I Really Didn’t Want to Go: On the Goop cruise

Lauren Oyler in Harper’s:

They told me they couldn’t offer me an interview with her at this time. Fine by me—I didn’t want to talk to her anyway. She talks a lot and doesn’t say much. A Financial Times profile published on the occasion of her fiftieth birthday suggested we have her to thank for spirulina, celebrity skin care lines, the good divorce, blended families, sex positivity, and dry skin brushing (just what it sounds like). I’ve also heard she made yoga happen. This is all obviously ridiculous, flatly ahistorical, except maybe the celebrity skin care line thing, but that doesn’t matter—even if someone thinks she’s done more harm than good, and that a lot of it is an upscale scam, they will comment, wearily, pragmatically, just a little bit enviously, that you have to respect it, don’t you, what she’s done. She has successfully integrated her imperial wellness company into American life. Memories of a time when gut health wasn’t something you discussed at parties are distant. Moms are microdosing. Vulnerability reigns. The countervailing spirit of resistance to quackery and “fake news” that characterized the Trump era is over, and eggs made of jade that you’re supposed to put in your vagina are still for sale. Everybody knows about the vagina eggs. The elderly know about them. People from Belgium know about them. What comes next, epochally, is still unclear. In the meantime, she has been, for some reason, partnering with a cruise line.

Last summer, I got an email from my editor asking, sneakily, among the how are you’s, “Have you ever thought about writing on wellness??” She was looking for someone to go on “the Goop cruise.” Like most female writers, I had thought about writing on wellness, mainly in terms of the free stuff I could get to do so. And for name recognition and potential hate-read appeal, a Goop assignment is the ne plus ultra of wellness writing. I don’t know anyone who uses the Goop skin care products, much less reads the graphomaniacal website or attends the “In Goop Health” summits, but I had a hunch that the products, the actual Goop, were nice.

More here.