Goop, the site that launched a thousand spoofs, has recently spawned two "live-like-Gwyneth" stunts, from two different publications. So, how did a man and a woman, respectively, like living the Goop lifestyle? Well:
She: Daily Beast
She: 3 Weeks
He: 2 Weeks
Stated Reason for Stunt: ("Poor Writer Does Oblvious Movie Star Stuff as Easy Formula" is implicit)
She: Seeks"an effort to understand this complex star."
He: Seeks to "break down the sanity of the Goop life, from common sense to madness."
She: 3 kinds of chocolate chip cookies, sugar-free banana nut muffins, turkey ragu, a grand, multi-Holiday feast.
He: Smoothies, soups, "Chicken with Onions, Lemon and Saffron",
She: A Mario Batali restaurant Gwynnie likes
He: Tinted under-eye moisturizer
She: ReadsCrime and Punishment, gives herself a sugar-and-coffee scrub, drinks 2 tablespoons of EVOO nightly, does a Seven-Day Detox, gives up "white foods (bread, pasta), preserved foods (chips, cookies), toxic foods (candy, ice cream), and foods containing heavy metals", negativity.
He: Reads The Sheltering Sky , gives to charity, does same Detox, acupuncture, dance cardio workouts, attempts organic-only eating, gives up "dairy, gluten, meat, shellfish, condiments, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and an entire class of food (tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, and peppers) called nightshades."
She: Practices the African philosophy of ubuntu
He: Listens to Deepak Chopra
She: "And then, like magic, at some point in the middle of week two, I stopped noticing what an unbelievable hassle it was to follow this ridiculous plan. My ear adjusted to Gwyneth's affect, and rather than guffawing at some of her more outlandish suggestions, I found myself intrigued by the $249 Voltaic Solar Backpack and her recommendation to "take your drinking water to the next level" with a $900 alkaline filtration system. What vegan shoe designer does Cameron Diaz recommend? I suddenly wanted to know."
He: "Yet... after four or five days, I noticed a change. I stopped craving coffee. I felt a steady stream of energy all day long. There was, in fact, a spring in my step. My mind wasn't quite as sharp as it used to be, and I had trouble concentrating during meetings, but physically speaking, I felt recharged."
She: gives up the detox after a couple of days; doesn't have time for all the recipes, and can't afford anything.
He: Embarrasses himself dancing and is seen and mocked by neighborhood children; takes an unmanly interest in various effete things.
There's a lot to scoff at here, but the three weeks I spent following GOOP were pure joy. Expensive, inconvenient and totally unsustainable-yes, but also full of unexpected pleasures...She may be tone-deaf and full of wacky ideas about food and religion, but she really just wants everyone to feel as good as she does. On a few occasions, I think I got close. My GOOP plan began with cynicism and failure, and by the end, I was cooking a giant pan-holiday dinner party with recipes from Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and Valentine's Day for my boyfriend, three girlfriends, and Rue McClanahan of The Golden Girls.
At the end of this two-week experiment, I can report, without qualification or caveat, that I felt very, very good. I was sleeping better. I had more energy. I'd lost nine pounds. Revolutionary or not, Gwyneth's way worked, and if it worked for this sinner, it could work for anybody. Case closed..And yet. I wasn't having much fun. (I like to eat red meat and drink too much at parties. It makes me happy.) I wasn't doing well at work - maybe it's because I was drinking less caffeine, but I was more reserved in meetings and a little slower on the uptake. I was also quite a bit poorer than when I started out.
Conclusions: It was interesting to see the contrast in the approaches. Although both tried to be open-minded, the dude was clearly more skeptical about the whole endeavor, and found the lifestyle more of a departure. Perhaps most important, he found the whole thing kind of embarrassing. She, on the other hand, even as she bemoaned the unachievable nature of many of Gwyneth's recommendations, got into the spirit of it. In a way this makes sense: Gwynnie's a woman, and Goop's base is, presumably, female. (And if we're more prone to suggestions, tips, advice, self-help, this also implies an open-mindedness, and an ability to take the good.) What they both took away from the stunt was common sense: eat better, drink water, think positive. Do you need self-congratulatory trappings and oblivious stars to tell you this? No. But, hey, if people are taking something good away from it, fine. Both these pieces kind of read like a fable: they have to make a long, absurd journey only to find what was always there in front of them. And while that makes me think that Goop is a waste of time, Gwyneth would probably have a quote about paths and roads and moisturizer that some people would rather hear - and that the rest of us can mock. What did these pieces teach us? Nothing. Or, as Goop would have it, everything.
The Goop Matrix [Esquire]
My Life As Gwyneth [Daily Beast]