For decades, Jennifer Aniston has been the subject of almost innumerable tabloid covers. But no “breaking story” has been written about Aniston more than All. Those. Times. she was supposedly expecting a baby. Or trying to have a baby. Or wanting a baby. Eventually, something’s gotta give.
Celebs complain about their lack of privacy all the time, rightfully so, but there’s something different about the way Jen is followed, and the speculation that comes from it. It’s hungrier, more desperate, more cutthroat — and she’s sick of it. Not just the treatment she gets but the kind of scrutiny all women face in this day and age.
Jen An penned an essay for the Huffington Post, a move she fully acknowledges is so not like her. Her reason for finally responding to the question that has plagued her for years isn’t just that she’s over it (though, let’s be clear, she totally is). Rather, she finds the pregnancy “reports” exhausting, frustrating, maddening even — and she’s not going to take it anymore.
“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.”
Aniston’s anger likely stems from pics of her that were taken in June, the last straw, really, in which the pregnancy question was posed again. You know, because she was in bikini after having had some lunch and didn’t look like she just did an Ironman.
She mentions how she and husband Justin Theroux are constantly harassed but goes on to the “bigger picture” of the paps all over her/them “represents to all of us.”
She writes: “The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing … 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’?”
Aniston finds it almost laughable that there are people trying to unearth whether or not she is pregnant when there is actual news — mass shootings, the upcoming election, etc. — to be covered. So for all those who were looking for a soundbite from Jen, here it is:
“We are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child,” she 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.”
Not that she owes us any explanation, but Ani goes on to write that she is “not in pursuit of motherhood because I feel incomplete in some way, as our celebrity news culture would lead us all to believe. 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.'”
But since the tabloids won’t be changing anytime soon, she’s asking the public to stop buying into it. “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 humanized lens because consumers have just stopped buying the bullsh*t.”
That sound you heard? The Internet giving Aniston a standing ovation. It’s like she’s held it in for so long and once unleashed, she was a beast. The tabloids have always wanted her to be pregnant, perhaps because they believe it
sells covers completes her happiness. But not every woman wants to be, or can be, a mother. And whether she is or not is up to her. And it’s her business, no one else’s.