Load of Goop

A deep, disturbing dive into Gwyneth Paltrow's insane empire


There is no Goop city guide for BostonMaybe you don’t know what that means, but I assure you it’s a badge of honor. Because we can infer by omission that Boston isn’t a Gwyneth Paltrow kind of place, and that news is worthy of celebration. Out on the Mass Pike, there should be a sign: “Welcome to Boston. Not a Gwyneth Paltrow Kind of Place.”

Goop is Paltrow’s lifestyle website, where she hawks clothes and new-agey health products and projects her demented version of reality. It’s like Martha Stewart crossed with the Psychic Friends Network and Zoolander. My friend Lyn told me to check it out, describing Goop as a bottomless mine of pretentious celebrity nonsense. Having now spent way more time than is healthy immersing myself in Goop, I have to qualify that characterization. Some of it isn’t pretentious. Like, Goop’s closest city guide is for Newport, and it tells you the best place to get kaftans. That’s just some solid advice we can all use. I mean, how many times have you been in Newport and said, “Where do I find a good kaftan around here? And also, what is a kaftan?”

Whatever a kaftan is, Goop will sell you one for $395. Actually, Goop will sell you lots of things, essentials hand-picked by a down-to-earth mom with kids named Apple and Moses and only several Coldplay songs about her. Her perception of money—“I can’t believe these psychics only charge $300 per session!”—translates to Goop’s product offerings. For instance, we all need serving bowls, right? Gwyneth’s got bowls for sale, and for only $458. And yes, that’s per bowl. Is that a lot? It looks pretty reasonable in comparison to the $15,000 24-karat gold vibrator.

Indeed, that is a real thing you can buy through the Goop store. I verified that by clicking through “shop” just to see what would happen (and irreversibly warp whatever Amazon shopping-analysis software is probably buried in my browser). Well, turns out the vibrator doesn’t have to be gold. There’s also a silver one for $7,900, if you’re feeling frugal. But either way: free shipping.

You also get free shipping on Goop’s custom vitamin packets, which are not called vitamins. They’re “protocols,” which is why they cost $90 for a month’s supply. There are four varieties, but the general idea is that you need some gluten-free fish oil, lady, and stat! Goop’s FAQ section asserts that the formula for pregnant women—The Mother Lode—is the only supplement package that won’t be beneficial for men. Which is interesting, given that one of the other ones is designed to cope with menopause. What, you think men can’t have menopause? It’s right there in the word. Stop buying into the rigid strictures of Western medicine.

Goop has its own vocabulary, which isn’t surprising coming from the woman who gave us “conscious uncoupling.” For instance, kids are called “littles.” As in, “We were sharing our favorite recipes for coconut aminos when the nanny brought the littles in from the guest house.”

Goop also loves the word “insane.” Jicama shrimp tacos are “insanely delicious.” A website is “insanely-helpful,” although apparently not helpful enough to remind Goop that you don’t hyphenate an adverb. Other things that are insane: scrambled eggs, flavored organic tortilla chips and the prices on St. Barts (expensive, actually, but you should go).

Paltrow is also into manifesting. Which is to say, if you want something in life, you just have to think about it really hard and then it’ll appear, like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in Ghostbusters. “Manifest the career you want,” Goop says, as if that’s as easy as manifesting an organic green tea smoothie from someone who manifested a barista job instead of manifesting a lead role in Shallow Hal. According to Goop, you can manifest dehydration in your body (your emotional body, obvs) and you can manifest a small business. Honestly, you can manifest so many things it’s insane.

Health-wise, Goop is super concerned about Lyme disease, which leads me to believe that Gwyneth Paltrow probably learned the hard way not to let her littles have a pet deer. A search for the word “Lyme” on the site gets you 21 articles. The phrase “heart disease” gets you nothing; although “heart” does generate plenty of results, like the word “heartbreak,” which is used in the context of human rights crises. Just kidding. It’s used to describe how you should feel about adulterated olive oils. I believe Shakespeare wrote several tragedies about lovers who discovered that their EVOO was 49 percent soybean oil.

Oh, there’s more. There’s so much more. There’s an “it” flour you need to know about. Your pelvic floor is probably a problem, but as we all know, any good integrative structural specialist can help you tune up that sucker. And did you think Gwyneth doesn’t care about your gut health? She does, and she’ll even sell you a gut report kit. “See what you’re actually made of on the inside,” Goop proposes. If you think this project will involve putting your poop in the mail, you’re absolutely right. I’d try it, but it costs $180. And for that kind of money, I’m halfway to a kaftan. 

Think that’s funny? Send unbiased emails to ezra@improper.com.

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