Meet Elise Loehnen: Star Of 'Goop Lab' And Gwyneth Paltrow's Chief Content Officer

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Meet Elise Loehnen: Star Of 'Goop Lab' and Gwyneth Paltrow's Chief Content Officer
Entertainment And News

Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop started out as an online newsletter that was mostly a list of Paltrow's favorite stuff. If you were in the market for luxury goods or recommendations for top hotels in foreign cities, Goop had you covered.

But as the brand evolved, it started to veer into health and wellness and is now almost synonymous with alternative treatments like vagina steaming, jade eggs for your vagina, and a candle called "This Smells Like My Vagina." It also deals with non-vagina wellness concepts as well and that's where the Goop Lab show picks up. 

RELATED: Goop Director Who Staged Tacky Elaborate Proposal Has Allegedly Been 'Exiled' By Gwyneth

The Netflix series dropped in January and features short, binge-able episodes where Goop staff experiences the kinds of wild treatments that they usually just write about. In one episode, a bunch of them try jumping into freezing water to explore the health effects on their bodies and minds. In another, they take doses of psychedelic mushrooms as a form of therapy. 

In all of these episodes, Paltrow herself appears frequently, usually flanked by Elise Loehnen, prompting viewers to ask: Who is Elise Loehnen?

She's the chief content officer for Goop so you can bet that she had a hand in choosing what kinds of out-there experiences were featured on the new show. And she isn't afraid to try everything herself; she's as much a participant in these experiments as she is a manager. You can watch her giggle her way through a therapeutic dose of magic mushrooms and get a reading from a psychic. 

1. Who is Elise Loehnen and what did she do before Goop?

Loehnen is originally from Missoula, Montana and went to Yale University where she studied English and fine arts, which allowed her to launch a career in writing publishing. She worked as an editor at Lucky Magazine and was the editorial projects director at Condé Nast Traveler before heading to Shopzilla where she was VP of marketing and creative services.

She also has been a co-author on a lot of books by celebrities including Nasty Galaxy by Sophia Amoruso, HOME by Ellen DeGeneres, You First and Brunette Ambition by Lea Michelle, and Cupcakes & Cashmere at Home by Emily Schuman. She now lives in LA with her husband, designer and photographer Rob Fissmer, and their young sons Sam and Max. 

Loehnen's husband Rob with their sons in 2016. 

2. What is her job at Goop? 

Loehnen's title at goop is Chief Content Officer. That seems to mean she's the person responsible for translating Paltrow's vision of a site into editorial articles and videos.

Loehnen has been working side-by-side with Paltrow since 2014, when they met through a mutual friend. Before that, she was a follower of the site and knew what kind of content readers were after when visited Goop. 

"Gwyneth has always been interested in that type of content: Where is the best place to eat? Who makes the best products?" Loehnen told a reporter. "The website has never been about long reported features or our point of view on this event. It's about going to experts and getting the information that is of value to our readers."

RELATED: What Is Ibogaine? New Details About What Gwyneth Paltrow Calls The 'Next Big Thing' In Wellness

3. Loehnen hosts the Goop podcast.

Loehnen is the voice of Goop as well as the brains behind it. She and Paltrow host the Goop podcast together, where they "chat with leading thinkers, culture changers, and industry disruptors — from doctors to creatives, CEOs to spiritual healers — about shifting old paradigms and starting new conversations."

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In practice, that means having wide-ranging conversations with everyone from Steve Jobs' daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs to Oprah and Brené Brown. 

Loehnen interviews author Lisa Taddeo for the Goop podcast. 

4. How does she respond to the claims that Goop is selling snake oil?

When you bring up the name Goop, people will either start to gush about what a boon it is for people seeking alternative wellness methods or wrinkle their noses and remind you about the jade vagina eggs and other wacky theories the site has put forward, like the idea that underwire bras contribute to breast cancer

Loehnen doesn't feel like the team is ever lying to their listeners about what they cover, however. “People like to say it’s pseudoscience. But pseudoscience is when you present something and say, ‘The science shows that this can cure cancer,’ which we would never do," she said in a recent interview. "

We label all of our content, and a ton of it is from Western doctors, from Ph.D.s at leading institutions, and it’s part of the scientific canon at this point. Typically research is a decade ahead of where doctors are in terms of how long it takes to make it into practice. But we’re never saying, ‘Oh there’s all this conclusive evidence.'”

5. What is Goop Lab, the Netflix show?

According to the Goop website, the Goop Lab is a natural offshoot from the fact that Paltrow like to try all of the therapies herself. "It’s Goop HQ’s worst-kept secret: Gwyneth is both our CEO and our bravest guinea pig," the show description reads.

The series features a group of staff from the site traveling the world to try out experimental ideas, like that plunging your body into freezing water can help your physical and mental health. They also do a deep-dive into sexual health and Paltrow finally admits that selling vagina-scented candles doesn't actually make her an expert on real vaginas — sex therapist Betty Dodson had to tell Paltrow and Leohnen that the vagina is the birth canal; the exterior anatomy, including the clitoris, is all the vulva. 

Rest assured that the lawyers at Goop don't want you to substitute a binge of Goop Lab for a visit with a medical provider. The disclaimer at the beginning of each episode says, "The series is designed to entertain and inform — not provide medical advice. You should always consult your doctor when it comes to personal health and before you start treatment." 

6. What's next for Loehnen and Goop?

It seems like most people are trying to process their feelings about the first season of Goop Lab. Reviews have been mixed. We know we're still trying to figure out how to feel about the show. Netflix hasn't announced a second season yet but that doesn't mean they aren't sitting down with Loehnen and Paltrow to start brainstorming new episodes. 

For now, you can see all six Goop Lab episodes on Netflix. 

RELATED: Are Gwyneth Paltrow And Brad Falchuk Getting Divorced? New Details On Their Unique Living Situation

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. She is the creator of the blog FeminXer and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.

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