Why did Elise Loehnen leave Goop? Former CEO slams Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow's former second-in-command at Goop, Elise Loehnen, spoke out about the 'toxic' cleanse culture promoted by her ex-employer
Gwyneth Paltrow may be in need of some cleansing herself after this. The actress and entrepreneur's former second-in-command at Goop, Elise Loehnen, has come out claiming that her Paltrow promotes a "toxic" cleanse culture. Loehnen, 42, in her role as Goop's chief content officer, co-hosted 'The Goop Podcast' and also made regular appearances on its Netflix show, 'The Goop Lab.' But in October 2020, she stepped down after working closely with Paltrow for seven years.
At the time, Loehnen cited a forthcoming book deal and new podcast pursuit as a reason for departure, but her recent comments on Instagram suggest otherwise. "So when I left my last job at Goop almost two years ago, I decided to foreswear all cleansing," she began in a Reel on Tuesday, March 22. "To me, it had become synonymous with dieting and restriction and I felt like I was not in a healthy relationship with my body, where I was always trying to punish it, bring it under control. And I’ve been eating like a teenager for two years and enjoying it, to be honest."
Paltrow, 49, started Goop as a newsletter in 2008, later expanding the business into an e-commerce shop and producing docuseries for Netflix. Paltrow in an interview with Net-a-Porter’s The Edit in June 2017 said, "I did one [cleanse] for seven weeks last year and it was awful." The 49-year-old added, "I've basically tried everything, from a one-day gallbladder flush fast to a seven-week nightmare. It's great for eliminating bloat and firming your skin, and just feeling your best."
In her caption, Loehnen rejoiced in the "full rebellion" she launched after quitting Goop calling the breakup, "healthy in terms of letting go of ideas of what my body should look like as a 42-year-old who has had two kids." She has now sworn off the restrictive cleanses that Goop promotes. The writer and editor called the feeling of breaking the cleanse to be critical and punishing. She also blamed problematic wellness trends for her "distorted" body image adding that she stopped weighing herself completely.
Loehnen also admitted that she recently did a five-day cleanse, but she noted that she did it very differently than she would have during her years at Goop. "Wellness culture can be toxic", she said. "I'm allowing myself to eat beyond what's necessarily prescribed by the cleanse. But I'm just trying to get to a place where I can again be in conversation with my body." The 42-year-old added, "I refuse to punish myself with food, or hold myself under the weight my body seems to want to be anymore. I don't have the energy or the interest, thankfully."
Goop is not free from criticism anyway. A February 2018 article titled "Busting Diet Myths," led to outcry after Traci Mann, PhD, urged Goop followers "to aim for their leanest livable weight." Paltrow has built a nearly billion-dollar brand with Goop but people on the Internet have always called her out for largely recommending ridiculous, prohibitively expensive products and medically dubious, if not outright dangerous, therapeutic treatments. The company had to pay a $145,000 fine for making fraudulent claims about vagina “eggs,” which they claimed could enhance orgasm and improve bladder control. Gynecologists said it would likely lead to bacterial infections. However, Paltrow was never one to mind these setbacks. Will Loehnen's disapproval and distancing change things for Goop?