Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images
Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand Goop has sold some pretty ridiculous stuff: the infamous jade egg, the candle that supposedly smells like Gwyneth Paltrow’s vagina. But the company has gone too far with its newest product, The Diaper, an astronomically expensive disposable diaper that has fans asking the eternal question: Is Goop real?
Goop debuted the diaper on Instagram on Wednesday, May 11, promoting this supposed baby need as a “disposable diaper lined with virgin alpaca wool.” The diapers cost $10 each and will presumably be sold in $120 packs of 12. They also feature “amber gemstone” closures because the stones are “known for their ancient emotional cleansing properties” and are infused with a scent. of jasmine and bergamot for a revitalized baby.” The diaper will be available for purchase beginning Thursday, May 12 at 11 a.m. ET, according to the Instagram post. And after looking at the product photos and reading the description about 50 times, I just have one question. This can’t be real, right?
For all the wacky items Goop has sold without irony and without shame, this diaper seems too deaf to be real, even to Paltrow. At a time when parents are facing a shortage of baby formula, COVID is still rampant, and inflation and abortion rights are front-page news, would Goop really drop a $120 set of diapers? Leaving aside the fact that parents are highly unlikely to spend $120 on 12 diapers when they can get over 444 Pampers for roughly the same price, the waste alone is staggering. According to the photos, each diaper features four amber gemstones. Do those just… go in the trash? And the alpaca wool? Something doesn’t add up. And fans on Twitter and Instagram are taking notice.
The comments on the original post are full of people questioning the veracity of the Diaper. “I love all things gooey, but this is a parody, right?” wrote a fan on Instagram. Another simply commented, “This can’t be real.” Surprise, surprise, it seems these fans are right: this is, in fact, a marketing stunt. Get it? Because Goop, the company that brought you a $199 lube warmer, would never actually charge $120 for diapers, right?
According to Vice, which received a press release about the diaper, the hack was supposed to be confirmed tomorrow. According to the press release, which Vice noted was under an embargo, the campaign was “designed to expose the ridiculousness of taxing diapers as a luxury product.” Diapers have long been part of the list of items affected by the “pink tax” or the “tampon tax”, a phenomenon in which products intended for women are more expensive than those intended for men. Many states have tried to eliminate the tax on tampons in recent years, but diapers are still taxed as luxury items in many states across the country. After Vice reported on the PR stunt, Goop posted a video on Instagram explaining the fake product with a message from Paltrow herself.
“The diaper is a bogus item meant to shine a light on a real problem: Despite the absolute necessity of diapers, they are not treated as an essential item in 33 states,” the Oscar winner says in the video. “They pay taxes as a luxury good.” Goop’s Instagram links will now take you to a page on the site about the initiative, encouraging fans to donate to Baby2Baby.
Paltrow recently poked fun at this latest Goop collaboration in an article she wrote for CBS News for Mother’s Day. “I never had to think about the cost of diapers, not once, until recently when my team at Goop brought it up,” he wrote (I totally believe that). “Depending on the state, this sales tax can add anywhere from 1.5 percent to 7 percent to your cost. This makes diapers the fourth highest household expense for many low-income families,” she continued. The article linked to Goop and to the non-profit organization Baby2Baby for more information.