Billingslea Media


Paltrow's Poverty

limes2This week’s trending topics include Gwyneth Paltrow’s public social media campaign to bring awareness to poverty in the United States. Paltrow took to social media to announce that she would be doing an experiment to find out what it feels like to live on Food Stamps. Paltrow vowed to live off of only $29 for one week so that she could show what people on public assistance have to deal with. However, when Paltrow posted a photo of her $29 grocery haul, the public vilified her. Her groceries included veggies such as limes, bok choy, and scallions, which people thought were unrealistic grocery store items when faced with a very limited budget. People took to Twitter and Facebook mocking her attempt to feed a family off of limes and bok choy. Some were utterly offended, as they expressed how difficult it is for working mothers to feed their families on such limited budgets. Only a few came to her defense, telling people to focus on her humane attempt to bring attention to a national issue. While Paltrow is known for having an emphasis on healthy living, many mothers are forced with having to focus on FULL rather than healthy. This brings about a very important question…Are people too out of touch with reality these days? Although Paltrow wanted to do a noble thing, she failed miserably in getting people to support her efforts. Many have made remarks that it is unreasonable for someone like Paltrow to have a reasonable understanding about how the other half lives. Although she has made attempts in the past to participate in charitable endeavors and considers herself an advocate for women, Paltrow is obviously out of touch with the struggle that most Americans deal with. And the backlash from the general public shows that most people were shocked that she was that “unaware”. The stark difference between the two worlds shows the need to bridge the gap. Are we communicating with each other without rose colored glasses? Are we being as open and honest as we can possibly be? And are we holding on to anger towards those who are “unaware”. These are important questions that we should be asking if we want to stress the importance of empathy and awareness to the next generation. We don’t want our kids wrongly thinking that living off of limes, scallions, and bok choy for an entire week for a whole family is realistic. Perhaps we do need to make more noise. Perhaps more noise would help more people transition easily into their life of Bliss.