The 43-year-old Goop founder coversGlamour's March issue, in which she opens up about everything from the public's perception of her, her close relationships with fellow A-list gal pals, to how she's getting along with her ex, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.
Paltrow says her parents -- the late producer/director Bruce Paltrow and actress Blythe Danner -- cut her off when she quit UC Santa Barbara to become an actress.
"My dad was like, 'That's great, but I'm not gonna help you,'" she recalls. "I was like, 'Yeah, right.' And he was like, 'No, I'm not.' So I got an apartment with a roommate; I worked as a hostess at a restaurant; I would scrounge quarters to buy Starbucks -- and walk there to save gas. I remember once asking my dad for money, like, 'Please, I'm really stuck. Can you help?' And he said, 'You're more than welcome to come over for dinner.' That was it."
"People think, 'She's just a rich kid.' Until I was 18, I was. Then I was broke," she stresses. "I've never taken a dime off my parents. I'm completely self-made."
Similarly, she gets aggressive when talking about the criticism that her website, Goop, only sells expensive products.
"I'm like, 'Have you looked at the website? Have you seen the range of price points? 'Cause we sell things that are $8,'" she points out. "I'm like, 'If you want to f**k with me, bring your A-game. At least have all your information.'"
However, she very rarely lets any harsh criticism get her down.
"I don't lose sleep over it," she says about defending herself and her brand. "It's my business to live my life and learn my lessons. I don't care what anybody else thinks. ... Maybe when I was 25 that would have been different. But I’m 43 years old, and I know who I am, and I own my mistakes."
Paltrow gushes about her similarly confident girlfriends, including her "California posse" -- Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Reese Witherspoon, Kate Hudson, and Chelsea Handler. The actress has even named her new Juice lipstick colors after them.
"If you were to ask me what my biggest success is, it's that I've been able to maintain and nourish my relationships," Paltrow explains. "As you get older, you choose friends based on not only what feels resonant and warm but if they’re bringing something to your life. My women friends are incredibly intelligent. There's no posturing, no competition."
"We help each other; we consult each other," she adds. "I think we’re in the midst of creating a new archetype of a woman, and we’re gonna get there. ... Our daughters will look at us and be like, 'Oh, so you get to work and be a mommy and wear beautiful lipstick.' I mean, when they have a hole in their uniform, I sew it. I make the food; I bathe them. And I'm a sexual being and a powerful woman and entrepreneur. I'm all of those things. We now realize that we have permission to be everything."
As for her relationship with her ex, Paltrow surprising says 38-year-old Martin is now like her "brother." The two even have friendly sleepovers.
"We spend a lot of time together," she reveals. "He's [Chris Martin] been away for two weeks [promoting his album]. Last night he got in at midnight and slept here so he could surprise the kids in the morning, we could all have breakfast, and he could take them to school. So … we're not living together, but he's more than welcome to be with us whenever he wants."
"And vice versa: I sleep in his house in Malibu a lot with the kids," she continues. "We'll have a weekend all together; holidays, we’re together. We're still very much a family, even though we don't have a romantic relationship. He's like my brother."