Jennifer Aniston has written a powerful essay for the Huffington Post in which she blasts the relentless pregnancy rumors that have plagued her for years.
In the essay, Aniston also addresses the objectification of women in the media and the impact this has on young girls.
“For the record, I am not pregnant,” Aniston wrote. “What I am is fed up.”
“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,” Aniston continued.
She goes on to describe the aggressive photographers who stake out her home, and the lengths they will go to in order to obtain photos of her and her husband.
Aniston then turns her attention to the bigger picture, and how the media’s fixation on her and her maternal status is damaging to other women and girls. “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,” she wrote.
“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.
“And it begins early,” she wrote. “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.”
She also touches on the pressure that women face to have spouses and babies in order to be happy, and the way in which the media obsesses over how Hollywood women look.
“This past month in particular has illuminated for me how much we define a woman’s value based on her marital and maternal status,” she wrote.
“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,” she wrote.
Aniston ends the essay by urging those who consume celebrity news to demand new narratives, and to reject the toxic messages that are often perpetuated by the media.
“We get to determine our own ‘happily ever after’ for ourselves,” she wrote.
“We get to decide how much we buy into what’s being served up,” she wrote, “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 bulls—.”