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6 Sunscreens to Buy Instead of Johnson & Johnson's Neutrogena and Aveeno

Johnson & Johnson's Aveeno and Neutrogena sunscreen recall is shaking up Hot Girl Summer

Oh to be Sunscreen Jack

Despite the trends going around TikTok and Instagram that dictate you need to look and be a certain way to participate in Hot Girl Summer (we're looking at you, "That Girl"), all you really need is good vibes, a vaccination, and SPF.

The cardinal rules of skincare are: Drink water and wear sunscreen. Every celebrity insists these are their secrets to keeping a youthful glow and, while they're not the only factors, they are important.

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Culture Feature

Why Do Gwyneth Paltrow's Vagina-Scented Candles Keep "Exploding?"

Is it normal for a candle to come with this many warnings?

When you get a new candle, what's the first thing you do?

Obviously, like any responsible candle owner, you immediately check the safety instructions to make sure that you're observing all necessary protocol to avoid a violent explosion of flames — before locking it in your candle safe. But it turns out that not everyone is like us. There are some dangerous individuals out there who are buying candles without the understanding that they are essentially deadly weapons.

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via @naaya.wellness

I've been tired of Gwyneth Paltrow since she inexplicably won that Oscar for Shakespeare in Love in 1999.

Since then, she has only become more and more insufferable. Partly, as an actress, for pretending not to remember being in Iron Man and for her unhinged storyline in the unhinged Ryan Murphy series, The Politician.

Mostly, I find her egregious for her lifestyle brand Goop, which has amassed a cult following of Karens — despite coming under fire for its exploitation of trauma, its whitewashing of non-white practices, and its proliferation of pseudo science.

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Culture Feature

Which GOOP Products Keep Gwyneth Paltrow Looking So Sexy at 48?

None of GOOP's products are likely to keep you young, but they all help to prevent Gwyneth Paltrow from ever aging.

GOOP

There's no denying it: Gwyneth Paltrow looks good.

And she celebrated that fact on her 48th birthday by sharing an image of herself with her seven million Instagram followers wearing nothing but her "birthday suit." Approaching 50, the mother of two looks better than most of us ever will. Covering herself just enough to skirt Instagram's community standards, Paltrow shows off every inch of her toned, glowing skin. But what is her secret?

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MUSIC

Your House Can Smell Like Erykah Badu's Hoo-Hah

The neo-soul singer is one-upping Gwyneth Paltrow's intimate-smelling candles.

First, Gwyneth Paltrow wanted to sell us a candle that smells like her vagina (which has since sold out).

Now, R&B legend Erykah Badu is giving Goop a run for their money with her own rather intimate scent, soon to hit the market. It's called "Badu's Pussy," and it's a fragrance intended to smell just like, well, the singer's lady bits.

Since first emerging with her jazzy soul music in the '90s, Badu has become known for her offbeat, at times even occultish aura. But the magic doesn't stop at her spellbinding lyricism. "There's an urban legend that my pussy changes men," Badu told 10 Magazine. "The men that I fall in love with, and fall in love with me, change jobs and lives." Now you, too, can be charmed by the wizardry of her hoo-hah.

According to 10, the scent will be sold in incense form, ensuring that all of your meditation sessions and dinner parties will have the perfectly musky aroma of Badu's crotch. But how to achieve such a distinct odor, you ask?

"I took lots of pairs of my panties, cut them up into little pieces and burned them," Badu added. "Even the ash is part of it." No big loss, though; Badu has been going commando for quite some time. "The people deserve it!"


I wonder if Badu's Pussy will come in a perfume form. I'm sure the strangers I share my morning commute with on the subway would appreciate me smelling like such enchanted genitalia. You can buy the incense from Badu's new online store, launching February 20.

Netflix's docuseries The Goop Lab is a show about B.S. self-care trends being branded and sold as "wellness" and close-ups of Gwyneth Paltrow's golden, glowy demon skin.

It's a show about self-optimization and a lot of beautiful, young, slender–but racially diverse (because it's a woke show)–content creators traveling the world and exposing themselves. Sometimes that means literally staring at their vaginas in a mirror as a sex educator tells them they're beautiful, and sometimes that means processing their personal traumas next to their coworkers and under the gaze of a camera crew and Paltrow's calm, waxy smile.

As familiar as we are with the dark side of constant self-optimization–what with the plagues of "millennial burnout" and influencer worship–bogus wellness trends are still working. The wellness industry is a whopping $4.2 trillion feature of our cultural landscape. Overpriced, often culturally appropriated, "all-natural" remedies promise not only to improve our lives but cure our loneliness, depression, anxiety, and existential sense that nothing we do matters. Plus, sometimes it smells like your vagina, like Goop's $75 candle named, yup, "This Candle Smells Like My Vagina."

