How Amanda Chantal Bacon Perfected the Celebrity Wellness Business (New York Times Magazine, I hope the link works)
Deciphering the rise of a lifestyle guru who sells self-absorption as the ultimate luxury product.
The amount of time I waste finding and consuming alternative-medicine supplements for “brain function” has made me at least 10 percent dumber, and that paradox is not lost on me. It was this impulse that made me pause last year at a fancy store in Brooklyn when I spotted a glass jar labeled “Brain Dust.” It had the kind of packaging that signals discreet luxury: minimalist matte label, custom type, the word “organic.” A 2.2-ounce jar cost $55. “This adaptogenic potion lights up your brain and increases mental flow,” the label said. “Neuron velocity and vision are fine tuned by toning the brain waves, in particular the alpha waves that connect to creativity.” It seemed like the kind of item that might be a prop in a comedy sketch about millennial idiots, or something a person would be duped into buying on a hidden-camera prank show.
An "adaptogenic potion" that "tones" your "brain waves".
I will grant her this: that's some fine technobabble.
Her company is called "Moon Juice".
She had also gone viral. In May 2015, Elle featured Bacon’s daily diet, which included items like ho shou wu, silver needle tea, pearl, reishi, cordyceps, quinton shots, bee pollen and chaga. These foods — substances? — were unfamiliar to most readers. “I Have Never Heard of, Much Less Eaten, Any of the Foods in This Juice Lady’s Food Diary” was the title of a sneering Jezebel article that followed. Another site estimated Bacon’s grocery tab to be $709.75, or about 4.5 times what a typical American spends on food a week.
Here was proof of the extent to which our nascent wellness culture had finally matured: a woman whose lifestyle was extreme to the point of inscrutability and expensive to the point of implausibility. It’s not surprising that Bacon was mocked; the internet backlash practically wrote itself. The amazing thing was that she was also embraced. She expanded her business, published a cookbook, spoke at conferences and appeared in Vogue. As her fame has rippled outward, so has her influence.