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REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Gwyneth Paltrow can't seem to open her mouth without putting a perfectly pedicured foot in it. The founder of lifestyle website Goop is featured in all her fit and fabulous glory on the cover of Harper's Bazaar's spring fashion issue, which hits newsstands on Valentine's Day. "Everything I've done has been completely organic and that's why the brand is a strong brand, because there is no ulterior motive behind it," Paltrow says in the accompanying interview.

The 39-year-old mother of two also shares new details about her parenting style – and one Gwynethism in particular is raising well-groomed eyebrows. Turns out she not only baths Apple, 7, and Moses, 5, herself at night, but she gets right into the tub with them.

And no, it's not that folks are concerned about over-crowding, given that the Martin family likely co-bathes in the Antonio Lupi Baia Tub Paltrow named as one of her favourite things in a feature in Elle Decor (price available by request -- and if you have to ask, you probably can't afford it). What Paltrow has inadvertently stepped into is the ongoing debate about the appropriate cut-off age for rub-a-dub-dubbing en famille.

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"I'll continue to bathe with my daughter until she's an adult if she so wishes. I want her to be comfortable with her body, and the best way to encourage that is to show her I'm comfortable with mine," wrote one commentator on Baby Gaga. But another is adamant that, as with breastfeeding, "once they can talk about it, it's time to stop." There are also double standards when it comes to gender, with commentators banishing dad completely from the bath and shower, or suggesting he put on a bathing suit even with a baby.

But while it often seems like Paltrow is her own worst enemy, the revelation that she likes to bathe with her kids has sparked a backlash to the predictable anti-Gwyneth backlash. "Just because Goop is objectionable about some things, doesn't mean she's wrong all the time," writes a woman on Jezebel. "Families bathing together is a traditional thing in some European and Asian countries," adds another. "There's nothing weird about it for some of us and I get the sense that Paltrow can afford a big enough tub for a family of 12 if need be."

Is it okay for parents to bathe with their kids? Should there be a different standard for dad than mom?

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About the Author

Shelley Youngblut is the Western Editor of The Globe and Mail (and the mother of identical twins). The former editor of Calgary’s award-winning Swerve magazine, she is a veteran of ESPN the Magazine, and has commented on pop culture on ABC, CTV and CBC Radio. More

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