Women's magazines don't always offer the most scientifically rigorous health advice. Now we're about to get a new title we can be sure will give science a pass.
Condé Nast, the publisher behind Vogue, Allure, Glamour, and other women’s glossies, just announced that it’s teaming up with Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand Goop to launch a new quarterly print magazine — also called Goop.
The idea behind Goop the magazine is that it’ll position Paltrow “as the Oprah Winfrey of wellness” and give the digital brand a physical presence, the New York Times reported.
But what the Times overlooked in its report, remarkably, is that Paltrow has for years faced intense criticism from the medical and scientific communities for selling junk health products (which I’ve called “Goopshit” here at Vox). From jade eggs for vaginas to detox diet and cleansing regimens and vitamins and supplements with dubious health claims, Goop is a multimillion-dollar empire built on misleading people about health.
This didn’t seem to bother the leadership at Condé Nast — which is also the publisher of the vaunted New Yorker. Instead, its executives have decided to help grow Paltrow’s platform. The actress even got the blessing of the godmother of fashion and lifestyle, Vogue magazine editor and Condé Nast artistic director Anna Wintour.
“I’ve long known Gwyneth to have wonderful taste and vision — but with Goop she has built something remarkable, a thoroughly modern take on how we live today,” Wintour said in a Condé Nast press release. “Goop and Condé Nast are natural partners and I’m excited she’s bringing her point of view to the company.”
Paltrow hasn’t responded to critics who’ve called out her snake oil. She has said, rather, that she views Goop as a growing health source that can even replace actual health professionals for women.
"I am really fortunate I can go to the doctor, get a blood test, and he can tell me you're deficient in x, y, and z,” she told Harper’s Bazaar recently. “But for a lot of women it's not that accessible. We thought well, wouldn't it be amazing if we could leverage our relationships, curiosity, and relationships with our doctors and create really targeted solutions?"
She also recently launched In Goop Health, a $500 to $1,500 per person conference focused on health and wellness. Set for June in Los Angeles, the extravaganza will feature bogus ideas like crystal therapy. Some of the peddlers of dubious health claims on Goop, like Paltrow’s cleansing guru Alejandro Junger, will be speaking.
Why is this strategy working out so well for Paltrow? Americans are increasingly seeking out alternative medicine and wellness products, and last year Goop attracted $15 million in venture capital — money that’s helped expand its health focus. Even so, it would have been nice to see the leadership at Condé Nast — a brand that prides itself on quality — stand with science and reason instead of helping spread Goopshit.