Gwyneth Paltrow's Latest Goop Controversy Might Be The Strangest One Yet

Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop is no stranger to negative headlines for selling pricey and unbelievably quirky items on its site. The brand also pushes a very specific type of lifestyle, which was recently criticized by none other than a former staffer. In a March Instagram video, former CCO Elise Loehnen called out Goop cleanses as dangerous to one's physical and mental well-being. Loehnen said that Goop cleanses made her feel like she was "always trying to punish" her body. "Wellness culture can be toxic," Loehnen added in her caption.

The hip wellness brand has also been accused of making rather bold statements about products it endorsed, including that inserting a jade egg into oneself promotes sexual pleasure. Another one of the brand's biggest points of contention is the debate over its high prices. "You can't make these things mass-market," Paltrow explained in a 2018 profile by The New York Times Magazine. One does wonder, though, when Goop hawks an ouija board for $1,995 and a mattress for $38,000 (via The Cut). 

Goop seemed bound for another scandal when it announced on May 11 "The Diapér," a bundle of 12 fragranced and bejeweled diapers retailing for $120. After fans immediately slammed the product's price tag in the comments, Paltrow revealed that it was all a PR stunt for a good cause.

Gwyneth Paltrow wouldn't really sell us diapers for $120 (...would she?)

"Gotcha!," Gwyneth Paltrow probably thought to herself after the announcement of Goop's The Diapér. Hours after Goop announced that it was selling 12 diapers for $120, Paltrow released an Instagram video, explaining that the product was fake to raise awareness about diaper taxing. Goop's Instagram description of The Diapér claimed the household item was "lined with virgin alpaca wool and fastened with amber gemstones" — the latter of which had "ancient emotional-cleansing properties." Moreover, The Diapér was supposedly laced with scents of "jasmine and bergamot for a revitalized baby."

In her video, Paltrow said of The Diapér, "There was a lot of outrage. Good ... because if treating diapers like a luxury makes you mad, so should taxing them like a luxury." She further elaborated, "Despite the absolute necessity of diapers, in 33 states, they aren't treated as an essential item. They're taxed as a luxury good." The National Diaper Bank Network, however, notes there are actually 35 states that tax diapers — with states like Mississippi and Tennessee charging upwards of 7% in sales tax.

Paltrow further explained that the fictional price tag was to reflect the total diaper tax each household would pay annually. Additionally, the Goop founder urged followers to donate to Baby2Baby, a charity that provides impoverished children with diapers and other necessities. The charity has also received a number of co-signs from prominent celebrities including Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba, and Drew Barrymore.