Gwyneth Paltrow reveals Goop’s ‘luxury diaper’ was a publicity stunt

Gwyneth Paltrow reveals Goop’s ‘luxury diaper’ was a publicity stunt
‘If treating diapers like a luxury makes you mad, so should taxing them like a luxury’

Gwyneth Paltrow has addressed the “outrage” over Goop’s launch of luxury, amber-encrusted $120 diapers, with the Goop founder revealing it was a publicity stunt to raise awareness of the diaper tax.

On Wednesday, Goop shared a promotional image for “The Diapér,” with the wellness brand captioning the photos of the bedazzled diaper: “Meet The Diapér. Our new disposable diaper lined with virgin alpaca wool and fasted with amber gemstones, known for their ancient emotional-cleansing properties.

“Infused with a scent of jasmine and bergamot for a revitalised baby. Dropping tomorrow at 11am EST at $120 for a pack of 12.”

The “launch” prompted concern from Goop’s followers, with some questioning whether the diapers were a joke, while others found the new product upsetting.

“This is a joke, right? Right?!” one person commented, while another said: “Disposable but with gemstones? Has to be a joke…”

Someone else wrote: “You’re effing kidding me?! I have no words. Why not donate to a worthwhile organisation instead for underserved mothers and children. Done with Goop!”

Later in the day Wednesday, Paltrow addressed the backlash in a video posted to Goop’s Instagram, in which she confirmed that the launch was a publicity stunt, conducted in an effort to raise awareness of the high costs of diapers.

“Goop launched a luxury disposable diaper, at $120 for a pack of 12, and there was a lot of outrage. Good,” the Goop founder said. “It was designed to piss us off.

“Because, if treating diapers like a luxury makes you mad, so should taxing them like a luxury.”

Paltrow then confirmed that “The Diapér” is a fake product, but that it was meant to highlight a “real problem”.

“Despite the absolute necessity of diapers, in 33 states they aren’t treated like an essential item, they’re taxed like a luxury good,” Paltrow continued. “This leaves one in three families struggling to afford them.”

According to the National Diaper Bank Network, as of 1 April 2022, 35 US states charge sales tax on diapers, with the organisation noting that the tax can range from 1.5 per cent to 7 per cent. There are 12 states that exempt diapers from taxation, which include California, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

According to Paltrow, while eliminating diaper tax is “not a complete solution,” it could allow families to pay for at least another month’s supply of the childcare necessities.

Paltrow concluded the video urging followers to join Goop and Baby2Baby, a non-profit organisation that provides essential items to children in need and which is working to end the diaper tax, in helping to change the tax and “provide millions of diapers to families in need”.

On Goop’s website, it states that the “fictional Diapérs” were priced at $120 because “that is what the diaper tax could cost families annually”.

The website also notes that Baby2Baby’s diaper requests increased by 505 per cent during the pandemic as national shortages “exacerbated the need”. The need prompted the organisation to begin manufacturing its own diapers, “produced at a fraction of the cost to increase the number of children they serve”.

According to Goop, donations to Baby2Baby will support the organisation’s advocacy efforts and help provide diapers to families in need.

Paltrow’s clarification, and call to action, comes after Vice reported that the diaper launch was a “PR stunt” shortly after Goop posted about the diapers on Wednesday. Others came to the same conclusion after pointing out that Paltrow recently penned an opinion piece about motherhood for CBS News, in which she discussed the cost of diapers.

“I never had to think about the cost of diapers, never once, until recently when my team at Goop brought it up. We were talking about the diaper tax.  Despite the absolute necessity of diapers, in 33 states they’re taxed like a luxury good,” she wrote earlier this month.  “Depending on the state, this sales tax can add between 1.5 and 7 per cent to their cost. This makes diapers the fourth highest household expense for many low-income families.”

In response to the video, fans and followers have praised Goop and Paltrow for raising awareness of the diaper tax, with many applauding the “brilliant” publicity stunt.

“Yes!!! You caught people’s attention, very smart. This is one reason why I love Goop!!” one person wrote, while another said: “Thanks for shining a light on this.”

The Independent has contacted Goop and Baby2Baby for comment.