Jennifer Aniston has written a powerful op ed to call out the ways that women are subjected to ‘absurd and disturbing’ scrutiny by the media...
Jennifer Aniston has written a powerful op ed to call out the ways that women are subjected to ‘absurd and disturbing’ scrutiny by the media.
In the last few months the Friends actress has found herself on dozens of tabloid magazine covers, with packs of photographers stalking her around the clock, and reports claiming that she was expecting a ‘miracle baby’ every time she relaxed her washboard abs on a sun lounger, or ate Mexican food for lunch. Can you even imagine such fresh hell?
‘For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up,’ Jennifer writes on The Huffington Post. ‘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’.’
Beyond the fact that she’s followed by the paparazzi every single day, putting the safety of herself and those around her at risk, Jennifer goes on to slam the wider message that such publications are spreading – it’s all a worrying reflection of how society sees women and their bodies, isn’t it?
The paparazzi’s pursuit of ‘off-duty’ celebrity pictures happens to not just Jennifer, by many, many female celebrities, and in the summer months, a new drive to get pictures of women in their bikinis ensues. It almost always happens without the woman’s permission, and it certainly always is a way of objectifying them, often on an international media stage.
‘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. The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing,’ Jennifer continues.
‘This past month in particular has illuminated for me how much we define a woman’s value based on her marital and maternal status. 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.’
‘Here’s where I come out on this topic: 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. 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.’
Jennifer goes on to say that if and when she decides to have a child, she’ll let the world know on her terms. And if she doesn’t? Well she doesn’t need to explain anything to anyone, does she? Read the full essay on The Huffington Post.