Unsurprisingly, many people have drawn parallels between Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand, Goop, and Kourtney Kardashian’s lifestyle brand, Poosh. The names have a similar sound, their logos and website are almost identical, and they are both promoting an aspirational lifestyle to the everyday person.
This aspirational lifestyle is targeted towards the modern millennial woman. She is seeking to improve her mind and body, living a balanced life of contentment, similar to her biggest idols. From the outside, Kourtney and Gwyneth appear to have achieved this state of happiness. Both women are promoting the chance to live like them as they provide a ‘how-to’ on capturing this sense of balanced contentment in their fan’s own lives.
Goop began in 2008 as a newsletter, which was started from Gwyneth’s Paltrow’s kitchen. Poosh followed in 2019. Since then, both brands have capitalized on the promotion of the popular wellness trend to the masses. But I cannot help but wonder, how attainable is the modern lifestyle they are promoting?
First of All, What Exactly IS a Lifestyle Brand?
The term lifestyle brand is undeniably ambiguous. Poosh’s mission statement is to “educate, motivate, create and curate a modern lifestyle, achievable by all”. Similarly, Goop’s website describes its regime as “modern”. Goop’s website describes the brand as operating from a place of curiosity and non-judgment, which “start(s) hard conversations, crack open taboos, and look for connection and resonance everywhere we find it.”
If that didn’t make it any clearer, both Goop and Poosh’s websites have products and articles aiming to inspire every part of an individual’s life. From diet and exercise to skincare and beauty, to fashion and family life, the website encompasses every aspect of modern life. Need to find a cruelty-free foundation that protects against harmful UV rays? Looking for a recipe to make for your gluten-free friend and unsure where to begin? Wanting to achieve defined abs through yoga? Lifestyle brands can help!
Achievable by All?
The words “achievable by all” in Poosh’s mission statement may understandably raise some questions when delivered by a Kardashian. Critics may doubt that any of the Kardashians have a firm grasp on what lifestyle is achievable by all.
Both Kardashian and Paltrow have been in the spotlight for years. They also have access to the best skincare, Instagram-famous personal trainers and nutritionists at their fingertips, and all the anti-aging secrets from their Beverly Hills beauty therapists. The whole concept of these lifestyle brands feels very LA, with a focus on self-improvement and holistic wellness.
Although I believe a holistic healthy lifestyle should be encouraged, I would be more inclined to listen to a Buddhist yoga instructor or the Dalai Lama himself, than Poosh’s website that sells derma rollers for $26, and uses the phrase “collagen is a vibe” on their ads.
Maybe you can attain the modern lifestyle of Kourtney and Gwyneth, but it will cost you. Both Poosh and Goop’s website consists of a blog promoting the website’s products to buy in order to achieve this aspirational lifestyle.
The products on Poosh’s website include products such as derma rollers, diffusers, and even an LED light shield mask. The description of the LED mask maintains its ability to speed healing, boost anti-aging properties, and kill bacteria. Sign me up. However, on second thoughts, with the mask retailing at $190, I might have to pass. There are definitely some self-awareness issues in portraying anything unnecessary above $100 as attainable for all.
Controversies at Goop
It is unclear whether Paltrow is entirely self-aware either. In its relatively short lifetime, Goop has had multiple controversies over the products and treatments advocated for.
Gwyneth received criticism for promoting a vaginal steaming spa treatment, whereby she advocated that the steam cleanses the uterus. With no medical backing for the benefits, the questionable practice has been given a platform in front of millions.
Moreover, Gynecologists have actually had to warn women from using a jade egg sold on Goop in their vagina (yes, really). Sold at $66 in 2017, the website claimed that the egg can improve your sex life and balance your menstrual cycle. With no scientific evidence, Gwyneth Paltrow was forced to offer refunds to customers after settling a lawsuit over the claims.
Lifestyle Brands with Caution
Controversies and overpriced products aside, it is easy to see why both women are idolized, the branding of the websites is impressive, and many of the articles and products do encourage a healthy lifestyle and a positive outlook on life.
Undeniably, there are definitely some things we can learn from these beautiful, successful, and most importantly happy women. And who wouldn’t want to know where to find biodegradable glitter? See Poosh’s article here.
Maybe, just maybe, Kourtney and Gwyneth are in fact qualified to promote an aspirational lifestyle. There is no doubt that many women around the world do aspire to be more like them. However, it seems apparent that a smidge of self-awareness could go a long way in promoting a genuine path for modern living for their impressionable fans and customers alike.