Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop wins award for 'pseudoscientific nonsense'
Gwyneth Paltrow has received her fair share of awards but it’s unlikely she’ll be celebrating her latest.
Paltrow’s controversial ‘wellness’ blog Goop has won the the “Rusty Razor” award for being the “best” at promoting “pseudoscientific nonsense”.
The site promotes using jade eggs inside “yonis” (Sanskrit for vagina), mugwort steaming to promote vaginal health, placing “bio frequency healing” stickers on bodies, using Shaman-inspired medicine bags and having ‘bee sting’ facials to reduce scarring.
Even Paltrow agrees it’s a pile of goop. During an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, she admitted “I don’t know what the f–k we talk about,” when asked about the treatments her own company promotes.
“We were surprised at quite how many public vote nominations Goop received for the ‘Rusty Razor’ award for pseudoscience – it’s certainly a popular win,” said Deborah Hyde, editor of Skeptic magazine, who presented the award. “When there are so many issues affecting public health today – the rise of measles and whooping cough due to reduced rates of vaccination, for instance – it’s a shame that many people prefer to contemplate their yonis than engage with evidence-based reality.”
Since it launched in 2008, Goop has been consistently slammed by health experts and commentators.
In June, NASA slammed the lifestyle and wellness website for selling $120 ‘Body Vibe’ stickers that “rebalance the energy frequency in our bodies”.
The stickers were claimed to be made from “NASA spacesuit material.” Except that they weren’t made of NASA spacesuit material at all.
As Mark Shelhamer, former chief scientist at NASA’s human research division, told Gizmodo: “Wow. What a load of BS this is.”
Most recently, nonprofit organisation Truth in Advertising filed a complaint to the California Food, Drug and Medical Device Task Force accusing Goop of “50 instances in which the company claims, either expressly or implicitly, that its products (or those it promotes) can treat, cure, prevent, alleviate the symptoms of, or reduce the risk of developing a number of ailments.”
The complaint continued, adding that the claims were “unsubstantiated, and therefore deceptive, health and disease-treatment claims”.
Last month, Paltrow hit back, somewhat ironically calling for facts.
“I’m interested in criticism based on fact, not on projections,” she told the Hollywood Reporter. “If you want to f—k with me, bring your A game.”
The 44-year-old actress, whose site reportedly generated between $15 and $20 million in 2016, also seemed to miss the point that people are upset that she uses her status to make money off promoting bogus health claims. Instead, she believes it’s a case of tall poppy syndrome.
“[Being a celebrity] makes [doing business] much more difficult,” said Paltrow. “For the business I’m creating, it’s an obstacle I always have to overcome… For this model — where I’m trying to make Goop bigger than me and its own brand — you become inextricably linked. I’m a target in a way most entrepreneurs are not.”
A Goop representative was invited to collect the Rusty Razor from the QED conference where it was presented, but did not respond to the invitation, Gizmodo reports.