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Famous Grifting Girlboss Gwyneth Paltrow Uses Fake Goop Ad to Bring Attention to a Real Problem

Essential care items shouldn't be taxed as luxuries.

Gwyneth Paltrow in goop labs for Netflix

Wednesday, Gwyneth Paltrow’s exorbitant wellness and lifestyle brand put out an ad on Instagram for their newest product. For $120, one could own 12 diaper—I mean, diapérs. (Which I read like die-pee-air.) The caption read, “Meet The Diapér. Our new disposable diaper lined with virgin alpaca wool and fastened with amber gemstones, known for their ancient emotional-cleansing properties. Infused with a scent of jasmine and bergamot for a revitalized baby.”

While Goop offers some free things, like recipes, many of its products are questionably toxic and overpriced. This background led many (including myself) to believe that this was an actual ad that Goop would rake in serious cash over. The original post had one commenter, whose profile bio read “Vibe curator,” who just wrote, “NEEED!!!!! For my children.” Before updated comments came the next day, the only fans suspicious were vocally so because they said Goop never discusses prices on social media. The following day, Paltrow appeared on camera to reveal that this ad was fake to bring attention to the fact that most states tax diapers as a luxury.

Calling out the luxury tax

In partnership with Baby2Baby (a non-profit that gets in-need babies essential items), she stated, “[The ad] was designed to piss us off. Good. Because if treating diapers like a luxury makes you mad, so should taxing them like a luxury […] Despite the absolute necessity of diapers, in 33 states they aren’t treated like an essential item.” A few years back, fellow Mary Sue writer Vivian Kane discussed how ridiculous it is that diapers, tampons, and other essential things are taxed as luxury items while non-essential items with powerful lobbying run tax-free or with a frozen rate for decades.

The situation Paltrow mentioned is worse than you might think in the 17 states that don’t tax diapers at the state level. According to the National Diaper Bank Network (an organization that focuses on adult and baby diapers), some states are only waiving diaper taxes for a year, some exemptions only apply to disposable diapers, and some allow local municipalities to tax them even if the state doesn’t. While 13 states have Sales Tax Holidays (including diapers) around back-to-school time, this doesn’t help much unless one has roughly $900+ (average) on hand to stock up for a year’s supply.

I’m not sure how successful this campaign was because it went semi-viral on other platforms, but Goop focused on Instagram. So, the followup message—the core objective—kind of flopped. However, if this meant that some people learned about the diaper tax in a way that motivates them to donate or, even better, work to change this issue, this could be a net positive for millions of children across the U.S. and abroad.

(via Instagram, image: Netflix)

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(she/her) Award-winning artist and blogger with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. Starting as an Online Editor for her college paper in October 2017, Alyssa began writing for the first time within two months of working in the newsroom. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3, Apex Legends, and CS:GO. Still trying to beat Saxon Farm on RCT 3 (so I can 100% the game.)