If Poosh, the new lifestyle site from Kourtney Kardashian, had been launched just one day earlier, on April 1, we might have applauded her for pulling off an internet prank. But it’s April 2. And the only fools around may be us ― the people visiting the site ― and the culture that got us here in the first place.
Poosh, which comes from a nickname for Kardashian’s daughter Penelope, bills itself as a “guide to living your best life” and its purported mission is to help promote “a modern lifestyle, achievable by all.” But it’s rife with articles that suggest buying expensive products like amethyst infrared pads and information on how to update your bathroom by adding a $1,390 garbage can. It reads, at first glance, like an even less self-aware Goop.
Most of these things are annoying yet probably innocuous. It’s the site’s health section that raises genuine concerns.
One article claims to debunk food myths, but repeatedly does the opposite. Take the first myth: that eating gluten-free is healthier even if you’re not allergic to gluten. The piece’s lone expert, Khloe Kardashian’s nutritionist, actually suggests that people should drastically reduce gluten consumption. (For the record, other experts don’t see any point to nixing gluten from your diet unless it’s medically recommended for a health issue.)
Another post makes the claim that organic wine “won’t give you a hangover,” which is also not backed by research. Other articles lay out foods to flatten your tummy and describe how to get a better butt (in five minutes!).
There are also “step-by-step instructions” for a collection of foods placed next to each other on a plate and passed off as a “salad.” Called “Kourt’s signature salad,” it consists of hard-boiled eggs, avocado, tomato and mozzarella ― which Kardashian herself doesn’t even eat because she avoids dairy. In other words: not even Kourt eats Kourt’s signature salad.
Here’s the deal: Kardashian is wealthy. She has access to the best nutritionists and trainers in the world. Much like her habit of promoting “detox” products, she is willing to assure millions of followers that they, too, can have the Poosh lifestyle. But they can’t. The Poosh lifestyle, whatever that is, is not “achievable by all.” It’s expensive, unhealthy and unrealistic.
Like Goop, the site takes liberties with what is just anecdotal suggestion and what is actual medical advice ― albeit on topics that are, at least so far, arguably less physically risky than Goop’s worst hits. But unlike Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow, Kardashian has a fan base filled with young, impressionable people who hang on every problematic word she and her family share on social media.
That kind of influence can be dangerous when it’s not used wisely. Victor Schwartz, chief medical officer of the Jed Foundation, a mental health organization, explained some of these problems to HuffPost last May.
“People often do not realize that the online look or image of a person can be highly curated or manipulated, and this can lead a viewer to have really inaccurate impressions or expectations of themselves ― how thin they should be and how to get there, what their hair or physique should look like,” Schwartz said. “This can contribute to self-consciousness, frustration, anxiety and depression.”
There’s no rule that says the Kardashians have to be good role models, and there’s no rule that says people can’t aspire to be their best selves. But like the Kardashians’ sponsored Instagram posts shilling things like “flat tummy tea” and “appetite suppressing lollipops,” Poosh already appears to be another hotbed of misguided information and unhealthy ideals about what is and is not beautiful. A Kardashian rep did not immediately return HuffPost’s request for comment.
A few co-workers who looked at the site did note one point in Poosh’s favor: The brownie recipe, supposedly made “famous” by Kris Jenner, sounds pretty decent. So, if you’re looking for a standard dessert, check out Poosh? But please don’t rely on it for health advice.