By Julie-Ann Sherlock

I think Gwyneth Paltrow is a great actress. Sliding Doors is up there in my top 100 movies, and I recently enjoyed watching her playing the main protagonist’s mother in the Netflix Series “The Politician”. Some might say she didn’t need to do much acting for that role.

She plays a slightly hippy-dippy, rich woman who uses her power and influence to highlight issues that matter to her. Sounds a lot like the Ms Paltrow we love to hate. 

Much as I admire her acting abilities, and I have tread the boards myself, darlings, so I like to think I know a thing or two about “the craft”. Her penchant for flogging expensive, often bizarre items that very few of us actually need, sticks in my craw. 

Something Smells Off To Me!

Hands up who must have a $75 USD candle that smells like a vagina? Not me. I have nothing against vagina smells. Indeed I think it is empowering that our unique odours are something to be celebrated instead of shamed. But, and it’s a big but (like my own) do you really want your house smelling of one? 

I can’t help but imagine the perplexed looks on my friends’ faces if they stopped by for a coffee and I had been burning a “This smells like my vagina” or a “This smells like my orgasm” candle. 

Friend: “What is that smell?”

Me: “My vagina candle.”

Bonkers. Or maybe I am missing something here? Somehow, I don’t think so. 

I am the same age as the beautiful, talented Gwyneth (as is my equally beautiful, talented friend by the same name who chooses to save babies’ lives instead of selling overpriced tat) but never in my life have I thought I would like a candle that smells like genitals. 

Lifestyles Or Life-Threatening?

Of course, Goop sells much more than candles. It sells a lifestyle. It sells the idea that if you buy a $47,190 thousand USD necklace, your life can be perfect too. I am being slightly disingenuous here as there are also many cheaper items available, and the website is not just another eCommerce platform for people with more money than sense. 

Goop also offers some valuable content on subjects as diverse as health and wellbeing and entertaining in your home. Content like the somewhat harmless articles about drinking a saffron latte to kick your coffee habit or the importance of having agency over your body and sexual needs are interesting and possibly helpful. 

My issue with the website is that it peddles way too much pseudoscience for my liking. However, articles claiming almost-miracle cures, or peddling products that can actually be damaging to our health are very worrying. One such “therapy” of allowing bees to sting you, resulted in the death of a woman in Spain in 2018. 

Goop has gotten into a spot of bother with regulatory authorities for unsubstantiated claims and for making suggestions such as inserting a jade egg into your vagina to help with gynaecological problems. They cover themselves legally by adding disclaimers, but morally, I find this kind of “snake-oil salesman” approach reprehensible and see it as preying on people desperate for a real solution to a real problem. 

Flash That Cash

By all means, if you have the money to buy a $149 USD necklace that doubles as a vibrator or want to spend $174 USD to eat your dinner with a five-piece matt-gold cutlery set, be my guest. Just be careful when taking health advice that is unproven or could do more harm than good. 

Undoubtedly, Gwyneth Paltrow looks stunning for her age, and her “clean living” lifestyle works for her. But that doesn’t mean she is a guru or the only voice to be listened to on such important matters. Personally, I prefer to trust scientists and medical professionals when it comes to taking care of myself rather than buying some hocus-pocus based remedy or potion that a celebrity says works for them. 

And this gets to the crux of the matter—just because an Oscar-winning actress says that some $120 USD stickers placed on your arm will bring “good vibes” into your life, doesn’t make it true. I do believe that Gwyneth’s heart is in the right place, in that she wants to share with the world the things that work for her and the beautiful things she gets to enjoy in life. But the cynic in me sees it as hard-nosed selling, capitalising on people’s concerns and vulnerabilities. 

There is no potion to make you younger and no superfood to cure all your illnesses. A wise person once asked me: “If hair remedies worked, why is Jeff Bezos bald?” 

But, if there was a magic wand to cure all that ails you in this life, you could be sure that Goop would be selling it. This article is the opinion of the writer and is not the opinion of the publication