A huge reason behind what fascinates us about celebrities is their ability to not only succeed in the field they’ve chosen, but to also become an influencer when a platform to step upon becomes available.
For over 20 years, Academy Award-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow has built up quite the impressive cinematic resume, while at the same time transforming herself into a purveyor of what some would call ‘alternative’ health and lifestyle practices and products.
Paltrow’s primary outlet for the latter is Goop.com, “a fully formed lifestyle site, offering a tight curation of products and content. It is a place for GP to introduce some of the incredible experts who have mentored her throughout her life to a wider audience, and a place where readers can find suggestions about where to shop, eat, and stay from a trusted friend – not from an anonymous, crowd-sourced recommendation engine.”
The World Premiere of “A User’s Guide to Cheating Death” can be seen Monday, September 18 at 9pm ET/6pm PT on VisionTV! Click here to visit the series fan site today!
To Tim Caulfield, host of the forthcoming VisionTV documentary series “A User’s Guide to Cheating Death,” Gwyneth’s Goop is worth being highly skeptical about.
“She keeps pushing this idea that Goop is about autonomy and anyone who questions the science is somehow infringing on women’s autonomy,” commented Caulfield in an interview with the Canadian Press. “Which of course is absolutely absurd because just look at it from an informed consent perspective: Misleading people is not enhancing autonomy. She’s actually eroding autonomy by providing information that is misleading…. We want accurate information. We don’t want misleading information and we don’t want the spreading of bunk.”
Caulfield, who is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, as well as a Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, has spent years researching, questioning and debunking Goop.com, a website in which many in the science and health community view as an entity spreading false, and in some cases dangerous, advice and products to its followers. In 2015, Caulfied wrote the award-winning book “Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?”
“A User’s Guide to Cheating Death” airs Mondays at 9pm ET/6pm PT from September 18 to October 23.
The uproar has gotten so loud that non-profit organization, Truth in Advertising, forwarded a complaint letter to a pair of district attorneys on the California Food Drug and Medical Device Task Force, over what it deems to be Goop’s “unsubstantiated, and therefore deceptive” ways in which it markets health products.
Throughout the six-part “A User’s Guide to Cheating Death” series, Caulfield takes a closer look at people’s fascination with doing whatever it takes to live longer and look better. Celebrity influence on our health and self-worth is analyzed, not to mention the potential dangers attached to scientifically unproven methods of detoxing, weight loss, genetic analysis and anti-aging treatments.
In the series, one of Goop’s most controversial health practices is tossed into question, as are theories, products and procedures – pushed by other celebrities and socially influential sources – that may look good on paper, but sadly won’t help people achieve the results they actually desire.
“I used to think maybe [Paltrow] really believed this stuff,” added Caulfield. “All this pushback helps her cultivate that sort of outsider brand that ‘we’re about being open-minded and trying new things and you science-y people are all about shutting down new ideas.’ Which of course isn’t the case at all.”
“A User’s Guide to Cheating Death” goes beyond the Goop and gives you a closer look at the business of supposed self-preservation and hopeful health techniques. Sometimes the truth hurts, but other times, the truth can help.