Hello and welcome to the first Dining Table column, where we bring table-top conversations your family wouldn’t want. Today we’re going to be discussing Goop, a lifestyle brand started by Gwyneth Paltrow, the ethics behind it, the health risks and everything that surrounds it.
Vibrators, a five-day meal kit, and a candle that says, “It smells like my vagina. These are just a few of the products Goop, actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s self-proclaimed “modern lifestyle brand,” offers on its online website for purchase. After newsletters, lawsuits and The sketches of “Saturday Night Live” mocking the wellness brand, Goop finally solidified itself in the mainstream with “The Goop Lab”, a six-part Netflix series produced by Paltrow and Elise Loehnen, Head of Content at Goop.
The series, which finds Goop staff embarking on a variety of physical, emotional, and mental journeys involving shrooms, orgasms, and conversations with the deceased, has been met with a harsh critical reception – as have many. brand products, which have been blatantly exhausted. An article by Cosmopolitan called the show “nonsense.” A one-star review of The Guardian considers it “a demented hymn to self-indulgence.” It currently has a score of 29% on the review aggregation site Rotten tomatoes, with the critical consensus regarding Paltrow’s offspring as “pseudoscience”.
However, I believe in Goop’s gospel.
“For me, it all comes down to one thing, which is self-optimization,” Paltrow said in the first episode of his series.
His statement is not inherently incorrect. In fact, Paltrow’s creation is quite multifaceted and allows one to improve in different ways. A glance at Goop’s website reveals articles on wellness and reducing stress, depression and negativity, guides to increasing sexual pleasure, and beauty tips and tricks.
Browsing the Goop online store may result in you adding various assortments of vitamins, skin care products, and clothing to your shopping cart. All of this content provided by Goop is actually beneficial – the less than favorable press surrounding some of the brand’s weirdest products, like the infamous Jade Egg, envelops the importance and need for self-help.
Goop’s popular stigma for its few quirks is hurting not only the brand itself, but those who support it as well. It’s a huge middle finger for those who actually reap the benefits of the brand and completely invalidate the positive experiences and growth people have had with it. The various case studies of ordinary people reviewed in the Netflix special are proof that what Goop preaches can actually work.
Goop is more than “The Goop Lab”. It is more than an adventure of a leading actress in personal care. It’s more than mushrooming in Jamaica, and it’s more than putting a jade egg inside your vagina. In fact, Goop has an impressive assortment of products and content designed to help you on their “self-optimization” journey. I honestly dare to say that Goop can be lumped together with astrology, tarot cards, and even religion in its ability to guide and improve the lives of those who embrace it.
So in Goop’s case, maybe we shouldn’t let one bad egg spoil the rest of the group.
Let’s talk about jade eggs.
Jade eggs: beautiful, elegant, perhaps even pleasant to be around. But in my vagina. NO THANKS.
Knowing that Paltrow had previously sold Jade Eggs on the Goop website, I was already getting bored of the rest of the products, not to mention the daily blogs on diet and wellness practices.
His show no longer made me lose faith in the information Goop was distributing. In “The Goop Lab,” Paltrow uses folktale-type practices to gain sales and monetize views, which is unethical. Although this is based on pseudoscience, Paltrow’s practices present themselves as science or real information because she knows people believe in a more “natural” way to heal right now.
In order for Paltrow’s lifestyle brand to be considered ethical, it would actually have to back its information on science so that the public does not potentially exacerbate their health problems by following these practices. Goop should not continue to back up its products and blogs based on the opinions or experiences of “fans”.
Until Goop decides to find some real doctors and scientists to save their information, I will stay away from Jade Eggs and all the rest of Gwyneth Paltrow.
Also be sure to check out the podcast we made on Goop!
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