Gwyneth Paltrow — who has touted, among other things, the health benefits of shooting coffee up our butts, inserting jade eggs into our vaginas, and partaking in a sacred snake ceremony for better sex, all via her lifestyle brand Goop — has bowed to the pressure of relaying actual facts.
Paltrow revealed she will be hiring a full-time fact checker in September, calling the move a "necessary growing pain" in a New York Times interview published Wednesday.
Many of the claims made by the actress-turned-lifestyle-guru's brand have been debunked by health experts, but Canadian-born OB-GYN Jen Gunter may be leading the pack with her 30 fact-filled but sassy blog posts dedicated to "bad goop advice" (some of which have generated more than 800,000 pages views, according to the New York Times).
Gunter, who was born and raised in Winnipeg and now practices medicine in San Francisco, has made headlines with her critiques and memorable Goop one-liners such as "keep the coffee out of your rectum and in your cup" and "tampons are not vaginal death sticks."
That's why, when Paltrow said she was hiring a fact checker, the internet nominated Gunter. But while Gunter previously gave in to peer pressure and "volunteered as tribute" to attend Paltrow's lifestyle summit "In Goop Health" earlier this year, she passed on her fans' offer this time, noting she's been fact checking without pay for years.
Thank you to everyone who suggested @goop hire me as a fact checker. They would only ask if their page clicks go down and they need to generate controversy.— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) July 26, 2018
Also, they owe me too much back pay. pic.twitter.com/xgCXFEYcrc
No. I don't think they would pay what I am worth. https://t.co/2IHztHhGbX— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) July 26, 2018
"Thank you to everyone who suggested Goop hire me as a fact checker. They would only ask if their page clicks go down and they need to generate controversy. Also, they owe me too much back pay," Gunter wrote in a tweet Wednesday.
In a subsequent tweet, she noted that her upcoming book, The Vagina Bible, will be all anyone needs to fact check any Goop claim about "the vulva, vagina and any products for the lower genital tract."
Criticisms or 'cultural firestorms'?
Goop's website — which has also promoted mugwort vaginal steaming, said underwire bras could cause breast cancer, and sells a "Chill Child Kid Calming Mist" containing a "blend of sonically tuned gem elixirs" to spray into your "wild child's aura to restore peace" — has been widely criticized for relaying incorrect and even harmful health information to its millions of visitors.
But Paltrow calls those moments "cultural firestorms" and has welcomed the attention and inevitable traffic to Goop's website, recently telling Harvard students that she can "monetize those eyeballs," according to the New York Times.
"It's a cultural firestorm when it's about a woman's vagina," Paltrow said to the classroom, according to the Times.
"The room was silent. She then cupped her hands around her mouth and yelled, 'VAGINA! VAGINA! VAGINA!' as if she were yodeling," the article noted.
Goop, there it is.
Internet nominates another Canadian fact checker
Canadians appear to be a favoured choice for Paltrow's fact-checking gig.
On Wednesday, renowned University of Alberta law professor Timothy Caulfield got a few nods from the internet, as well. Caulfield is the author of Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash.
"I think given that she is sort of explicitly saying that she is an expert or holding herself out as an expert, it's fair to hold her to some kind of standard, and I think the standard should be science," Caulfield said in a 2015 interview with Canadian Press.
There is no official word on who will actually be the new Goop fact checker.