My name is Rae Paoletta and I'€™m the Space Editor at Inverse, which, yes, is a real title. Though I typically cover astronomy, astrobiology, aerospace, and cats, I've been investigating the wellness sphere for the last few years, with a heavy emphasis on Gwyneth Paltrow'€™s Goop.

Before writing this feature on one of Goop'€™s €œtrusted experts,€ aka the Medical Medium, I broke a story about the company falsely claiming its $120 €œbio-frequency healing stickers€ were made of NASA spacesuit material. I'€™ve also reported on some of Goop'€™s other pseudoscientific products and a legal complaint filed against the company by Truth In Advertising.

I'm particularly passionate about debunking Goop's products because I feel the company uses a fake, hollow form of feminism to prey on women for profit. I hope that my work can empower and equip consumers with evidence, because I think that'™s the best way to fight back.


Comments: 119 • Responses: 17  • Date: 

holyfruits195 karma

Hey Rae! Why can't Gwyneth Paltrow be sued for misleading consumers into buying products that are scientifically dubious and potentially harmful? Couldn't consumers bring a class action lawsuit against Goop?

inverse170 karma

Good question! A consumer advocacy group called Truth in Advertising has filed a complaint against Goop for this very reason, but I'm not sure what the status of that is. Thanks for reminding me to check in on that!

Seaciety102 karma

Other than the whole sticking things in vaginas category, what are the dumbest things you've found from Goop?

inverse231 karma

Hey there! I think the $120 "biofrequency healing stickers," were comedically absurd for so many reasons. For one thing, Goop and the company that made these stickers claimed to heal anxiety and sleepiness and a host of other things. I cannot emphasize enough that these were literally just stickers, even though Goop claimed they were made of some kind of "carbonate material" also used in NASA spacesuits.

I think my favorite part of covering that story was getting that e-mail from NASA that essentially said Goop was full of shit, which of course, they were.

DeathStarTruther92 karma

Goop and Gwyneth like to say they're just trying to have a conversation about health. Where does their responsibility to scientific evidence start?

inverse195 karma

Great question! Goop has repeatedly said it just wants to "start conversations," but after covering them pretty closely these last few years, I don't believe them. As my friend Dr. Jennifer Gunter, another Goop skeptic, has told me: Equipping people with pseudoscience doesn't empower anyone. So if they're having a "conversation," it's one-sided, because they continually promote potentially dangerous advice on their site (e.g. vaginal steaming, yoni eggs, following the advice of a "medical medium.")

Goop has received so much criticism over the last few years, and it doesn't seem they're listening. For that reason, this isn't a conversation about anything -- it's just Goop targeting women's insecurities and selling them so-called solutions, which is just the oldest trick in the book.

They also blocked me on Twitter after I called them out one time, so I'm still a little salty about that. :)

stormstatic43 karma

what is the absolute worst, least helpful, perhaps most harmful claim GOOP has made?

inverse141 karma

This is an excellent question, thank you for asking. I think that one of the most egregious things they've said is that a mineral called carnelian could help women who are struggling with infertility.

Infertility is a serious issue for so many women I know, and to claim that a stone could magically treat it is even more repugnant than Goop's usual snake oil. This isn't just a lie, it's preying on women's most deep-seeded sensitivities for attention/clicks/profit, and it's beyond irresponsible. It's just wrong.

DrMartich34 karma

Are there any good wellness devices or strategies that you recommend?

inverse105 karma

I would recommend throwing all their devices and strategies in the trash

DrMartich48 karma


inverse118 karma

HA! I just realized I read your question as "goop wellness devices or strategies." My mistake/lol!

To answer your question for real, I'd say a good wellness strategy is to check in with your doctor(s) regularly and get lots of sleep. I'm not a professional by any means, but as someone who struggles with an anxiety disorder, I've always found that adequate sleep helps me immensely. The trick is of course, if you're like me, and you have a hard time falling asleep! :)

damndannn23 karma

I thiiiiiink he meant non-goop ones

inverse35 karma

I feel so bad! I had to log back on and clarify I misread that comment because I thought it said "goop wellness devices or strategies."

BradAusrotas33 karma

Hi Rae!! Who is your favourite cat in the world and why is it Artemis?

But for real, how do you think Paltrow and her flunkies at GOOP sleep at night preying on people with obviously-BS products?

inverse59 karma

  1. Artemis is the very best kitty in the world because she is the fluffiest, nicest, softest girl and will also claw my eyes out if I say otherwise.

  2. I think about this a lot, and honestly, I think they must really value profits over people. If Paltrow and co. truly cared about their readers, they wouldn't continually crank out harmful advice despite overwhelming (and fair) criticism by actual doctors and scientists.

cfinn1629 karma

What will you do if Gwyneth launches GOOP for cats?

inverse75 karma

She. Wouldn't. Dare.

pierogi5524 karma

Rae: what is your favorite fact about Elon Musk? What should the general public know about him? btw this is NOT your bf's roommate's gf

inverse49 karma


My favorite fact about Elon Musk is that he sometimes makes really weird tweets under the influence of Ambien and wine, which, ELON, DUDE, STOP!!!! BAD ELON!

herepundatboi24 karma

Hi Rae! What's your favorite part of your job? What advice would you give to people looking to get into journalism?

inverse57 karma

Hello!! My favorite part of my job is honestly talking to people who are infinitely smarter and more interesting than I am! Seriously, I feel honored to learn from brilliant scientists and researchers about how they're leaving their mark on the world. It's a truly humbling experience to get to tell their stories.

I also really like getting to write about cats.

thefourthninja14 karma

Did you come across other "trusted experts" on Goop that seem dubious or make false claims?

inverse81 karma

Oh, there are SO many. One of the most egregious is definitely Dr. Kelly Brogan, who recently appeared at Goop's "In Goop Health" wellness summit in New York City. She's an HIV/AIDS denier who said in 2014 that the idea that "HIV causes AIDS is a 'meme' brought upon us by the 'medical-scientific-industrial marriage."

I cannot make this up.

thefourthninja27 karma

Well that's horrifying

inverse24 karma

It really is, and it sickens me

inverse14 karma

FRIENDS, this was so much fun!!! I'm signing off -- but be sure to follow Inverse and me on Twitter. Send pics of your cat(s), and thanks for having me!

BitterPurchase12 karma

Do you think it was about the pasta?

inverse15 karma



BitterPurchase11 karma

Which GOOP products/services would you give to Jax Taylor as punishment for his myriad sins?

inverse18 karma

Jax definitely does NOT need Goop, he needs to be sequestered from the rest of humanity

Xaro7 karma

Hi Rae!

Which is your favorite planet not in our solar system?

inverse29 karma

I love the TRAPPIST-1 planets!! I'm fascinated by how closely they all seem to snuggle each other, and their star. Plus, some of them might be habitable! I hope they're secretly harboring space dogs.