What’s the Inside Scoop on Goop?


Paltrow is under fire for her controversial anti-inflammatory lifestyle. (Courtesy of Twitter)

I’m eating an everything bagel with cream cheese as I write this — which is definitely not a Gwyneth Paltrow-sanctioned meal. I reach for a sip of my latte, also not Paltrow-approved.

Paltrow has been in the limelight recently for a couple of eyebrow-raising moments. As much as I would love to cover the sheer absurdity of her time on the witness stand at her ski trial (maybe check back in next week), today I will be unpacking the details of her dangerous and delusional diet.

A few weeks ago, on an episode of the podcast “The Art of Being Well” hosted by Dr. Will Cole, who is not a medical doctor, I must note, Paltrow shared her anti-inflammatory lifestyle that consists mostly of bone broth, fasting, time in her sauna and other activities that I’m not sure are fit to print.

Though the regimen may be anti-inflammatory, her words were certainly not. Almost immediately, Paltrow received justified backlash for her comments, with critics saying that the ideas Paltrow is espousing as a wellness expert, an albeit self-imposed title, are dangerous and disordered. One dietician took to social media and wisely tweeted that everyone should “stop following and listening to celebrities for your health and wellness advice.”

Paltrow was equally quick to defend her statements, saying that all she was doing was having a frank conversation with her doctor and sharing with her listeners the routine that she found works best for her, not necessarily promoting her unique lifestyle to others.

“It’s not meant to be advice for anybody else. It’s really just what has worked for me, and it’s been very powerful and very positive,” she said. She also clarified that she does not eat in this extreme manner every day, that she also has “a lot of days of eating whatever I want. You know, eating french fries and whatever.” (Which is a defense similar to Bella Hadid’s: that pizza is her favorite snack, that she eats it “at least once a day.”)

I’m thankful to have the privilege to know that most of what Paltrow says about her dieting is dangerous BS. However, there are some on the Internet, especially impressionable young teens, that might see Paltrow as the paradigm of health and her diet as something to be copied.

I think those impressionable people are Internet-savvy enough to know that a lot of what they see online has the potential to be dangerous and promotes unhealthy habits, but Paltrow markets herself as a sort of healthcare guru, thus muddying the waters between a celebrity espousing nonsense and a pseudo health professional.

That being said, I’m doubtful about the true harm of Paltrow’s diet. There are countless beauty, wellness and fitness influencers on social media platforms that have a more desirable and relatable image that young people would rather emulate. And for those who are more in Paltrow’s demographic, I think many of them can recognize a lot of her behaviors to be utter nonsense. Especially considering that her company Goop has been labeled a scam time and time again, and that she actually had to pay $145,000 in fines for marketing an alleged “health product” based on unsubstantiated and ultimately disproved claims.

The true harm of Paltrow’s words on that podcast is not that she was promoting this specific diet, but that she promoted the mindset behind it: if you do these extremely unhealthy things to your body, then you can look like me, then you can have my luxurious life. She made it seem almost glamorous that she needs to get her vitamins through an IV drip because her diet is so nutrient deficient.

Goop and her personal brand are profiting off of their promotion of disordered eating, but the fact of the matter is that she is not the loudest voice advocating for such unhealthy lifestyles. I think her beliefs are most damaging to those already steeped in that culture, but at that point I think Paltrow’s is just another voice in the echo chamber. This is admittedly horrible, but the root of this problem does not start with Paltrow’s diet, nor will it end with it.

Yes, it is extremely harmful that Paltrow is adding more fuel to the dumpster fire that is wellness culture, but I don’t think many see her as the wellness messiah that she believes herself to be or that media outlets inflate her to be. No one should be promoting unhealthy and damaging practices, especially not someone with such fame and influence as Paltrow, but I think we have come to the point where we know to take her words with a grain of salt. (Literally, sodium intake is part of a balanced diet — but Paltrow won’t tell you that.)