Tabloids like Star, OK!, and In Touch have covered Jennifer Aniston’s countless pregnancies for years. Some were miracles, some were twins, and more than a few were surprises, but they all had one thing in common: they were fake. But after years of sitting silently as tabloids made up stories about her uterus—and just weeks after her most recent pregnancy “shocker” was shut down by her rep—a decidedly un-pregnant Aniston has finally had enough.
In an essay published on The Huffington Post entitled “For the Record”, Aniston (who says she has never publicly addressed tabloid gossip) writes that she made the decision to participate in “a larger conversation” about “the sport-like scrutiny and body shaming that occurs daily under the guise of ‘journalism,’ the ‘First Amendment’ and ‘celebrity news.’”
Aniston calls the “scrutiny” our society puts women through “disturbing,” and says the way she, a famous person, is discussed in the media is “a reflection of how we see and portray women in general, measured against some warped standard of beauty.”
“Sometimes cultural standards just need a different perspective so we can see them for what they really are — a collective acceptance... a subconscious agreement. We are in charge of our agreement. Little girls everywhere are absorbing our agreement, passive or otherwise. And it begins early...This conditioning is something girls then carry into womanhood.”
After criticizing tabloids for telling women how they should define their “happily ever afters,” she writes:
I have grown tired of being part of this narrative. Yes, I may become a mother some day, and since I’m laying it all out there, if I ever do, I will be the first to let you know. But I’m 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.” Not to mention the painful awkwardness that comes with being congratulated by friends, coworkers and strangers alike on one’s fictional pregnancy (often a dozen times in a single day).
You can read her entire essay here. And, I’m guessing, you won’t read a thing about her in the tabloids tomorrow.
Images via screengrab, Cinelou films.