On Wednesday, Goop seemingly announced that Gwyneth Paltrow had added perhaps the most outlandish item in her wellness empire’s inventory yet by posting an Instagram that read “The Diapér[,] $120 for 12.” That may sound pretty cheap for a company known to hawk items such as $125,000 gold dumbbells, except the product in question was literally… a diaper, and a disposable one at that. And the reason why she’d jacked up the price of something you can buy a 164 pack of at Target for roughly $28? The Diapér—which turned out to be fake—was said to be made of virgin alpaca wool and fastened with amber gemstones, which, according to the caption, are “known for their ancient emotional-cleansing properties.”
To give you an idea of the outrage, where as Goop’s previous post received 20 comments, this one quickly racked up 2,222. The response was so extreme that six hours later, and after Vice posted a scathing piece unabashedly breaking the embargo, Goop next Instagrammed a video of Paltrow explaining it was all a ruse. “Goop launched a luxury disposable diaper, at $120 for 12, and there was a lot of outrage,” she said, showing off the “fictional” product. “Good. It was designed to piss us off. Because if treating diapers like a luxury makes you mad, so should taxing them like a luxury. The Diapér is a fake product 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 $120 price tag was intentional: According to Paltrow, that’s how much the tax could cost a family in a year.
There’s a bit more to the PR stunt: It also served to announce that Goop has partnered with Baby2Baby, a nonprofit that saw requests for diapers shoot up 505 percent amid lockdown. Donations made through the link in Goop’s Instagram bio go towards providing families with diapers and infant formula. The latter is particularly important: The U.S. is currently in the midst of a nationwide shortage that’s increasingly making parents desperate to simply feed their children.
Baby2Baby seems to be the real deal: The nonprofit claims to have distributed more than 100 million diapers over the past decade and played a part in successfully campaigning to remove the diaper tax in Maryland, Florida, and California.