Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images
Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand Goop has sold some pretty ridiculous things: the infamous jade egg, the candle that allegedly smells like Gwyneth Paltrow’s vagina. But the company has taken things one step too far with its newest product, The Diapér, an astronomically expensive disposable diaper that has fans asking the eternal question: Is Goop for real?
Goop debuted the Diapér on Instagram Wednesday, May 11, touting this supposed baby necessity as a “disposable diaper lined with virgin alpaca wool.” The diapers go for $10 each and will supposedly be sold in $120 packs of 12. They also feature “amber gemstone” fastenings 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 Diapér will be available for purchase starting Thursday, May 12, at 11 am ET, according to the Instagram post. And, after seeing the photos of the product and reading the description about 50 times, I have only one question. This cannot be real, right?
Despite all the extravagant Goop items has sold unironically and unashamedly, this diaper just seems too tone-deaf to be real, even for Paltrow. At a time when parents are facing a baby formula shortage, COVID is still running rampant, and inflation and abortion rights are front-page news, would Goop really drop a $120 diaper set? Putting aside the fact that parents are highly unlikely to spend $120 for 12 diapers when you 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 what about the alpaca wool? Something’s not adding up. And fans on Twitter and Instagram are noticing.
The comments on the original post are full of people questioning the veracity of the Diapér. “I love all things goop, but this is a parody right?” wrote one fan on Instagram. Another simply commented, “This can’t be real.” Surprise, surprise, it would seem that these fans are correct: 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 on the Diapér, the stunt was supposed to be confirmed tomorrow. Per the press release, which Vice noted was under an embargo, the campaign was “designed to expose the ridiculousness of taxing diapers like a luxury product.” Diapers have long been included among the list of items affected by the “pink tax” or the “tampon tax,” a phenomenon in which products geared towards women are more expensive than those geared towards men. Many states have tried to do away with the tampon tax in recent years, but diapers are still taxed as luxury products in many states across the country. After Vice reported the PR stunt, Goop released a video on Instagram explaining the fake product with a message from Paltrow herself.
“The Diapér is a fake item meant to shine a light on a real problem: despite the absolute necessity of diapers, in 33 states they aren’t treated like an essential item,” the Oscar winner says in the video. “They’re taxed like 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 teased this latest Goop collab in an article she wrote for CBS News for Mother’s Day. “I never had to think about the cost of diapers, never once, until recently when my team at Goop brought it up,” she wrote (That, I totally believe.) “Depending on the state, this sales tax can add between 1.5 and 7 percent to their cost. This makes diapers the fourth highest household expense for many low-income families,” she continued. The article linked to Goop and the nonprofit Baby2Baby for more information.