Gwyneth Paltrow was sent from the future to destroy us one crazy gift at a time.
Every festive season, I am ashamed for taking the bait and stuffing her stockings with free publicity. Ms. Paltrow doesn’t need to buy ads.
The media’s gobsmacked word-of-mouth moves plenty of products.
Is this lunatic really trying to bring designer flair to canine pooper-scoopers with a Gucci “waste bag holder” for $545? Then there is the Tufted Boudoir Chaise that is “decked out with stirrups and restraints,” a $28,500 recliner perfect for any home library slash sex dungeon that includes the entire works of Marquis de Sade.
If I spent $239 on a Satin Baguette Bag for my wife this Christmas, do you know how hard she would wallop me with a crusty French loaf from Sobeys?
I’d then need to pony up $700 for eye serum to conceal the bruises.
But Ms. Paltrow’s lifestyle emporium, which sounds like it was named by a baby learning to talk — “Goop” — is to holiday gift-giving as a sucker punch is to a warm greeting. And the “Goop Gift Guides” out this month feel more obscene than usual as the world grapples with rising interest rates, market meltdowns and inflation redlining like a Vintage Ford Bronco she’s hawking for $250,000.
We all inhabit different income brackets. I get it. I will never own as many cars as Jay Leno or as many shoes as Tom Segura. Joe Rogan probably has bottles of bespoke vitamins worth more than my RRSP. Good for them.
But what I honestly don’t understand is why anyone, rich or poor, would want anything from Goop’s deranged Gift Guides 2022. The “Wellness” catalogue includes a flannel shirt that will set you back 400 bucks. That’s the opposite of well — it’s sick. Even the budget-conscious “Under-$100 Gift Guide” is riddled with rip-offs, including $96 slippers, a $75 tin of granola and four white linen dinner napkins for $88 emblazoned with silhouettes of Kama Sutra sex positions.
So now you have friends over for dinner and, look, Mike is dabbing lasagna off his lips with a doggy-style napkin. Is the missionary one just for minestrone?
I’m not saying Gwyneth is a pervert. I’m just saying Pottery Barn does not sell candles called “This Smells Like My Vagina.” In a recent video, Gwyn took fans inside the Goop Gift Guides and fawned over a Double-Sided Wand Vibrator the way a theoretical physicist marvels over string theory. From her glazed expression, you couldn’t tell if she was holding a sex toy or a rotary phone.
And don’t get me started on the Men’s Gift Guide. No man I know wants a tacky six-pack beer ornament or $245 swim trunks that look like they were designed by an optical illusionist on shrooms. We men do not want $100 vinyl records to set our aspirational moods or a $995 book about cigars.
Am I supposed to rip out the pages and smoke them?
But with each passing year, the Goop Gift Guides get more out of touch. A $795 poncho? Shearling ankle boots for more than three grand? A Pilates mat that streams classes for $4,290? An Omakase kit for $500?
That’s like 25 visits to an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet.
A decade ago, Goop harnessed irony, extravagance and conspicuous consumption on its gilded path to becoming a lifestyle powerhouse. This year, Goop just feels gross. It’s hard to look at a product description of a $2,000 blanket when you know millions of Ukrainians are heading into winter with no heat as Russia’s war crimes target civilian infrastructure. A $300 “Serrano whole leg of Jamon” might be less intolerable if there wasn’t so much global food insecurity. Why is anyone dyeing the fur of their pets when so many humans don’t have a roof over their heads?
When the world is this topsy-turvy, Paltrow’s material contributions no longer seem like a lucrative seasonal hustle with jingle bells — they feel wrong. Can’t she help ease suffering while also pushing Rolexes? She’s selling a $530 crystal whip for the holidays so the rich can partake in kinky bedroom flogging while the UN estimates 150 million children are homeless? If whipping is what turns you on, buy a skipping rope from Dollarama and give the remaining $529 to charity.
I know I will get baited in the future and give more free publicity to Goop, probably after Gwyneth releases a new line of potpourri called “This Smells Like My Armpit.” And I apologize for being a vaguely communist wet noodle after scrolling through this year’s Goop Gift Guides. But the excess is nauseating.
This would have been a good year for Paltrow to embody the true spirit of Christmas and do more than just sell $200 glass tumblers. This would have been the perfect time to not sell a $10,000 wellness retreat when so many are just scraping by and trying to exist without the luxury of magical rocks they can insert in their yonis.
Gwyneth Paltrow talks a good game about self-care. But the Goop Gift Guides are here and, once again, she’s not selling anything that benefits the world at large.
Somewhere, Santa is weeping into his Chanel Burgundy Lambskin bag.
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