Jennifer Aniston pens honest post about endless tabloid speculation
Jennifer Aniston has been in the public eye for two decades, and for a giant portion of that time the media has been speculating about her relationships and status of her uterus. Does she still miss Brad? Does she hate Angelina? Is she happy in her new marriage? Will her uterus ever host a child?
Can you imagine how exhausting it would be to constantly hear speculation about aspects of your life that were so private? You don’t have to imagine it anymore, Jen has straight-up confirmed — in words — how fed up she is with the whole circus. She wrote an essay for the Huffington Post today, that will comfort any woman who’s ever faced scrutiny for not being a mother.
“If I am some kind of symbol to some people out there, then clearly I am an example of the lens through which we, as a society, view our mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, female friends and colleagues,” she writes. “The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing. The way I am portrayed by the media is simply a reflection of how we see and portray women in general, measured against some warped standard of beauty.”
If the way Jennifer Aniston has been handled in the media has taught us anything, it’s that society simply can not accept a woman who is successful and happy and is not a mother. And it’s bullshit. This is a pressure that does not exist for men. It’s unfair, it’s archaic, and it sends all the wrong messages to our daughters.
“Sometimes cultural standards just need a different perspective so we can see them for what they really are — a collective acceptance… a subconscious agreement,” Aniston writes. “We are in charge of our agreement. Little girls everywhere are absorbing our agreement, passive or otherwise. And it begins early. The message that girls are not pretty unless they’re incredibly thin, that they’re not worthy of our attention unless they look like a supermodel or an actress on the cover of a magazine is something we’re all willingly buying into. This conditioning is something girls then carry into womanhood. We use celebrity “news” to perpetuate this dehumanizing view of females, focused solely on one’s physical appearance, which tabloids turn into a sporting event of speculation. Is she pregnant? Is she eating too much? Has she let herself go? Is her marriage on the rocks because the camera detects some physical ‘imperfection’?”
Just weeks ago Aniston’s “pregnancy news” was trending on Facebook. It’s in quotes, because there was no news. There was only a photo some lecherous paparazzo shot that showed Aniston in a bikini with a tiny hint of a belly. Stop the presses. Her stomach did not look concave, so she must be pregnant with a “miracle” baby.
All the while we’re ignoring the most obvious point: here is a clearly happy, successful woman. She’s had a career that’s spanned decades, but when is the last time you read about that? All we hear about are her suitors, her ex, and her imaginary pregnancy scares.
Women are more than wives, mothers, and vessels for children. We are more than that.
“Here’s where I come out on this topic: we are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child,” Aniston writes. “We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies. That decision is ours and ours alone. Let’s make that decision for ourselves and for the young women in this world who look to us as examples. Let’s make that decision consciously, outside of the tabloid noise. We don’t need to be married or mothers to be complete. We get to determine our own “happily ever after” for ourselves.”
Amen. You can (and should) read the whole essay here.