Jennifer Aniston has confirmed she is not pregnant but admits she hopes to become a mother â€œone dayâ€.
In a open letter titled â€˜For The Recordâ€™ on the Huffington Post website, the star said she did not like the way women were being portrayed and blasted sections of the media who are obsessed with her life and alleged pregnancy.She wrote
Let me start by saying that addressing gossip is something I have never done.Â I donâ€™t like to give energy to the business of lies, but I wanted to participate in a larger conversation that has already begun and needs to continue. Since Iâ€™m not on social media,Â I decided to put my thoughts here in writing.
For the record, I amÂ notÂ pregnant. What I am isÂ fed up.Â Iâ€™m fed up with the sport-like scrutiny and body shaming that occurs daily under the guise of â€œjournalism,â€ the â€œFirst Amendmentâ€ and â€œcelebrity news.â€
Every day my husband and I are harassed by dozens of aggressive photographers staked outside our home who will go to shocking lengths to obtain any kind of photo, even if it means endangering us or the unlucky pedestrians who happen to be nearby. But setting aside the public safety aspect,Â I want to focus on the bigger picture of what this insane tabloid ritual represents to all of us.
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. 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. Sometimes cultural standards just need a different perspective so we can see them for what they really are â€” a collective acceptanceâ€¦ a subconscious agreement.
We are in charge of our agreement. Little girls everywhere are absorbing our agreement, passive or otherwise. And it begins early. The message that girls are not pretty unless theyâ€™re incredibly thin, that theyâ€™re not worthy of our attention unless they look like a supermodel or an actress on the cover of a magazine is something weâ€™re all willingly buying into. This conditioning is something girls then carry into womanhood. We use celebrity â€œnewsâ€ to perpetuate this dehumanizing view of females,Â focused solely on oneâ€™s physical appearance, which tabloids turn into a sporting event of speculation.Â 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 â€œimperfectionâ€?
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. But I really canâ€™t tell myself that anymore because the reality is the stalking and objectification Iâ€™ve experienced first-hand, going on decades now, reflects the warped way we calculateÂ a womanâ€™s worth.
This past month in particular has illuminated for me how much we define a womanâ€™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 timeâ€¦ but whoâ€™s counting) points to the perpetuation of this notion that women are somehow incomplete, unsuccessful, or unhappy if theyâ€™re not married with children. In this last boring news cycle about my personal life there have been mass shootings, wildfires, major decisions by the Supreme Court, an upcoming election, and any number of more newsworthy issues that â€œjournalistsâ€ could dedicate their resources towards.
Hereâ€™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. Letâ€™s make that decision for ourselves and for the young women in this world who look to us as examples. Letâ€™s make that decision consciously, outside of the tabloid noise. We donâ€™t need to be married or mothers to be complete. We get to determine our own â€œhappily ever afterâ€ for ourselves.
I have grown tired of being part of this narrative. Yes, I may become a mother some day, and since Iâ€™m laying it all out there, if I ever do, I will be the first to let you know. But Iâ€™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 â€œless thanâ€ 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: â€œpregnantâ€ or â€œfat.â€ Not to mention the painful awkwardness that comes with being congratulated by friends, coworkers and strangers alike on oneâ€™s fictional pregnancy (often a dozen times in a single day).
From years of experience, Iâ€™ve learned tabloid practices, however dangerous, will not change, at least not any time soon. WhatÂ canÂ 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 whatâ€™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 bullshit.