gwyneth paltrow goop

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Finally Hires a Fact-Checker, Still Won’t Talk to Actual Medical Doctors

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Over the years, Gwyneth Paltrow has recommended a lot of seemingly strange products and questionable services in the name of “wellness.” Many products are simply absurd (and absurdly expensive), like “sex dust” or “moon juices” or those spacesuit stickers that were supposed to engage your body’s “ideal energetic frequency.” But others are potentially actually dangerous. Most notably, a woman died after trying Goop-endorsed bee-sting therapy, and numerous gynecologists have warned against Goop favorites like vaginal jade eggs and steamings.

Now, after a number of “cultural firestorms,” Goop is finally making some changes. A recent, lengthy profile in the New York Times Magazine says that “Goop has hired a lawyer to vet all claims on the site. It hired an editor away from Condé Nast to run the magazine. It hired a man with a Ph.D. in nutritional science, and a director of science and research who is a former Stanford professor. And in September, Goop, sigh, is hiring a full-time fact-checker. G.P. chose to see it as ‘necessary growing pain.'”

Apparently, Goop was originally supposed to be part of the Condé Nast family of magazines, but the company had “a lot of rules.” Rules like fact-checking. So Paltrow walked away.

I’m glad “G.P.” is finally going to start looking at actual facts, but I find it interesting that among those new consultants, none is a medical doctor. (Or at least none is listed as being one.) Paltrow has long defended her company’s lack of inclusion of medical professionals, saying she only offers “suggestions,” not medical advice. “We’re never making statements,” she tells the Times. “We’re just asking questions,” says her partner. But those questions tend to be along the lines of “What if you paid a ridiculous amount of money to stick something in your vagina? Could it change your life? This company that sells the things says yes!”

Looking around Goop’s wellness page, the site is a catalogue. Every product is for sale. Some vitamin packs come branded with “Goop Wellness.” It’s totally disingenuous to pretend like that could be read as anything but an endorsement.

But Paltrow also brags in the profile about the clickbaitification of those “cultural firestorms.” She told a group of Harvard Business students that when she’s getting called out for bad medical advice suggestions, “I can monetize those eyeballs.” Whenever a medical professional (like Dr. Jennifer Gunter, seen above) or a pop culture outlet writes about a dangerous or absurd Goop product, her site inevitably gets traffic. That’s unfortunate, but if it’s the necessary trade-off to get actual knowledge out there, it’s worth it.

(via NYT Magazine, image: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for goop)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.