Jennifer Aniston is no stranger to the limelight and, therefore, no stranger to rumors and criticism. She penned an essay for Huffington Post addressing pregnancy rumors and the media’s fascination with her personal life.
In the essay, Aniston wrote that she’s tired of having unflattering angles in photographs ending up as “pregnant” or “fat” labels, as if those were the only descriptors available.
“For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up. I’m fed up with the sport-like scrutiny and body shaming that occurs daily under the guise of ‘journalism,’ the ‘First Amendment’ and ‘celebrity news,’” wrote Aniston.
Aniston addressed the infringement of privacy that she and her husband, Justin Theroux, experience as they are harassed by photographers when they leave the house. But safety and privacy aside, she tried to drive home a larger issue.
“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,” she wrote.
The former “Friends” actress also addressed how ingrained these warped standards are and how young girls are learning a skewed sense of worth — one that relies on unattainable or hard to reach standards pushed forth by the media.
“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,” continued Aniston.
Aniston, who has been been subjected to media scrutiny for her lack of children, addressed this issue head-on, emphasizing that marriage and children are still used to put value to a woman’s life.
“The sheer amount of resources being spent right now by press trying to simply uncover whether or not I am pregnant…points to the perpetuation of this notion that women are somehow incomplete, unsuccessful, or unhappy if they’re not married with children,” she wrote.
Aniston then remarked that women get to choose their “happily ever after” and that that decision is a personal one, one that should be made without “tabloid noise,” and that women do not need to conform to a certain standard to be women.
“We are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child. 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.