THE SELF WORTH DIET – Because Low Self Esteem Is Fattening

An Open Letter To Gwyneth Paltrow and Mackenzie Dawson


Dear Gwyneth and Mackenzie:

I wanted to write you both to tell you that you have zero gratitude. Gwyneth, your comments to E! about how a 9 to 5 job would be easier for a mother than working as a highly paid, A-list actress was so out of touch with reality it was laughable.

Mackenzie, I found your open letter to Gwyneth in the New York Post to be somewhat humorous but also out of touch with reality. I’m sure your intention for ragging on Gwyneth about her E! interview was to entertain and be controversial but to me you came across as wildly ungrateful.

It doesn’t seem like either of you have had much adversity in your lives. Well, I know Gwyneth hasn’t. You were born into a Hollywood family and were handed your first job by family friend, Steven Spielberg. You’re a stunning and thin woman who is married to a rock star and you have two gorgeous, very blonde children. (I know you’re uncoupling with your husband, sorry about that).

Mackenzie, you’re also an attractive, slender woman. I read your wedding announcement in The New York Times from 2002. You got married at 25 and graduated cum laude from Colby College. You married a management consultant at a financial services company and you live in the suburbs of NY with your husband and child. It seems like you both have pretty charmed lives.

May I also add that the both of you work in the entertainment industry (I’m counting the New York Post as entertainment because it’s not quite news, sorry).  It’s not like either of you are sitting behind a bank teller window or going into an office every day where you sell trade booth space.

But, your elitist upbringing and jobs are not what I have a problem with. It was the “put upon” nature of your comments about being mothers.   Do you know that millions upon millions of women struggle with fertility? I will speak for myself and say that I’ve been trying for years now and have suffered multiple miscarriages, which amounts to countless heartache and despair.

What I wouldn’t give to have your quality problems of juggling motherhood and work. I’m pretty sure that when I do get pregnant one of these days that I will be so grateful to have the opportunity to have a baby that I wouldn’t be complaining in the slightest.

Only women who haven’t suffered with fertility would complain about their toddlers in the morning or having to be away from them on a film set for two weeks. You both probably haven’t endured the shame of not being able to keep a pregnancy.   I will speak for myself, but having fertility issues cuts me to the core. I somehow feel like less of woman for not being able to hold a pregnancy.

To make matters worse, I’m not exactly swimming in cash, so rounds of IVF of $22,000 dollars each round aren’t a viable option. Nor is hiring a surrogate at double that cost to carry a baby for me.

I’d like to also point out, ladies, that there are lots of single mothers out there who have to work two jobs to make ends meet. Or, what about the women who have special needs children and have to quit their jobs just to care for their child. I have friends who are single moms and who have autistic children and they are my heroes. Having that adversity seems to have made them grateful.

And gratitude makes all the difference.   Even though having a baby may not be in the cards for me, I practice gratitude on a daily basis. I write a list every morning of what I’m thankful for so I know just how blessed I am. If I don’t write this list I am sure to focus on everything I don’t have in my life rather than everything I do.

My advice to you Gwyneth and Mackenzie is to write a gratitude list every morning. Hell, you can even send to me. Get in the habit of focusing on what’s great in your life rather than your perceived struggles and I guarantee you will be happier people.


Mara Shapshay

3 Responses to “An Open Letter To Gwyneth Paltrow and Mackenzie Dawson”

  1. Shannon

    Wow! You know I never thought of it that way. I am infertile myself and went through eight months and $10000 worth of treatments to get pregnant, and you are right about everything you said. I never once complained about my pregnancy and have enjoyed every minute with my girls whereas fertiles whine and complain and will never appreciate their kids the way I do. Still (and probably because I do have kids) I didn’t look at it like that. Just someone who is completely out of touch with reality saying things she shouldn’t. The response letter I thought was just a funny response. Really there are millions of ignorant people in the world, she just happens to be the unlucky one who said it in an interview. I am sorry about your situation, and I do completely understand why you would see it that way. You make a very good point. Cheers.

    • Mara Shapshay

      Thanks Shannon. As my writing teacher once said…”everyone’s an asshole until they his some adversity and struggle.” I’ve been homeless before and I am grateful for my one bedroom and car that I don’t have to sleep in anymore. I felt the need to point out the spiritual principle of gratitude to two ladies who clearly need it. Hopefully my fertility problems will be behind me now with new diagnosis and treatment. It’s in God’s hands.


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