Monday, July 03, 2017

Skepticism: Gwyneth's Goopy Body Vibes

Dan Burns recently directed my attention to a dust-up regarding a Goop-endorsed product. Goop is Gwyneth Paltrow's high-priced personal product brand/store and Body Vibes was an endorsed product available at Goop. Body Vibes' body stickers could work all manner of miracles

According to a Washington Post article, Body Vibes originally claimed to use materials engineered by NASA. After NASA refuted the claim, Body Vibes reworded their sales pitch to delete the NASA reference. Read the WaPo take-down for all the details.

If you thought Power Balance style scams were a thing of the past, think again. Body Vibes gets their "technology" from AlphaBio Centrix in Las Vegas. Watch this "disturbing" AlphaBio video. It was posted in 2015 and already had nearly 800 views when I came across it. (We can't all be Dan Burns.)

They had me at "We use sub-harmonic frequency to power our Bio Energy Patches". For such statements, we must deploy the most incendiary burn in the arsenal of physics: "Not even wrong". (For the uninitiated, that means it's so very wrong that it cannot even be considered as worthy of argument.) The genius of the product design and marketing is that you could get stickers for every need, from anxiety, to low-testosterone, to gluten free(?).

Bottom line: there will always be products like this and the products will always have a credulous customer base. Do what you can to make sure your students aren't taken in by these things.

Update: I almost forgot to include Stephen Colbert's Late Night take-down of Body Vibes.

Gizmodo's takedown: NASA Calls Bullshit on Goop's $120 'Bio-Frequency Healing' Sticker Packs

TANGENT: In the course of writing this post, I wandered over to what's left of the Power Balance company page. Not surprisingly, they're still selling bracelets. Waiting for that 2010 nostalgia craze to kick in, I suppose. Amusingly, the post-lawsuit "technology" behind the bracelet is described as "Power Balance holograms are created using a proprietary process featuring cutting edge three-dimensional imaging, which makes the hologram truly unique. The hologram is designed based on Eastern philosophies. Many Eastern philosophies contain ideas related to energy. These are commonly referenced as Chi or Chakras. There are a number of well known practices like acupuncture, meditation and Feng Shu, which are believed to affect these energies. The hologram is based on some of these same ideologies." A legal work of art!

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