Toxically Clean Homophonic Expertise, Goop, and the Ideology of Choice

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Julie Homchick Crowe


The public’s declining trust in health advice from traditional outlets has long been noted by scholars. But what makes alternative sources for health information appear more trustworthy to some audiences? In this analysis, the author traces the use of expertise and experience as forms of multivocality in the textual artifacts of Gwyneth Paltrow and her enterprise, Goop—specifically those that promote clean eating and detox diets. The analysis illustrates how Goop creates a superficially neutral platform for different voices that make the texts seem polyphonic and by extension more trustworthy given that readers can choose which health plan is right for them. But upon further analysis the author illustrates that Goop blends each voice so that they “move in step” as a choir, combining with Paltrow’s own voice, and ultimately creating an illusion of polyphony and masking a dominant homophonic message that ties together mandates to “ask questions,” empower ourselves, and embrace the assumption that young, slender bodies are signifiers of health and wellness.

Article Details

Research Articles
Author Biography

Julie Homchick Crowe, Seattle University

Julie Homchick Crowe is an Assistant Professor in the Communication Department at Seattle University. Her research focuses on science denialism, particularly in respect to public arguments about biology and women's health.


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