Book Review of Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash

reviewed on + 560 more book reviews


I could not resist this book because of the title. The answer to the question it poses is, in a word, "yes."

This book is an entertaining and frequently humorous discussion of a serious subject: how endorsement of products and advice on health and beauty by celebrities gives credibility to diets, lifestyle choices and health decisions that are scientifically unfounded and even potentially harmful. Gwyneth is an obvious topic of discussion, because of the success of her Goop empire. Pamela Anderson is also discussed, as is Jenny McCarthy (though I would have liked more space devoted to her anti-vaccine beliefs and activism).

The author's style is approachable, in that he mixes results of scientific studies in with interview with celebrities and aspiring celebrities, as well as accounts of his own failed efforts to obtain celebrity.

The book goes off the rails a bit in the last third, which focuses on the downsides of chasing and being a celebrity. This could (and should have) been a separate book. Gwyneth is pretty much forgotten about, though the author does attempt to bring the book full circle by mentioning her a couple times in the last pages. Despite the veering off subject, I consider this book a 4 star read because it is insightful and entertaining.