The generally private Jennifer Aniston has just posted a very public and scathing indictment of our current culture of body-shaming. In the wake of incessant rumors that the actress is pregnant, it seems Aniston has finally, after decades in the business, reached her maximum harassment-tolerance level. In a toast-worthy diatribe posted to The Huffington Post on Tuesday, Aniston condemned the (false, as it turns out) pregnancy gossip as well as the paparazzi so desperate for lucrative proof of her (imaginary pregnancy) that they impede on her ability to live life daily. She then went a step further, however, by speaking out against the cultural norms that support this type of story. “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 said. “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.”
Aniston went on to say, rightly, “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”?”
Then, the part that really had us cheering in our seats, “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.”
Jennifer Aniston, you are officially our hero. Can we start a hashtag around this? #JenAnistonforVP, maybe?