for myself, the minute I decided and fully embodied the idea that my stepkids were my kids — and I love them just as much and I gave them the same rules and boundaries — and just wholeheartedly went for it. Then the easier the whole thing got, and now it's pretty great."
"Oh my God —stop yelling at me —we just stopped doing it," she quipped.
"I mean, because Iron Man died, and why do you need Pepper Pots without Iron Man? I don't know! Call up Marvel and yell at them! Not me. I'm just sitting here."
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.