Recently Kylie and Kendall Jenner were in the news for superimposing their Instagram pictures over iconic photos of Tupac and Biggie on t-shirts. Although the idea was very stupid it definitely got me thinking about why they felt they could get away with that. And the answer is because consumers made them think they could.
I don’t know about you, but I am guilty of buying a celebrity endorsed or created product at least once. I purchased the all-the-rage (and slightly cringe worthy) Kylie Jenner Lip Kit. I didn’t go out of my way to order it online or because I particularly like her, but because I had read reviews and found it at a random mall stand for a good deal, ok? The fact that I bought her matte lip paint and it works well, excites and disturbs me at the same time. The cringiness she makes me feel is also the reason I feel I need to justify my purchase to you. But unfortunately not all people end up with a quality celebrity endorsed product. Often enough, when celebrities endorse or create a product, it sucks and is probably just a money grab.
Sure the “Fit Teas” and waist trainers endorsed by Kim K or Hilary Duff are bullshit, but I could see why people would buy them. If it works for a Kardashian, why shouldn’t it work for you? They both seem like easy and quick weight loss fixes, so you only feel a little bit stupid when you realize that the tea is a laxative and the waist thing only makes it difficult to breath. Yet the joke’s on you! The celebrity selling that shit to you doesn’t even use it because it only works for one thing, and it’s not to make their waist smaller – it’s to make their wallet fatter.
Celebrities continue to give us what we think is a real glimpse into their daily lives, which makes us susceptible to believing what they show us is an attainable reality. It seems that people wish a celebrity’s “reality” was theirs and this is where us “plebs” can get taken advantage of. Our need to be superior to what we already are pushes us to buy the products we think celebrities use, that way we feel one step closer to our idols and to attaining a life like theirs.
I think the worst celebrity endorsed products go beyond teas, cosmetics, clothing or waist trainers. One case in particular is vouched for and supposedly designed by the likes of the dainty, blonde actress (and apparently entrepreneur) Gwyneth Paltrow.
Gwyneth Paltrow falls into the category of celebrities promoting their own healthy lifestyle, and quite an unrealistic one at that. Her brand is called “Goop” and I think this is for good reason because it rhymes with the word poop.
So what is Goop? I think her website explains it’s vision best. Goop “is a place for GP to introduce some of the incredible experts who have mentored her throughout her life to a wider audience, and a place where readers can find suggestions about where to shop, eat, and stay from a trusted friend—not from an anonymous, crowd-sourced recommendation engine.”
First of all. GP, really? We can’t even say Gwyneth anymore. Secondly, who says GP’s experts are any less anonymous than a “crowd-sourced recommendation”?
I don’t know about you but I didn’t feel like GP’s friend after visiting goop.com. You can buy brand name Goop skincare, homeware, clothing, supplements as well as other products from other designers Gwyneth recommends to her loyal customers. It doesn’t stop there though. She gives us travel and entertainment guides, detox and health advice, recipes, spiritual advice, relationship help and even stuff for kids.
Goop is essentially a how to guide to being Gwyneth, and that means you and I could be just like GP if we follow her advice and buy her products! All you need is money and an impressionable mind. Seriously though, imagine you are a ginormous GP fan who has a little spending money.
You might start by visiting Goop daily and just browsing for now, because her articles and recipes are enough to keep you feeling entertained and slightly upscale. But it escalates, you fall into her trap of pseudo-science health advice and eventually you start buying her supplements and skincare products. But then it extends to clothing and homeware. Pretty soon you are visiting places in the Hamptons GP supposedly loves. Then you’ve dyed your hair blonde and surely enough you feel like a close and personal companion of GP’s (and this is no mistake). This is why you fall into the final trap, the one where vaginal eggs and energy stickers come in.