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GOOP - Nourish the Inner EGO

A lifestyle-advice website by movie star Gwyneth Paltrow

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So Gwyneth Paltrow wants her own lifestyle site? Aww, how cute.

  • Feb 27, 2009
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I'd say I have a pretty high tolerance for low culture, including trashy reality TV shows and celebrity nonsense. I vicariously live through the Real Housewives of Orange County. I read US Weekly pretty much every week — and would be the first to defend it. I would not hesitate to wear a hot pink Juicy Couture velour sweatsuit.

Then I saw Goop.com, a new lifestyle and advice website by Gwyneth Paltrow.

At first, I was excited. Though the site's navigation setup is a bit awkward, I really did want to hear about Gwynnie's tastes. The girl always rocks some amazing shoes, after all, and I really like her slightly edgy fashion sense.

I gave it a fair chance, and all I got were suggestions to go to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, buy magnetic wooden salad tongs, buy a Jamie Oliver cookbook, make myself a detox drink, and to read Anna Karenina. Please, I already read Vanity Fair, O Magazine, and Real Simple. Cue sound of deflating balloon: Pffffffft.
As has been proven before, lifestyle publications centered around a cult of personality can be done very well. I actually think O Magazine is one of the best magazines out there (somewhere in my cavernous Superego, my indie cred is cutting itself). The only way to make it work is to take the defining traits of the specific celeb personality and just go big with it!

Goop fails because it's not particularly cohesive to Gwynnie's personality: Her refined tastes, her quirky fashion sense, her incredible lifestyle of taking vacations on Valentino's yacht. Instead, Goop is more of a projection of what Gwynnie wants to be: an all-purpose lifestyle guru who can appeal to the masses. Why else would she, a well-known vegetarian, recommend the meat-heavy restaurant Momofuku as a dining destination? (To say nothing of the fact that she mixed up the different Momfuku restaurants, their reservation policies, and also the fact that Momofuku has already been covered in every media outlet there is). Please, leave the pork-knuckle reviews to lowly carnivores like me, and give us a glimpse of what Valentino's yacht looks like!

Secondly, it also fails because Gwynnie hasn't hired the right editorial talent to help her clarify her vision. Apparently, an editor works on Goop. But what kind of self-respecting editor in their right mind would approve of the tagline, "Nourish the inner aspect"? Ugh. Or allow a suggested reading list that includes the rehashed English 101 selections like Anna Karenina and Pride and Prejudice? Take ad man David Oglivy's advice: Let's assume that your reader is just as smart as you, with your Spence education. We'd prefer not to be talked down to.

So, in short, Gwynnie, you need to hire me. Please, allow me to help you clean up the wretched, tepid, blobby waste of binary coding that is Goop. You won't regret it.

While I await your answer: Now, back to my regularly scheduled Us Weekly...
Goop.com screen capture

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May 26, 2009
haha, awesome review! I found out about her website but had no idea it was a lifestyle and advice site. I just thought it was a "things I like to buy and do" website. Well to be fair, at least the splash page (if it has one) doesn't have music by the Cold Play guy!!! That would truly kill it for me, oyeee!
April 14, 2009
Haha, okaaay, you win. But I soak up goop like a mop and luff Gwynie still. Imagine how lucky you must be to sit around all day writing restaurant lists, fantasizing about cake knives, and inventing recipes for 5 calorie soup? G-Paltz rules. Also, I just love that she calls it Goop.
April 22, 2009
Yay I win, I win! ;) Nah, I'm not that against Goop. It's gotten kind of interesting lately, especially the post on frenemies. Did you read that one?
May 26, 2009
oh my gosh, the frenemies one was really interesting!  It reminds me of the Law of the Garbage truck which I received in an email from my mom.  I'll do a review on it shortly but here is the link (don't skip the intro!!): http://www.bewareofgarbagetrucks.com/
March 05, 2009
LOL, yes! That was the first thing I noticed about GOOP, other than the ridiculous goods she was recommending (like a $50 cake knife). She passes on little-known gems like "Anna Karenina." Wow, thanks for the tip!
March 01, 2009
@adriennebreaux: Yep, you're right on the mark about what Goop has done wrong. I'd love to see GP's site a success... but she needs to get a grasp of how she fits in the market (or hire someone to help her with that).
February 27, 2009
Ha! You review had me crying I was laughing so hard. The very first thing I noticed when I was on the site was also that lovely tagline "nourish the inner aspect"...the most terrible slogan and brand promise I have ever heard, especially when the site name is Goop! What was she thinking, was she thinking? I did like the site homepage design, but that is as far as I could get because every time I tried to go to a different category the site timed-out.
February 27, 2009
Goop actually sounds like a perfect description of a messy site without a clear vision! I would love to try to check out how bad the site is, only I can't get any of the pages to load in a reasonably fast amount of time. Must be some "GOOP" in their server farm.
February 27, 2009
Your review is well stated. Goop? Come on. And you are right on, with the critique of the tag line- she should be embarrassed.
February 27, 2009
"So, in short, Gwynnie, you need to hire me." I love your spunk! But seriously, I don't know why, she just rubs me the wrong way. And Drew Barrymore, don't get me started! (I always get those two mixed up somehow.) I did see this site, and yes, I completely agree it needs a lot of work. She should come onto Lunch for some inspiration!
About the reviewer

Ranked #83
I'm a curious foodie, a devout fashion gawker, and an unrepentant print nerd. I work at one of the last mainstream commercial magazines that's still printing.      Other things … more
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