People may chuckle at the ludicrous health claims and advice espoused by Gwyneth Paltrow and her Goop empire, but she has just as many loyal acolytes and the "Goopies", as they call themselves, were out in full force at the Goop Health Summit in New York City this weekend.
Tickets to the event completely sold out and the star-studded guest list included the likes of Drew Barrymore, Chelsea Handler, Bryce Dallas Howard, writer Gillian Flynn and former Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth.
It was the company's first such summit on the US east coast – the inaugural event was held in #wellness central, LA, last June – but it still managed to rank a solid nine out of 10 on the bonkers scale. These were some of the Goopiest things about it.
The ticket price
Paltrow may be popular, but no one – not even she – would pretend she's in touch with reality, hence the jaw-dropping cost to attend. The cheapest "turmeric"-level tickets were $650, while the upper-tier "ginger" tickets were a truly kegel-tightening $2,000. Accessible, it is not.
The swag bags
Turmeric guests were gifted with a goodie bag "filled with $1,000+ worth of Goop gear and beauty and wellness swag" while the ginger attendees received a gift bag containing $3,000+ worth of the stuff. We hope there were at least a few diamond-encrusted vaginal jade eggs thrown in for good measure.
Would a wellness summit be a wellness summit without chia seeds? There was turmeric chia seed pudding aplenty at this one. Also on the menu throughout the day was vegan charcoal ice cream (which one journalist described as "delicious", so who are we to judge?), Moon Juice, avocado toast (natch), a citrus salad with tahini-yoghurt dressing and a lunch of roasted delicata squash, kale salad with yoghurt and gluten-free tamales.
Psychics communicating with the dead
The LA wellness set are dead into the supernatural (see what I did there) so there was plenty of spiritual stuff on offer, from psychic mediums communicating with dead relatives to Tarot card readings and 10 hours of meditation. One medium, Laura Lynne Jackson, even reportedly told the audience that "death doesn’t exist".
Goop has often been criticised for espousing unscientific nonsense and making dubious claims, and there were several self-styled "experts" in attendance who are known for their controversial medical views. Among them was Dr. Kelly Brogan, who wrote a blogpost in 2014 in which she said the link between HIV and AIDS was disputable and that cholesterol didn't necessarily cause heart disease.
Brogan has also rallied against drugs companies in the past, claiming that they're brainwashing the public for profit, and while she didn't explicitly say this at the summit, she did speak more broadly about the dangers of medicine. Another questionable speaker was nutritionist Deanna Minich, who reportedly told the audience that eating green food could reduce grief.
The vaginal jade eggs (!)
Goop has become as closely associated with vaginal jade eggs as it has with vaginal steaming, which sadly doesn't seem to have been offered as part of the weekend's festivities. The 2017 phenomenon – essentially, stones that you stick in your vagina – Goop's associates claim, "help[s] cultivate sexual energy, clear chi pathways in the body, intensify femininity, and invigorate our life force." The jury's still out on that one, so if you're one of the guests who spent upwards of $50 on an egg, do get in touch.
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