There’s no shortage of things to be mad about in late capitalism. Pretty high on the list, though, is the Eat, Pray, Love brand of pseudoscience promoted by Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop. Somehow, Goop—which previously encouraged women to shove eggs up their vaginas—has out-Gooped itself: the brand is now promoting stickers called “Body Vibes.” The product, which I remind you, is literally a sticker, uses “NASA space suit material” to “rebalance the energy frequency in our bodies,” whatever the actual fuck that means.
“Human bodies operate at an ideal energetic frequency, but everyday stresses and anxiety can throw off our internal balance, depleting our energy reserves and weakening our immune systems,” Goop says on its website. “Body Vibes stickers (made with the same conductive carbon material NASA uses to line space suits so they can monitor an astronaut’s vitals during wear) come pre-programmed to an ideal frequency, allowing them to target imbalances.”
Yes, these sentences sound like what you’d expect if you threw Enya lyrics in a blender. But what’s somehow worse is that Body Vibes is trying to invoke our beloved space agency to bolster its legitimacy. Obviously, we had to go to the pros.
A representative from NASA’s spacewalk office told Gizmodo that they “do not have any conductive carbon material lining the spacesuits.” Spacesuits are actually made of synthetic polymers, spandex, and other materials that serve a purpose beyond making their wearer look like a resident of Nightmare Coachella.
Gizmodo has asked Body Vibes to provide us with the peer-reviewed research that supports their claim that their “astronaut” stickers have any impact on the human body. We’ve also asked Body Vibes and Goop for their response to NASA’s assertion that they definitely do not use a “carbonate material” to line their spacesuits. So far, no luck on either front.
It gets worse. The stickers—which run as high as $120 for a pack of 24—promise to assuage various ailments, including anxiety and pain, using something called “Bio Energy Synthesis Technology.” This is not a scientific concept, but rather an invention of AlphaBioCentrix, a Nevada-based biotech company that sells “Quantum Energy Bracelets” and “Health Pendants.” AlphaBioCentrix’s founder, Richard Eaton, was apparently inspired to help create Body Vibes after meeting some “engineers” in a dark alleyway several years ago. Or maybe at Gwyneth’s pied-à-terre in the Hamptons. Who can say.
“Without going into a long explanation about the research and development of this technology, it comes down to this; I found a way to tap into the human body’s bio-frequency, which the body is receptive to outside energy signatures,” Eaton told Gizmodo. He added that, conveniently, “Most of the research that has been collected is confidential and is held as company private information.”
Mark Shelhamer, former chief scientist at NASA’s human research division, wasn’t wooed by Body Vibes or its secret research.
“Wow,” he told Gizmodo. “What a load of BS this is.”
Shelhamer reiterated that space suits are not lined with carbon material, and that even if they were, it would be for adding strength to the suit—not for monitoring vital signs.
“Not only is the whole premise like snake oil, the logic doesn’t even hold up,” he said. “If they promote healing, why do they leave marks on the skin when they are removed?”
Unless they are operated by tiny wizards, who have been captured for the sole purpose of promoting Paltrow’s wellness empire, Body Vibes have literally no scientific basis. If you want to wear a sticker to feel good about yourself, that’s fine—just don’t act like it’s fucking penicillin.
[h/t Meredith Bennett-Smith]
Update 1:25 pm: Goop has pulled their claim regarding NASA from its website, and provided the following statement to Gizmodo:
As we have always explained, advice and recommendations included on goop are not formal endorsements and the opinions expressed by the experts and companies we profile do not necessarily represent the views of goop. Our content is meant to highlight unique products and offerings, find open-minded alternatives, and encourage conversation. We constantly strive to improve our site for our readers, and are continuing to improve our processes for evaluating the products and companies featured. Based on the statement from NASA, we’ve gone back to the company to inquire about the claim and removed the claim from our site until we get additional verification.
Update 06/23 3:30 pm: Body Vibes has apologized for mischaracterizing their product, in a statement shared with Gizmodo:
“We apologize to NASA, Goop, our customers and our fans for this communication error. We never intended to mislead anyone. We have learned that our engineer was misinformed by a distributor about the material in question, which was purchased for its unique specifications. We regret not doing our due diligence before including the distributor’s information in the story of our product. However, the origins of the material do not anyway impact the efficacy of our product. Body Vibes remains committed to offering a holistic lifestyle tool and we stand by the quality and effectiveness of our product.”