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Jennifer Aniston has responded to the constant pregnancy rumours in a scathing essay [Photo: Rex Features]
It’s been more than twenty years since Jennifer Aniston was thrust into the celebrity limelight. And for a pretty large chunk of that time, the world has been focused on her womb. Is she pregnant, does she want to be pregnant, is she too old to be pregnant?
Can you imagine how tiresome it would be if every time you put on a bit of weight, was pictured with a bag across your stomach or dared to go out for a big lunch which left you a little on the bloated side people started analysing your body for signs of a bump and the world’s media plastered ‘pregnancy exclusive’ headlines all over the shop.
This is pretty much Jennifer Anniston’s daily life and she’s totally over it!
“For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up,” the fiercely private actress wrote in a blog post on The Huffington Post. “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.’ ”
“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.”
Jennifer and her husband Justin Theroux [Photo: Rex Features]
Though Aniston has faced this intense speculation for years about whether she will or won’t procreate, the tipping point for speaking out came just weeks ago when her ‘pregnancy news’ was trending on social media. Except there was no pregnancy news, just a photo that showed Aniston in a bikini with a teeniest teeniest hint of a tummy. Hold the front page, her stomach wasn’t entirely flat, so obviously she’s pregnant with a ‘miracle’ baby.
Addressing the pictures the 47-year-old wrote: “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).”
Aside from addressing the unrealistic beauty and body ideals we’re putting women under, Jen also makes a hugely important point about the value society is placing on motherhood. A woman has the right to choose to become a mother or remain child-free, and nobody will really know the thought processes that go into making that decision – potential struggles with fertility, ambivalence about motherhood. And more to the point, that decision, once made, won’t make them any more or less of a woman.
The actress is fed up with the intense scrutiny about her decision to have children [Photo: Rex Features]
“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 continued. “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.”
“I have grown tired of being used for this limited view of female identity and success,” she wrote. “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.”
Anyone who’s ever been asked when they plan to have kids will relate to Jennifer’s frustration, but the truth is women shouldn’t have to explain their personal decisions to enter or not to enter parenthood. Women do not want to be judged about that choice, neither do they want to be scrutinised over their bodies. Jennifer’s womb and what she decides to do with it is nobody’s business but her own. And the same goes for any woman.
Jennifer we salute you!
What do you think of Jennifer’s essay? Let us know @YahooStyleUK