This week, Gwyneth Paltrow’s high-profile lifestyle and e-commerce site, Goop, gave birth to a beautiful gift to the Internet—and it wasn’t a moon-powered vagina egg that invigorates our mystical “life force.” No, it was a perfectly crafted reference guide for how to sell snake oil.
It’s really quite impressive.
In case you’re unfamiliar—or just need an empowering refresher—Goop is a site directed mostly toward affluent women that peddles pricy products and overuses the word “empower” while dabbling in many forms of pseudoscience and quackery—from homeopathy to magic crystals and garden-variety dietary-supplement nonsense. Despite all logic and much hope for humankind, Goop has proven successful. With a posh, new-age vibe and Paltrow’s celeb status, it raised $15 to $20 million in venture capital last year alone. This year, the Goop group teamed with Condé Nast to begin publishing a quarterly print magazine as well as digital content. (Condé Nast also owns Ars, by the way.)