Things I Read That I Love #329: Goop Cruising, YouTube Tween Cults, Amy’s Kitchen, Botched Plastic Surgery, Et Al

HELLO and welcome to the 329th installment of Things I Read That I Love, wherein I share with you some of the longer-form journalism/essays I’ve read recently so that you can know more about the Goop Cruise!! This “column” is less feminist/queer focused than the rest of the site because when something is feminist/queer focused, I put it on the rest of the site. Here is where the other things are.

The title of this feature is inspired by the title of Emily Gould’s tumblr, Things I Ate That I Love.

Crushed, by Nile Capello for The Atavist, April 2023

Johna Ramirez’s son Jentzen thought he’d really scored when he was invited into the Squad; a social and content-production team of wildly popular tween YouTube influencers centered on Piper Rockelle and spearheaded by her controlling, predatory mother. Piper Rockelle’s YouTube channel is certainly a journey,

Liz Holmes Wants You To Forget About Elizabeth, by Amy Chozick for The New York Times, May 2023

Unfortunately I will not be forgetting about Elizabeth.

Pour One Out, by Tim Requarth for, April 2023

For a while we all believed that a little bit of red wine could perhaps be good for you, but new science suggests otherwise. What can we make of the original discourse around alcohol’s benefits and drawbacks and its recent pivot?

All In The Family: Amy’s Kitchen and America’s Shadow Workforce, by Erik Baker for The Drift, June 2022

Certified B-Corp Amy’s Kitchen is the nation’s largest manufacturer of organic vegetarian frozen meals, and despite its success and the wealth of its founders, working conditions for the employees of Amy’s two plants in Santa Rosa are dangerous and riddled with health and safety issues as well as poor labor practices and pay. This article from June 2022 includes descriptions of how Amy’s was attempting union-busting — and unfortunately it looks like rather than improve conditions and pay for its workers, Amy’s ended up shutting down its San Jose production center altogether.

The Deputy and the Disappeared, by Thomas Lake for CNN, April 2023

A Latino man and a Black man went missing in Florida — both of them after getting into a patrol car driven by a white deputy sheriff who claimed to have given each of them a ride to the Circle K. CNN re-opened the investigation to understand what happened to the missing men and why the sheriff was never charged with murder.

I Really Didn’t Want To Go, by Lauren Oyler for Harper’s, May 2023

Of course a massively long article about a trip on a themed cruise ship would appeal to me and of course it was a delight. I was especially delighted by how the author interwove her chaotic personal life into the narrative and also nodded towards the legendary DFW piece on the topic from the same publication. Also it was a Goop cruise and Gwyneth did show up briefly. I could pick a passage but they’re all perfect!

The Novelist Whose Inventions Went Too Far, by D.T. Max for The New Yorker, March 2023

A literary fraud who died in 2020, leaving his then-boyfriend to dig through the ashes, slowly discovering the truth behind the man he loved. H.G. Carillo was born in Detroit to a perfectly lovely family but was lying prolifically from a young age, culminating in his adoption as an adult of an Afro-Cuban identity that inspired his critically acclaimed novel, Losing my Espanish. This man even taught creative writing at George Washington University!

Liar, Liar, Brain on Fire, by Paul Tullis for Town & Country, April 2023

While we’re on the topic, shall we just get all the way into it? Here we have an investigation into the science behind compulsive liars in “the age of the fabulist.”

Is Temu The Future of Buying Things?, by Josh Herrman for Vulture, May 2023

“To engage with Temu is to be cornered in conversation with an AI-powered salesperson who is ushering you past endless tables of assorted goods to sell, right now, with escalating special offers, chained promotions, exclusive limited-time discounts, and lots and lots of free stuff.”

The Morbid Appeal of “Botched” Plastic Surgery, by Terry Nguyen for Vox, October 2021

I am sadly amongst those who are morbidly drawn to stories of botched plastic surgery, it is the only form of body horror that I can’t look away from. And the psychology behind that fascination is one I will always struggle to understand.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3200 articles for us.


  1. Wait if it is a Goop cruise & Gwyneth showed up does that mean she came there on a helicopter or did she show up when they were at a port? Either way it’s weird to me, but even more so if she arrived & left via helicopter.

  2. I literally had a dream last night that I published this post with five incomplete sentences in it and when I saw I had 10 comments on the post already I thought oh fuck did it happen in real life?!???!??! But no it was just you all happy to see the column back which MAKES ME SO HAPPY

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