Goop vs Canada, docs square off
Actress and Founder of goop, Gwyneth Paltrow speaks onstage at Cultivating the Art of Taste & Style at the Los Angeles Theatre during Airbnb Open LA - Day 3 on November 19, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Airbnb)
It’s Gwyneth vs. Canada as a strange war of words shapes up between Goop and its detractors.
The upscale lifestyle site, founded by actress Gwyneth Paltrow, offers new age-y advice about food, wellness and fashion and is often criticized for being flakey and expensive.
Canadian doctor Jennifer Gunter, who describes herself as an OB/GYN and pain medicine specialist, has been going after Goop on her own website for some time.
Gunter, who is often funny at Goop’s expense, recently mocked a Goop guru and her product — a jade egg for the vagina. The egg, which sold on the Goop site for $66, was touted as being useful for vaginal muscle strength and sexual energy and handy for perineum and bladder control, among other things.
Gunter called the jade eggs bunkum and potentially harmful.
As there’s nothing new under the sun, the only people who might find this Goop controversy curious are the many people who have known about and used such objects — aka Ben Wa balls, Geisha balls, Burmese bells, etc. — for thousands of years.
Using these eggs or similar products can have the same positive effect as doing Kegel exercises.
Gunter, who practises in the U.S. but did her medical training at the University of Manitoba and Western University, has long been amusing her readers with anti-Goop writing.
Goop has now responded with something called “Uncensored: A Word From Our Doctors,” in which Dr. Steven Gundry and Dr. Aviva Romm respond to criticism of the site.
Dr. Gundry, who was mocked by Gunter for his work on lectins and inflammation, takes Gunter to task in his writing in a fashion that is being ridiculed as “mansplaining” on social media. Maybe so. Gundry is a globally respected heart surgeon; ego and humourlessness do appear to be prerequisites for the job. But he’s still the guy you’d want beside you if your baby needed a heart transplant.
Like other doctors who look outside traditional Western medicine, Gundry knows most major health ailments — some cancers, most heart disease, diabetes — are entirely preventable. So it’s no surprise he’s engaged in research about diet.
Goop is an easy target. So is Paltrow, whose unapologetic patrician attitude seems to annoy a lot of people. But Paltrow isn’t stupid. Goop seems to operate under the assumption that readers can pick and choose from the information provided and the doctors advising Paltrow are most assuredly not ‘quacks’, as Gunter asserts.
Gunter is funny as hell, but guilty of shooting fish in a barrel and of adhering to the Western medical model that says Western medicine always knows best.
How these two women got into this strange rivalry remains a mystery.