I have fought the good fight. But, despite my best intentions, I have been Goop’d. Baptized into the fold.
For the uninitiated among you, Goop was begun by actress Gwyneth Paltrow. It is a lifestyle site, where Gwyneth and her team share their insights and finds on just about everything, from recipes to skincare to holistic health.
When the site was first announced, I rolled my eyes, truth be told. I did not quite understand where she was headed with it. A lifestyle site? Was she trying to be a younger Martha Stewart, whose site bores my uncrafty, impatient self to tears? And what did Gwyneth know about what I wanted? She is ferried from awards shows and glam parties via limousine, with the best stylists in the world at her fingertips. Our lives couldn’t be more different, as I ferry my children around in an aging Volvo with cheerios remnants buried in the seats. Goop sounded, at first blush, like something a woman with too much time on her hands would start. I was not enticed.
And yet, one day out of sheer curiosity (and a long hold time with the cable company), I clicked on the Goop link Facebook provided me.
It’s been a slippery slope ever since.
Reluctantly, I have moved through five stages. First, denial and isolation. “I do not have a Goop problem. I don’t even think I like Gwyneth Paltrow. I really don’t check the site that often. So what if I now have a couple of odd-looking vials on my bathroom counter that Gwynnie introduced me to? It’s just skincare, right?”
Second, anger. “Who does she think she is? Why would she show me this gorgeous coat/purse/vacation for thousands of dollars? This is ridiculous. I’m not clicking on her site’s goodies anymore. She is out of touch.”
Third, bargaining. “Perhaps just one more peek at what is new this week. I mean, the seasons are changing. Cold and flu season is upon us here in the Midwest. I really owe it to myself just to check out the latest in holistic remedies.”
Fourth, depression. A. Week. Without. Goop. Sucks.
And finally, acceptance. Gwyneth and I share more interests than I thought. The facial oils I’ve bought are amazing. So are the supplements. Checking out her site is like talking to a girlfriend who is more plugged in than I am to what is new and healthy. She introduced me to medical medium Anthony William, who has fresh insights on thyroid disease that make much more sense to me than current treatments. Next, I “met” Annee de Mamiel, a former cancer patient who designs beauty products from all-natural ingredients, free of carcinogens. While the chances of me meeting either of these people in person are slim to none, Goop helped virtually connect me to those whose values mirror mine. Those willing to look (and design) out of the box are not always easy to find in the Midwest.
I find myself feeling grateful. I may actually like Gwyneth. She tests the waters for me. She cares about what goes on and in her body. She believes how you make and market something matters.
I am obviously not alone in my goopiness. Revenues have tripled over the last two years and site visitors have doubled in the last year, according to Fast Company. Part of the reason, I have to believe, is the products she purveys work. I feel better. My skin tone has improved. Products that do what they say they will do are a godsend.
Can I buy the bevy of curated goods at Madison Avenue prices that Goop consistently showcases? No. As a single working mom, I don’t go much beyond facial oils and supplements. But, do they inspire me? Sure. I am not sure I have enough zeroes in my back account to be Goop’s primary target market, but I’m at least tangentially interesting to them.
Bottom line—I’m tired of being sold the usual bill of good by every advertiser out there. Of being told how wonderful for me something is, when it is full of chemicals. Of being told my curvy body should fit into and feel good about clothes made for boy-like mannequins by children in a Third World country. Of doctors prescribing Big Pharma pills for something I might be able to take care of using food or herbs as medicine.
Goop’s team has done something not many can do for me these days. They have inspired my trust. They seem to take a more enlightened approach to everything from cooking, to health, to looking good as I grow older.
A company and a founder with ethics? I’ll take it. Perhaps the world would be a happier place if a few more of us put conscious intention into what we buy. I know for sure that it makes for a happier me.
Consider me Goop’d.