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In the six short episodes of The Goop Lab, Elise Loehnen, Goop's chief content officer, oversees teams of Goop's editors, project managers, and assistants who "go out in the field" to try alternative medicines and therapies for themselves. In the first episode, "A Healing Trip," Loehnen ingests psilocybin (psychedelic mushrooms) with her employees and later reflects, "This is not a typical workspace experience, although I kind of wonder if it wouldn't be incredibly therapeutic for workspace teams if you felt really safe and wanted to become even more intimate and connected with the people that you spend the majority of your day with."

I'm sorry, what? While there's a growing body of research confirming that psychedelics can have unique therapeutic benefits–when taken in carefully measured doses and within extremely monitored circumstances–there's more than one way to abuse them. Aside from recreational usage, the danger of psychedelics lies in their invasiveness in one's psychology and experience–a bad trip is an incredibly bad trip. In fact, Paltrow and Leohnen interview Mark Haden, executive director of MAPS Canada (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies), who identifies the primary difference between traditional talk therapy and psychedelic therapy as, "You get access to somebody's unconscious material." So, yeah, let's do that with co-workers as a bonding experience. As Rachel Charlene Lewis writes for Bitch Media, "Encouraging coworkers not only to do drugs together, but to explore trauma en masse seems like an HR disaster waiting to happen. But in the world (or, rather, the career) of Goop, it's just another day at the office."

Actually, invading consumer psychology in order to bring individuals' traumas to the fore seems to be the integral approach of wellness brands these days. Companies like Goop exploit personal traumas by marketing their products as curative, with The Goop Lab targeting content to showcase how epiphanic and life-changing alternative therapies (and related products–you know, like theirs) can be. Also interviewed in this episode is Jenny, a photo editor, who talks about her personal trauma over her father's suicide and how it impacted her understanding of her own depression. There's Kevin, Paltrow's assistant and a veteran Gooper (yes, that's what Paltrow calls them), who talks about his attachment struggles after growing up with an absentee father. Among genuine testimonies from people who have overcome anxiety, depression, PTSD, and suicide attempts thanks to these alternative therapies (which many people don't have access to due to resources and legal restrictions in their areas), there's an ugly spectatorship to watching Jenny and Kevin sob on a mat on the floor while soft-spoken counselors in white whisper to them softly and rub their backs. Kevin, in particular, is hugged tightly by two male counselors, which Leohnen later calls "very profound" since "they were embracing him in a way that he hadn't been embraced as a child by his own father."

Clearly, the Goopers who volunteered to participate in these experiments are aware of the vulnerability of (potentially) processing their trauma in front of a camera, but the whole show is designed for viewers to spectate and consume their personal trauma as content that ultimately promotes Goop as a brand. And aside from being targeted to those wealthy enough to spend $120 on "healing" wearable stickers, Goop as a brand is patently ridiculous, pseudo-scientific, and even dangerous for public health. With health claims that are repeatedly disproven by alarmed health experts, as well as NASA, studies show that the public has grown increasingly confused about what constitutes a healthy lifestyle.

Timothy Caulfield, Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy at the University of Alberta, wrote a detailed overview of why the most popular (and lucrative) celebrity-backed health crazes have lodged themselves into our public consciousness. "This decade of celebrity health hogwash should also be considered in the broader context," he warns. "This is the era of misinformation, a time when trust in public institutions is declining and people feel uncertain about what to believe about, well, everything. Celebrity wellness hype contributes to this 'culture of untruth' by both inviting a further erosion of critical thinking and promoting what is popular and aspirational rather than what is true." Between Instagram fitness gurus and absurd celebrity "beauty secrets," we're all surrounded with contradictory pieces of wellness advice. Goop describes their prescribed practices as "out there" or "too scary" for people because they go against basic common sense.

With a throwaway legal disclaimer prefacing each episode (the series is "designed to entertain and inform–not provide medical advice. You should always consult your doctor when it comes to your personal health, or before you start treatment"), The Goop Lab is just cashing in on the trend of exploiting personal trauma for branding and, ultimately, profit. It's appropriate that the credits include Paltrow declaring their end goal as the "optimization of self," in the sense that "we're here one time, one life, how can we really milk the sh*it out of this." This is the next stage of "the age-old marketing language of 'Women, you suck, but this miracle product will fix you,'" only now it's saying, "The world has hurt you over and over again, and this can help heal the damage–for a price."