Thursday 17 October 2019

Are Irish men ready to be Gooped by Gwyneth Paltrow?

The next big thing: Gwyneth Paltrow spook of her interest in CBD Goop health conference in LA last summer
The next big thing: Gwyneth Paltrow spook of her interest in CBD Goop health conference in LA last summer
Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow speaks on stage at the 2018 Girlboss Rally at Magic Box on April 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Girlboss)
Actress and Founder of goop, Gwyneth Paltrow speaks onstage at Cultivating the Art of Taste & Style at the Los Angeles Theatre during Airbnb Open LA - Day 3 on November 19, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Airbnb)
Gwyneth Paltrow attends 2018 Girlboss Rally at Magic Box on April 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Girlboss)
Gwyneth Paltrow attends goop pop launch party April 28, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Eric Rademacher/goop via Getty Images)

Meadhbh McGrath

“Dear Man,” it begins.

“My name is Gwyneth Paltrow. I’m the one who talks to your wife/sister/girlfriend/partner/husband about the moon and telepathy and high-waisted jeans. From now on, we will have a Men tab on our site as well as a monthly newsletter devoted to you—from health to travel to an occasional circadian-rhythm-supporting lightbulb.”

This is how the Oscar-winning actress and wellness guru introduced readers of her lifestyle site Goop to its new male-focused brand, which includes the newsletter, a podcast called Goopfellas, a fashion line called G. Label Men and an events series.

“Are you crystal-curious? And even if you’re not— are you, simply, curious? About the world, how to fit into it, what it means to live in 2019. We all get a little lost. We all wrestle our own shifting paradigms. We all want to grow and be present in our lives,” she writes.

But help is at hand: you’ll no longer be left to wrestle with your shifting paradigms all alone. As of this week, Gwyneth and her team of reassuringly masculine male men are here to share insights on everything from skincare to childcare — with a $525 zip-up hoodie thrown in for good measure.

Here, we outline the key lessons we learned from Goop Men.

Get up at 5am — or don’t

To truly grow and be present in your life, you’ll want to get up at 5am like Will Cole, co-host of Goopfellas and a “functional medicine expert”. He uses the title “Dr” and run a “practice” where he advises “patients” on “the optimisation of health”, but that honorific comes from a doctorate in chiropractic from Southern California University of Health Sciences, a private college with a focus on alternative medicine.

He received his postdoctorate training from an online course at Functional Medicine University, and now consults with patients via webcam. Anyway! Back to those early starts: crucial for a workout on his “Peloton bike” (priced €2,250), although if you’re not really feeling it, just hit that snooze button. “I listen to my body,” shrugs Cole, “so if my body needs more sleep, and I sleep in till 7, I don’t beat myself up.”

Cleanse your face… with Goop

From its humble beginnings as a newsletter, Goop has grown into an empire worth a reported €220m, selling all manner of beauty products, jewellery and homewares. Cole gushes over — with a convenient link to purchase — the G.Tox Glacial Marine Clay Body Cleanser (€32), GoopGlow 15% Glycol Overnight Glow Peel (€112) and G.Tox 5 Salt Detox Body Scrub (€43). “The care taken in making the world’s best salt scrub,” he swoons, “means so much to me.”

Skip breakfast, but never the green juice

Yup, dudes can have green juice too. Cole suggests a “keto smoothie”, made with almond milk, fresh green spinach, field greens, adaptogens, hemp protein powder, MCT oil, and a spirulina and marine collagen powder. “It’s an awesome day to be alive!” he cries on the Goopfellas podcast, exchanging some light banter with his co-host, chef Seamus Mullen, about why “breakfast is the most oversold meal of the day”. Instead, they favour trendy intermittent fasting — until dinnertime, that is.

Embrace the cauliflower steak

No man can resist the ritual of barbecue, so it makes sense that Goop would stake a claim on this most masculine food territory for its first cooking feature. The lighting of the fire, the manly art of grilling, the symbolic meeting of men over the flames — it’s all here, but what’s missing is the meat. The Goop Guide to Plant-Based Grilling posits the cauliflower steak as “the most pleasing crowd-pleaser.” With summer upon us, it’s not a moment too soon.

Check in with nutrition

So says the podcast’s first guest, Keith Mitchell, a former American football player turned celebrity yogi. Nutrition, he explains, “keeps the brain elevated.” Most importantly, “make sure the things we ingest serve our higher self.”

Bon appetit?

Scale up your tech

Goop’s gadgets range from the functional (wireless chargers) to the farcical (at-home coffee enemas). And now men can get in on the fun: Goop Men recommends a thermostat you can wear on your wrist, an infrared sauna complete with “sexy” control panel, a sensory deprivation tank and the Motiv ring, a €178 fitness tracker with a sleek minimalist design worn by no less than Prince Harry.

Keep stress to a minimum

This is “important”, we’re told. “A life of laughter and happiness is the secret to boosting testosterone — and to good health as a whole.” See? Nothing to it. Getting stressed is for losers. Yes, there is the holiday packing and bus strikes and losing your keys and whatever is going on with Brexit, but that’s stuff for other guys to get worked up over. Not you — you’re cool as a cucumber, per Goop’s advice. This is a cinch.

Push back against the warrior construct

But don’t worry too much about what that means. The podcast hosts certainly don’t. When asked to explain the concept, Keith Mitchell offers this: “It’s really the temperament and the environment that you grew up in that created the warrior. It’s just a terminology of explaining that without explaining it. What is it all about, this masculinity, these things that we kill ourselves over that are not really doing the best service for us as our ultimate well-being, and not really realising the consequences, it’s going to come back.”

He concludes: “Life happens, it doesn’t mean good or bad, it’s what is. In this place of what is, we can learn, we can grow and evolve.” The hosts’ response? “That’s incredible.” In the most literal sense of the word, it is!

Stand up for yourself with love

These are the words of therapist Terry Real, who advises on calling out your friends when they make offensive comments. “It’s a revolution to be strong and loving at the same time. To find a firm and loving voice is to step beyond patriarchy. The delivery can be very loving and very firm in the same breath.” Don’t worry, guys: Goop would never deny you your firmness.

Navigate the “paper cuts of life”

The hosts of Goopfellas are on a noble mission to encourage men to take control of their mental, emotional and physical health. While that’s to be commended — particularly when men are twice as likely as women to go two years without a doctor’s visit, according to 2014 research by the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention — Goop’s business is based on converting readers into shoppers.

Is a site known for its jade yoni eggs, sex bark and soup cleanses really best-placed to “eliminate shame around vulnerability” for men? And where will Goop instruct men to place their jade eggs? We wait with bated, mindful breath...


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