26 Feb The Goop Lab: What This New-Age Netflix Hit SHOW HAS Taught Me
“There’s kind of no rubric for how we deal.”
– Gwyneth Paltrow
Since its inception in 2008, Goop, a new-age wellness brand, has been making headlines for supporting eccentric ideas and promoting unorthodox treatments. While the jury is still out on how reliable the advice and merchandise on the site is, I decided to humor founder, Gwyneth Paltrow, and watch a few episodes of her new Netflix series. This is what I learned
1. SOCIETY HAS A CURIOSITY WE HAVEN’T SEEN IN FOR A LONG TIME
One of the first things that struck me about the Goop team is their eagerness to explore. Whether it’s sticking 100 needles into their face or experimenting with magic mushrooms they are willing to abandon convention in the pursuit of an awakening of consciousness. Chief Content Officer at Goop, and Executive Producer of the Netflix series, Elise Loehnen, admits, “We try to be open-minded and explore ideas that seem so scary so that people have access to the information and they can make up their own minds.”
This is a modern phenomenon.
I know this from conversations I’ve had with my parents and some of their age mates. For the most part, people aged 50+ have accepted certain things as universal truths because it is the knowledge that was passed down from their parents. Me thinks millennials and Gen z’s have shaken things up in a necessary way. Things like gender and sexuality, diet and lifestyle have been pushed to the forefront of the social agenda, forcing us all to take stock of every aspect of our lives. It’s refreshing.
2. WE ARE SPIRITUAL BEINGS ON A HUMAN JOURNEY
My mother says this to me all the time, and between the M. Scott Peck and Deepak Chopra books I read, I know this to be true too. You’ll see this in practice when you watch The Goop Lab. In the first episode, a few members of the team travel to Jamaica – I don’t want to give too much away, but each person is going on the trip for different reasons that all have to do with the metaphysical. From the outset, they understand that what they are going to experience will affect their psyche and that will, in turn, inform how they continue in the physical world.
Cogito, ergo sum in practice. “I think, therefore I am.” – Descartes.
3. YOU CAN APPRECIATE A DIFFERENT CULTURE WITHOUT APPROPRIATING IT
Touchy subject but this needs to be addressed. As a person of colour myself, it is always maddening to see westerners wearing bindis, traditional war paint or feathered bonnets at music festivals because ‘it just looks cool.’ The Goop Lab addresses this bizarre trend in various ways.
By educating the Goop team, and the viewer, on the practices of alternative medicine or ancient rituals, it cultivates a greater appreciation for the cultures that birthed certain practices, which encourages us to rethink the way we approach them. By understanding that yoga, meditation, and psychedelics were used to heal the mind and body, you might not just engage in the acts because ‘everybody’s doing it’, but because you’re in search of a similar holistic experience.
All in all – there is something to learn for everyone, whatever your age and your general outlook on life. And more importantly, The Goop Lab is stimulating discussion around things we definitely should be discussing, and encouraging a general expansion of views, historically ingrained beliefs and societal “norms” and “taboos”.