Amy Larocca, “Why are so many privileged people feeling so sick?”, The Cut, June, 2017
The Wellness Epidemic
When Gwyneth Paltrow first launched Goop in 2008, it was a great place to find out where to eat the best tapas in Barcelona. It was straight-up celebrity-lifestyle voyeurism, and Paltrow, with her long blonde hair and aura of complete self-satisfaction, was irresistible. There’s the expression “living your best life,” and then there is Paltrow: best life manifest.
Through the WI Lens
At the moment, wellness is a very amorphous idea that is everywhere, and as a result nowhere in particular. This is part of its financial and marketing appeal; but there is a bubble in the making, with many companies all too willing to sell snake oil to their gullible customers. A backlash is brewing, with an increasing number of researchers and practitioners warning about the excesses in some corners of the wellness industry and the shady science that underpins an increasing number of wellness products.
Nothing illustrates the wellness bubble better than Goop Health, the wellness summit organized by Goop – Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand. Her business, now financed by USD 10 million from venture capital, encompasses beauty products, skincare, vitamin supplements, accessories, clothing, a magazine (soon to be published by Condé Nast) and “experiences”. The “Wellness journey”, as Paltrow likes to call it, is all about investing in oneself to ensure that the body, the spirit and the mind operate at full potential. The word “journey” matters considerably: it signifies that wellness is not a state of being, but an aspiration or a personal transformation. Embarking on a journey means that prior to arriving at an elusive destination, the “wellness industrial complex” à la Goop will milk you at every single step. This article reinforces our view that in the coming years market discipline will separate the wheat from the chaff. There is nothing inevitable in wellness ascendency. At one stage, the bubble will burst, taking many companies and fads with it.
Could Therapy Be Key To Treating Your IBS? – Huffington Post, 11 April 2019, Natasha Hinde
Sitting down for too long may be causing 70,000 UK deaths a year – The Guardian, 26 March 2019, Nicola Davis
Human Contact Is Now a Luxury Good – New York Times, 23 March 2019, Nellie Bowles
Americans Are Going Bankrupt From Getting Sick, The Atlantic, 15 March 2019, Olga Khazan
Why the future of well-being isn’t about money www.weforum.org, 26 Feb 2019, Justin Dupuis
With bread’s return to favor in the wellness world, consumers are ritualizing the baking process as an opportunity to slow down. JWT Intelligence, 28 February 2019, Emily Safian-Demers
Ikea’s new curtains purify the air inside your house – Fast Company, 20 Feb 2019, Jesus Diaz
Insectageddon – Politicians are complicit in the killing of our insects – we will be next – Guardian 12 February 2019 – Molly Scott Cato
Goop Enters Netflix Deal: Has Pseudoscience Found A New Platform? Forbes, 9 Feb 2019, Bruce Y. Lee
5 ways work culture will change by 2030, Fast Company, February 4th 2019 Gwen Moran