Gwyneth Paltrow Highlights Parent Poverty With Her £100 Nappy

The real message behind Goop's gem-encrusted, jasmine scented diaper

goop nappy

by Maria Lally |

Gwyneth Paltrow and her glossy lifestyle brand Goop are no strangers to attracting ridicule and accusations of privilege, from £50 rose quartz vaginal eggs to the Goop casserole dish that costs £1,000.

So, when they announced a new diaper (nappy) this week – costing $120 (£98) for a pack of 12 and ‘lined with virgin alpaca wool and fastened with amber gemstones, known for their ancient emotional-cleansing properties. Infused with a scent of jasmine and bergamot for a revitalised baby’ – it all seemed very, well, Goop.

The reaction from slack-jawed parents was instant. ‘Is it April foods day?’ asked one follower. ‘You’re effing kidding me?! I have no words’. While another simply said, ‘This has to be a joke.’

Well it was. Sort of. Shortly after the post, which had almost 8k likes within a few hours, Gwyneth took to Goop to post a video explaining all: ‘If treating diapers like a luxury makes you mad, so should taxing them like a luxury,’ she said to Goop’s 1.7million followers. ‘Despite the absolute necessity of diapers, in 33 states [in the US], they aren’t treated as an essential item. They’re taxed as a luxury good. We priced our fictional diapers at $120, because that is what the diaper tax could cost families annually,’ before asking followers to donate to @baby2baby to help provide essentials for families in need.

So, rather than being another Goop-style fad, the bejewelled nappy was a clever way of highlighting the struggles facing parents right now. Which sadly is just as relevant here as it is in the US. While UK nappies are free from VAT (despite recent calls for it to be added), parents are still struggling as we enter one of the worst cost of living crisis of our times.

According to a new study, half of UK children are in families that cannot afford the cost of living this year, with many families forced to sacrifice heating, food and clothes as a result. The report, by the New Economics Foundation (NEF), found 43 per cent of families in the north east of England, 38 per cent in the West Midlands, and 38 per cent in London, will be living beneath the MIS (minimum income standard) in a matter of weeks.

An earlier study found 99% of family household bills have risen in the last 6 months, with 10% of households saying they have more than doubled. Thirteen per cent of single parents in the UK have had to use foods bank due to increased childcare costs and other costs, and 80% of parents expect their childcare bill to rise again in the next 6 months. According to the survey, this has led to one in four parents saying they have had to cut down on necessary expenses such as food, heating or clothing to afford childcare.

‘And we have the third most expensive childcare system in the world,’ says Joeli Brearley, founder of campaign group Pregnant Then Screwed. ‘And due to years of underfunding schemes such as the 30 hours “free”, the quality of our childcare is also extremely poor. Time and time again research shows if Governments invest in a good quality childcare system, it pays for itself through increased taxes, but it also decreases the attainment gap between the richest and the poorest children.

'As we head into a cost of living crisis, families with young children will be the hardest hit due to the fact that the majority are paying the same as, or more than their rent/mortgage, just so they can go to work and earn money.’

So well done Gwyneth, and well done Goop, for highlighting the very real struggles faced by parents right now.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us