Why three Pittsburghers began The Glowt, a parody website poking enjoyable at superstar life-style manufacturers Artwork + Leisure | Pittsburgh

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Screencaps from theglowt.com

If you’re a reader of the Goop lifestyle website, you can follow the recommendations for “7 Ways To Renew Your WFH Room,” including buying an herb garden for $ 800 and a coffee maker for $ 345 for those who do to work from home. These kind of high referrals are part of the reason three Pittsburgh women took their quarantine downtime to start The Glowt, a parody website that pokes fun at the absurdity of lifestyle brands and wellness culture.

Pronounced like “Gloat”, the website looks and acts like a goop-style website in the spirit of other parody websites like The Onion or Reductress. Founders Emily Wentworth, Tegan Silva and Jennifer Bouslog created the website when the pandemic broke out because they wanted to channel their quarantine boredom somewhere. They launched The Glowt on Election Day in November 2020 and found that many people would be glued to their phones, doomed to failure, and the news could break up with a laugh.

While politics is divisive, Silva says it was oddly nice to see readers on both sides of the political spectrum find common ground in laughing at the lifestyle tips and tricks of the rich and famous.

“We just passed it on to all of our friends and family, regardless of their political leanings. We got a lot of good responses, which was very encouraging to hear,” she says. “It’s nice to see that people on both sides have been willing to loathe rich, stupid people like this. Hopefully we can kind of see this as a unit. Not being cheesy, but humor usually is.”

The Glowt’s design has the minimalist glitz of a site like Goop, with stories broken down into sections like Wellness, Relationships, Fashion, and Beauty. Headlines mock lifestyle advice (“I’ve tried minimalism and now I have to borrow your toothbrush”), insane food trends (“I’ve tried a coffee enema and now I’ve been following that gas station toilet for ages”) and dubious wellness advice (“How I Learned About Portion Control After Seeing That Obese Squirrel in the Park.”)

Some of them hit the noses a bit too – after writing the article on coffee enemas (injecting coffee into the asshole), the Glowt team saw that Goop had included the method in a “detox guide”.

While Goop was one of the first lifestyle sites of its kind – founded by celebrity Gwyneth Paltrow who haggled for expensive nonsense – it’s just one of many in the genre. Poosh, a lifestyle site founded by Kourtney Kardashian, offers gluten-free recipes and articles on “Easy Ways To Be Happy.” Before marrying a prince, Meghan Markle ran a (now defunct) lifestyle site called The Tig. But it’s not just celebrities with blogs, it’s the entire influencer industrial complex – including and especially Instagram – promoting unhealthy lifestyles, full of sponsored content for detox teas and gummy vitamins for hair care.

“Personally, I’m not on Instagram, but the reason I am not is just because it’s so toxic,” says Wentworth. “There is this weird, weird thing going on where there is this supposed body acceptance, but then you have to improve too. It’s exactly the same as growing up in the 90s where you had to be super thin, it’s just wrapped in a different package . “

click to enlarge

Screencaps from theglowt.com

Screencaps from theglowt.com

In order to achieve the full effect of a lifestyle website, the Glowt team created “Diedre Sabazios”, a fictional personality who runs the website. Diedre is the daughter of an arms dealer who attended boarding school in Italy and was once married to Mickey Rourke. In her “About Me” section, Diedre says that when she started The Glowt, she “recruited only the best and brightest wellness writers who somehow owe me a debt.” For the creation of Diedre, Silva drew inspiration from characters like Paltrow, but also from Schitt’s Creek character Alexis Rose, who is known for saying random stories about her elite globetrotting.

Currently, every article on the website is written by Wentworth, Silva and Bouslog. The hope, however, is that one day we will add contributors as well as video content and podcasts to the project.

For the time being, the three founders will continue. Of course, they always have the help of Deirdre’s numerous unpaid interns.

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