Jennifer Aniston has written a piece for the Huffington Post where she responded to the persistent rumours about her being pregnant and the constant scrutiny of women and their bodies.
The piece titled “For The Record” begins by saying Jennifer doesn’t usually respond to gossip but this time she felt compelled to get her message across.
The 47 year old actress says the “sport-like scrutiny and body shaming that occurs daily under the guise of journalism’ was the catalyst for her finally penning this piece.
“I used to tell myself that tabloids were like comic books, not to be taken seriously, just a soap opera for people to follow when they need a distraction,” Jennifer wrote.
“But I really can’t tell myself that anymore because the reality is the stalking and objectification I’ve experienced first-hand, going on decades now, reflects the warped way we calculate a woman’s worth.”
Jennifer Aniston has been under the watchful eye of the media for decades now and every little change in her body, especially her belly, is reported with a warped sense of fascination. She has been on so many covers of magazines and been reported pregnant so many times that she herself has lost count.
The actress has been bombarded by baby rumours since her five-year marriage to Brad Pitt over a decade ago. Rumours went into overdrive again last week when the tabloids reported she was expecting a child with husband Justin Theroux, 44, after she was photographed wearing a loose black dress around New York and was also seen on the beach with a ‘normal’ looking stomach.
“I resent being made to feel ‘less than’ because my body is changing and/or I had a burger for lunch and was photographed from a weird angle and therefore deemed one of two things: ‘pregnant’ or ‘fat”,” she wrote.
“The sheer amount of resources being spent right now by press trying to simply uncover whether or not I am pregnant (for the bajillionth time… but who’s counting) points to the perpetuation of this notion that women are somehow incomplete, unsuccessful, or unhappy if they’re not married with children,” she continued.
A woman’s worth is most definitely not dependant on her dress size, her looks or whether she is a mother or not. To consistently bombard young girls with images of women that have been photoshopped beyond recognition is a very dangerous practice. Just as damaging is telling women that they must be mothers to feel complete and fulfilled.
Here’s a question for you? What if Jennifer Aniston is trying desperately to fall pregnant but has been unsuccessful? What if in fact she has been pregnant a few times? What if she’s on fertility treatments? What if she’s miscarried? How painful and heartbreaking for her to have to read that she’s ‘pregnant’ once again when deep down she knows she was and isn’t anymore. I know this first hand- it took me years to conceive and I was constantly being told “you look pregnant today, are you?” There are only so many times you can laugh and say it doesn’t bother you.
Then there’s the flip side. What if Jennifer truly doesn’t want kids? She may have decided motherhood isn’t the right path for her. It’s a decision that’s between her and her partner and no-one else’s. Why can’t Jennifer be allowed to grow as we all do? To be able to put on a bit of weight here and there without fingers being pointed at every turn. Every time she has a burger the tabloids scream “baby.”
I say it’s time we backed off Jen and left her alone. As she said, the tabloids will not change over night but what can change is the way we perceive them and receive the information. Just don’t buy into the bullshit rumour mills!
“I’ve learned tabloid practices, however dangerous, will not change, at least not any time soon. What can change is our awareness and reaction to the toxic messages buried within these seemingly harmless stories served up as truth and shaping our ideas of who we are. We get to decide how much we buy into what’s being served up, and maybe some day the tabloids will be forced to see the world through a different, more humanised lens because consumers have just stopped buying the bullshit,” Jennifer says.
You can read her whole essay here.