Jennifer Aniston looks like she writes overly long Yelp reviews when her salad dressing isn’t delivered to her table on the side, so she wrote a 915 word op-ed for Huffington Post entitled For The Record, that somehow turns the media speculating that she’s pregnant into a think piece on gossip tabloids, body shaming, childless women shaming, and probably some other shaming that I missed. Let’s take a moment to break this down, shall we?
Let me start by saying that addressing gossip is something I have never done. I don’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.
Yes, addressing gossip is something you have never done. Especially when just let everybody assume Angelina Jolie “stole” Brad Pitt from a happy home and allowed the gossip to paint you as a blameless victim then built a career off that lie. But this current gossip directly puts you in a bad light, so it MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO STAND.
Oh, here comes the “for the record” part.
For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up. 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.”
Cool. She’s not pregnant and would kindly ask that you stop saying she is, because instead of saying she doesn’t like it when people think she’s fat, which is what this whole thing is about, she drags the media for reporting on her like they’ve done since pretty consistently since 1994. I wonder what’s changed? Oh, unflattering pictures. Also, you know who would love the media to speculate that they’re pregnant? Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift would love that speculation so hard. And Khloe Kardashian. Khloe would love for anybody to speculate she’s pregnant. Especially a doctor. So let’s not go ruin for everyone, Rachel. #AllSpeculationMatters
She goes on to say some stuff about paparazzi endangering public safety like that’s ever mattered to her before. Then she dives nipples first into a self-important diatribe about “standards of beauty” and the how we’re all implicit in creating a “dehumanizing view of females”. Apparently if you think a woman is pregnant, that’s dehumanizing. Didn’t know that.
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…
It really hasn’t been that may resources, Jennifer. Check Getty. There’s pictures of other people. On magazines as well.
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 “journalists” could dedicate their resources towards.
They are. You probably missed that because your Google alerts are turned on.
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. Let’s make that decision for ourselves and for the young women in this world who look to us as examples. Let’s make that decision consciously, outside of the tabloid noise. We don’t need to be married or mothers to be complete. We get to determine our own “happily ever after” for ourselves. 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.
This is an important message, but since it’s coming from a woman who got married at 31, got divorced, and couldn’t find anybody else to marry her until she turned 42 (and not for a lack of trying), you realize this essay was more of an exercise to convince herself than it was to convince us. And I understand that this resonates with women who wanted to be married and have kids by a certain age, and when that didn’t happen, they tend to post articles on Facebook about how much a child costs and how many vacations they’re having and how they don’t need to be married and have kids to be fulfilled. And all of that is true. Unless you’re a Christian cult, I don’t think anybody is pressuring you to have kids. If we’re blaming the media, I say we can blame them for allowing a journal entry disguised as social commentary on how we should all be ashamed that the media said, “hey, we wonder if Jennifer Aniston might be pregnant?” to be published as a morality essay. If you wanna have kids, have kids. If you don’t wanna have kids, don’t have kids. If you don’t wanna get married, don’t get married. If you wanna get married get married. Who gives a shit either way. Maybe your mom. Otherwise carry on. So glad you could get all that out though. Bravo.