Pal­trow’s Goop is on a health kick

Women pay a lot to get chakras in order

USA TODAY US Edition - - LIFE - An­drea Man­dell USA TO­DAY

CUL­VER CITY, Calif. – How much will women pay to try cry­ofa­cials, get their chakras in order and dan­gle from the ceil­ing in fab­ric nests?

Thou­sands, Gwyneth Pal­trow has found. Satur­day marked the third in­stall­ment of her In Goop Health Sum­mit, which launched a year ago, pro­vid­ing a new rev­enue stream for her life­style-turned­skin-care-and-vi­ta­min com­pany, Goop.

This event cor­ralled a wealth of trendy al­ter­na­tive ther­a­pies and ex­pe­ri­ences un­der one tent: There was a tantric sex panel, aerial yoga, a new breast­feed­ing room, vi­ta­min

B12 shots, reiki classes, chakr­a­clear­ing lessons and lym­phatic face mas­sages.

Pal­trow dou­bled the staffing (her cor­po­rate team walked around in “Goopfel­las” Tshirts) and in­flated the cost of en­try, which started at $650 for the low­est tier of ac­cess. The VIP ex­pe­ri­ence, which in­cluded a mostly ve­gan, gluten-free lunch by Sqirl chef Jes­sica Koslow and a late-day cock­tail party hosted by Pal­trow, cost

$2,000. (There also was a new dig­i­tal-only ex­pe­ri­ence avail­able for $60.)

“These are ex­pen­sive to put on,” Pal­trow told USA TO­DAY backstage, de­fend­ing the price points be­fore the start of a panel called the Fu­ture of Cannabis. (At­ten­dees were gifted a CBD-in­fused bath bomb after­ward.)

“If you look at price points of other con­fer­ences, we are nowhere near the high end of the spec­trum,” she says. “Like, peo­ple charge $15,000 for the Van­ity Fair con­fer­ence; there are way more ex­pen­sive (ones). It’s a big lift to put it on.”

What hasn’t changed are Goop’s de­mo­graph­ics. The crowd at­tend­ing Pal­trow’s sum­mit con­tin­ues to be pre­dom­i­nately white, af­flu­ent women dressed in ath­leisure. But re­fresh­ingly, mar­quee pan­els no longer solely fo­cused on an echo cham­ber of Pal­trow’s fa­mous friends.

Though Pal­trow closed the day with a frank talk with her one-time co-star Meg Ryan, the most packed dis­cus­sion of the day was a Pal­trow-led Q&A with trans ac­tivist, mem­oirist and “Pose” writer Janet Mock, who of­fered ad­vice for par­ents rais­ing trans chil­dren. (Pal­trow’s fi­ancé, Brad Falchuk, is a co-creator of the FX drama.)

“What my par­ents even­tu­ally did right, es­pe­cially my mom, was that she lis­tened more than she talked. And that when she felt any fears or wor­ries ... she didn’t bring that to me,” Mock says. “She took that to adults.”

Pal­trow and Mock’s talk made for a fas­ci­nat­ing jux­tapo- sition of how priv­i­lege af­fects self-ac­tu­al­iza­tion. Pal­trow’s jour­ney, she re­vealed, has fo­cused on “ac­cept­ing” and “for­giv­ing” her­self. Mock’s work, the ac­tivist re­sponded ju­di­ciously, has been to claim her spot in the world as a wo­man, de­spite those who call her an “abom­i­na­tion.”

The room was rapt. What else has Pal­trow ad­justed since the sum­mit’s launch?

“There was a lot,” she says, re­call­ing last year’s lines of frus­trated at­ten­dees clam­or­ing to try aura pho­tog­ra­phy and crys­tal read­ings. This year, guests pre­booked their skin reg­i­men classes, shoul­der mas­sages and nu­merol­ogy read­ings on a be­spoke app ahead of time.

But none of this takes the wind out of the chief ar­gu­ment from crit­ics, who ac­cuse Pal­trow of ped­dling med­i­cal ad­vice, cleanses and trendy tips (yes, the vagi­nal Jade Egg is still be­ing sold at the sum­mit’s sex shop) that have scant sci­en­tific back­ing.

“There are many, many heal­ing modal­i­ties that have been around for a re­ally long time that don’t have dou­ble-blind placebo-backed stud­ies,” Pal­trow says. “What we re­ally like to do is open the fo­rum for dis­cus­sion. … We’re not sug­gest­ing that any­one do any­thing.”

Take An­thony Wil­liam, the self-ti­tled “med­i­cal medium” (listed as one of Goop’s “trusted” ex­perts on­line) who claims to in­tuit his med­i­cal ad­vice from a di­vine voice. A wo­man ap­proached Pal­trow just that morn­ing and said he’d changed her life.

“She’s like, ‘Do you fol­low it?’ And I was like, ‘No. I think it’s fas­ci­nat­ing, but for me there are cer­tain things that I think are great, but I like to have all the in­for­ma­tion. I like to see em­pir­i­cal stuff,’ ” Pal­trow says.

“And I think that’s the point,” she says. “Women are not lem­mings. Just be­cause we are rais­ing a ques­tion doesn’t mean that we’re ex­pect­ing some­body to fol­low our ad­vice. We be­lieve women are intuitive enough and in­tel­li­gent enough to hear both sides of a lot of things and make a de­ci­sion for them­selves that’s res­o­nant for them.”

Next stop Dubai? Pal­trow is dream­ing of a “more mo­bile” ver­sion of the con­fer­ence that could traverse the U.S.

“But also in­ter­na­tion­ally,” she says. “It’s my dream to do one of these in the Mid­dle East and have an all-fe­male day where there’s in­cred­i­ble in­for­ma­tion and doc­tors. And I would love to do it in the U.K. and Hong Kong.

“I’d love to scale this, but it’s hard be­cause it takes so much work. And I need to be here (in Los An­ge­les).”

“There are cer­tain things that I think are great, but I like to have all the in­for­ma­tion.” Gwyneth Pal­trow


Gwyneth Pal­trow de­fends the price of her health sum­mit: “These are ex­pen­sive to put on.”

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