Haters gave Gwyneth Paltrow’s controversial company a value of $325 million.
Paltrow’s company is called Goop.
It’s controversial and a lot of people hate it.
It is a wellness company.
But it is the hatred by those people and the social media attention Goop got that has made it so valuable.
Her newsletter – Goop – was at first kind of mainstream New Age-forward. It had some kooky stuff in it, but nothing totally outrageous. It was concerned with basic wellness causes, like detoxes and cleanses and meditation. It wasn’t until 2014 that it began to resemble the thing it is now, a wellspring of both totally legitimate wellness tips and completely bonkers magical thinking: advice from psychotherapists and advice from doctors about how much Vitamin D to take (answer: a lot! Too much!) and vitamins for sale and body brushing and dieting and the afterlife and crystals and I swear to God something called Psychic Vampire Repellent, which is a “sprayable elixir” that uses “gem healing” to something “bad vibes.”
The weirder Goop became the more people hated it.
But despite that Goop followers acted on the strange and weird advice and products Goop featured.
The weirder Goop went, the more its readers rejoiced. And then, of course, the more Goop was criticized: by mainstream doctors with accusations of pseudoscience, by websites like Slate and Jezebel saying it was no longer ludicrous — no, now it was dangerous. And elsewhere people would wonder how Gwyneth Paltrow could try to solve our problems when her life seemed almost comically problem-free. But every time there was a negative story about her or her company, all that did was bring more people to the site — among them those who had similar kinds of questions and couldn’t find help in mainstream medicine.