In California, a wellness brand best known for questionable health advice, occasionally tone-deaf promotion of ultra-luxury items, and A-list founder Gwyneth Paltrow has launched a self-deprecating publicity stunt to call attention to diaper taxes in the US.
The Goop campaign began with an Instagram post introducing “The Diapér,” an over-the-top luxurious diaper lined with virgin alpaca wool and fastened with amber gemstones “known for their ancient emotional-cleansing properties.” Each Diapér is also “infused with a scent of jasmine and bergamot for a revitalized baby.” The post prices the Diapér at $120 for a box of 12.
While this might seem like a plausible product launch from a company that has promoted everything from “surprisingly affordable” yacht rental services to $1,995 Ouija boards, it was meant to start a conversation about how much diapers cost.
“Despite the absolute necessity of diapers, in 33 states, they aren’t treated as an essential item,” Goop says on its website. “They’re taxed as a luxury good. Depending on the state, this sales tax can add between 1.5 percent and 7 percent to their cost. (We priced our fictional Diapérs at $120, because that is what the diaper tax could cost families annually.)”
Paltrow later told CNN that it was “good” that there was a lot of outrage before the diapers were revealed to be a stunt. “”It was designed to piss us off. Because if treating diapers like a luxury makes you mad, so should taxing them like a luxury.”