Dr Jennifer Gunter is the world’s most famous – and outspoken – gynaecologist. And she’s on a mission to empower women with medical facts, taking on wellness gurus, old wives’ tales, the patriarchy and jade eggs along the way
‘Dear Ms Paltrow,’ began Dr Jen Gunter’s open letter of 2017, regarding the jade eggs Paltrow was promoting on her website Goop. Paltrow claimed that inserting one into the vagina would improve a woman’s life, in at least four ways. “It is the biggest load of garbage I have read on your site since vaginal steaming. It’s even worse than claiming bras cause cancer. But hey, you aren’t one to let facts get in the way of profiting from snake oil.” And so it began. It was a war on wellness – an industry now worth more than $4.2tn (£3.5tn) – and every battle went viral, leading to Gunter becoming the most famous gynaecologist in the world.
When one of Goop’s “medical experts” wrote that Gunter was “strangely confident” in her thoughts on jade eggs, she replied: “I am not strangely confident about vaginal health; I am appropriately confident because I am the expert.” Many of her statements end with similar mic drops. It is a rare moment when a gynaecologist becomes an international celebrity, and it comes on a wave of misinformation, fear and continued attacks on the bodily autonomy of women. One Goop fan called Gunter the “vaginal Antichrist”.
These sites offer you that emotional connection that doctors often jumped. And I think that’s a big fault of medicine
That was a very common theme, that fear is the cause of the illness, and that love is the cure
Goop telling women that fear causes illness, that your emotions control you