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Arts and Entertainment

A Textual Analysis Of How Dawn From 'The Baby-Sitters Club' And Gwyneth Paltrow Are Actually The Same Person

Dawn Schafer and Gwyneth Paltrow (Photos via Wikimedia Commons andGetty Images)
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If you were alive in the early to mid-'90s, you were probably at least somewhat aware of Ann M. Martin's classic Scholastic series, The Baby-Sitters Club. If you were a young girl in the early-to-mid-'90s, you were definitely familiar with the exploits of suburban Connecticut's most enterprising teen clique, and the odds are, peppy California transplant Dawn Schafer was the sitter you loved to hate.

From her very first appearance in the The Baby-Sitters Club series, Dawn represented the apotheosis of insufferable California neo-hippie culture, down to her tree-hugging tendencies, fondness for sprouts and waist-length sheaf of blond hair (as Mark Shrayber of Jezebel theorized in 2015, Dawn would probably be an anti-vaxxer.) Today, a clear and rightful successor to Dawn's throne has emerged; the golden-haired Goop maven herself, Gwyneth Kate Paltrow. Don't believe it? We've put together an textual analysis to highlight the similarities.

Vegetarianism/clean eating, and controversy therein A vegetarian and health-food fanatic, Dawn was frequently seen snack-shaming Claudia Kishi (objectively the best Babysitter, do not @ me) for her love of candy. However, in "Baby-Sitters Club Super Special, No. 1: Baby-Sitters On Board!", there is a specific instance of Dawn eating meat. Gwyneth's seminal 2013 cookbook "It's All Good" touts the virtues of an elimination diet, offering recipes for vegan avocado toast and egg-white omelets and noting that Gwyneth absolutely won't touch red meat—except for that time Jamie Oliver got her to eat a hamburger on TV.

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California childhoods, East Coast teen years Both Dawn and Gwyneth hail from the Golden State—Dawn was born in Anaheim, while Gwyneth spent her early years in Santa Monica. Dawn arrived in Stonybrook, Connecticut at the age of 12, while Gwyneth relocated to New York at 13 and attended Spence, an elite girl's school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Flirtation with Buddhism. In BSC #109, "Mary Anne To The Rescue," Dawn "became temporarily obsessed with Buddhism." Gwyneth has expressed admiration for the teachings of Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe, and once posted aguide to Buddhist meditation on the Goop website, writing, "My brain drives me mental. I am going to start. Tomorrow. I think I get it."

One younger brother with a four-letter "J" name Gwyneth's brother is Jake; Dawn's brother is Jeff. Hmm.

A fondness for surfing Like any good California girl, Dawn loves to surf, so much so that an older surfer captures her heart in BSC Mystery #12, "Dawn and the Surfer Ghost." (Spoiler alert: he's not a ghost! He's just a regular, hot, alive surfer! He gives Dawn his snake ring to remember him by!) As far as we know, Gwyneth's list of paramours doesn't include any spectral surfer dudes, but she has been seen taking surf lessons in Cornwall, England.

Entrepreneurship In 2008, Gwyneth founded her lifestyle brand Goop, where employees work from an essential oil-scented barn somewhere in the canyons of Los Angeles. Elsewhere in California, back in the mid-'90s, Dawn went rogue and launched the "We ♥ Kids Club", a Baby-Sitters Club ripoff where they "hold informal meetings, eat healthy snacks, and don't keep records." I'm willing to bet that Goop and the "We ♥ Kids Club" both get lunch delivered from Cafe Gratitude.

Willingness to delegate Gwyneth's relationship with Goop is constantly evolving; in July of 2016, she handed the reins over to former Lisa Gersh, then resumed her position as Goop's CEO this March. Dawn's role within the Baby-Sitters Club is similarly flexible; she serves as Alternate Officer, meaning that if someone can't make it to the meeting, she takes over their role (which left her free to take constant trips back to California, because apparently the Baby-Sitters Club charter and agenda mean nothing, Dawn.)

Haters Public outcry seems to follow Gwyneth wherever she goes, whether she's peddling "wellness stickers" against NASA's recommendation or encouraging women to store jade eggs in their vaginas. But did you know that Dawn Schafer is a polarizing figure in her own right, so much so that her Wikipedia page includes a "Controversy and continuity" section? "Many fans take issue with the frequent description of Dawn as an 'individual', noting that are several incidences where Dawn's individuality is pushed aside for a boy." (For reference, see BSC #37, "Dawn and the Older Boy", and BSC #50, "Dawn's Big Date.") Sounds like somebody needs to consciously uncouple.