By John Salangsang/BFA/REX/Shutterstock.
Gwyneth Paltrow has faced her share of critics since launching her lifestyle brand Goop in 2008. With almost 10 years of experience under her belt (and decades before that as a Hollywood star), Paltrow typically seems unbothered by her opponents who have lambasted her for everything from publishing outrageous gift guides to promoting products using pseudo-science. That is until OB-GYN Jen Gunter, a longtime critic of the website, published a blog post in January about Goop selling its much-discussed $66 vaginal jade eggs writing, “The only thing your post got right is to check with your doctor before using one. So let me give you some free advice, don’t use vaginal jade eggs.” In a rare move, Goop decided to respond on Thursday, with Paltrow tweeting out a link to the statement along with Michelle Obama’s famed D.N.C. quote, “When they go low, we go high,” which, it should be noted, was not in reference to vaginas.
“As goop has grown, so has the attention we receive. We consistently find ourselves to be of interest to many—and for that, we are grateful—but we also find that there are third parties who critique goop to leverage that interest and bring attention to themselves,” the post began before turning its focus to Gunter, who was referred to as a “San Francisco-based OB-GYN/blogger,” who they claimed “has been taking advantage of the attention and issuing attacks to build her personal platform—ridiculing the women who might read our site in the process.”
Goop’s blog ended with letters from two doctors, Steven Gundry and Aviva Romm. Gundry opened his letter criticizing Gunter’s language (“[I] have never seen a medical discussion start or end with the ‘F-bomb,’ yet yours did”) before proceeding to list off his resume, making sure to add that he has never “dropped” an “F-bomb” while speaking with a “discussant.”
Gunter spoke to Buzzfeed about Goop’s statement while on vacation in England telling them she “was shocked to see Gundry mansplaining science to me. I have four board certifications. I was a doctor when I was 23.” She also questioned why she was the one to be singled out by Goop and Paltrow as there are many Goop-critics to choose from, including Stephen Colbert and Timothy Caulfield, who wrote an article for Salon in 2015 called “Gwyneth Paltrow is Wrong About Everything” and recently published a book with the slightly less affirmative title “Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash.” Caulfield also spoke to Buzzfeed about Gunter’s work, telling them “we need more and more voices like Jen to combat the noise on pop culture around health, which is often dominated by science-free celebrities.”
It’s difficult to pinpoint just why Jen Gunter was the one to face the unusual ire of Goop and the Goop-adjacent. It could be because, unlike Colbert and even Caulfield, Gunter is an easy, unknown target to lash out at. Or maybe she was their most prolific critic who finally managed to push one button too many. Or they were just really tired of all those F-bombs. Whatever the reason is, and regardless of who’s right or who’s wrong, history has taught us that the world of Goop will keep on spinning.
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