Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle and wellness website that encourages women to steam and/or insert jade eggs into their vaginas, is on the defensive. “If you want to fuck with me, bring your A game,” Paltrow said at a recent conference, and fuck with her someone did — by claiming Paltrow’s website peddles junk science (correct) and caters to wealthy hypochondriacs (also correct).
It all began in May, when Jen Gunter, a Canadian OB-GYN, took Goop to task on her personal blog. “It does not take my A game to counter the snake oil, biologically implausible theories, incorrect information, and magic that you and GOOP pass off as health advice,” she wrote. On Thursday, Goop and two of the website’s resident doctors responded in kind, wielding a strange kind of reasoning: that Gunter was dismissing their questions about health, medicine, and “wellness,” so now it was time for them to dismiss hers, and scold her in the process.
“Being dismissive — of discourse, of questions from patients, of practices that women may find empowering or healing, of daring to poke at a long-held belief — seems like the most dangerous practice of all,” team Goop wrote. “Where would we be if we all still believed in female hysteria instead of orgasm equality? That smoking didn’t cause lung cancer?” (Paltrow herself once said she doesn’t think the sun causes skin cancer, but okay. “We’re all human beings and the sun is the sun. How can it be bad for you? I don’t think that anything that is natural can be bad for you,” she said in 2013.)
Of course, just because you find something “empowering” doesn’t mean it’s good for your health. Much of the health advice promoted on Paltrow’s website — avoiding “chemicals” in sunscreen, preventing breast cancer by not wearing bras, and eating baby food — is useless at best and harmful at worst, as our own Yvette d’Entremont detailed in April.
Before defending his junk science with more junk science, resident Goop doctor Steven Gundry, who recently wrote a book about how tomatoes are evil, admonished Gunter’s use of “the ‘F bomb.’” “A very wise Professor of Surgery at the University of Michigan once instructed me to never write anything that my mother or child wouldn’t be proud to read. I hope, for the sake of your mother and child, that re-reading your article fails his test, and following his sage advice, that you will remove it,” he wrote. God, what a fucking dweeb.
Gundry defends himself — and by extension, Goop — by saying he has “published over 300 papers, chapters, and abstracts” on his research “in peer-reviewed journals,” with nary an “F-bomb” in sight. In fact, he’s returning from a conference at which he discussed one of his many papers right now, and everyone there agreed tomatoes are very bad for you. Gundry isn’t alone in thinking tomatoes (or more specifically, the lectins in tomato seeds and on tomato skin) aren’t safe for human consumption: Dr. Oz, another celebrity doctor who’s no stranger to pseudoscience, agrees with him.
What team Goop doesn’t address in their scolding post is how Paltrow and her doctors profit off the public’s fear of toxins — a panic they had a hand in creating — and putting people in danger in the process.
As if that’s not bad enough, Paltrow herself has admitted that she isn’t aware of a lot of what her brand sells. “I don’t know what the fuck we talk about!” Paltrow told Jimmy Kimmel last month. Hopefully Gundry won’t reprimand her for using the “F-bomb,” too.