Last year, Jennifer Aniston was the subject of numerous tabloid stories claiming she was pregnant (she wasn’t), and became so fed up with the fixation on her appearance and alleged “baby bump” that she wrote an essay about it for HuffPost.
“The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing,” she wrote in the widely read essay last summer. “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. 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’?”
In a new interview with Vogue, the former “Friends” star re-examines where this disturbing trend is at a year later, and admits she’s not seeing a whole lot of improvement.
“I don’t think it’s getting much better,” she tells Vogue. “I think the problem is the tabloids and the gossip columns taking the human body and putting it in a category. They’re either fat-shaming, or body-shaming, or childless-shaming. It’s a weird obsession that people have and I don’t understand exactly why they need to take people who are out there to entertain you, and rip them apart and bully them? Why are we teaching young women this? It’s incredibly damaging.”
She recalls how the relentless tabloid stories about her supposed pregnancy drove her to share her thoughts in an essay.
“I was finally like, This has just got to stop! I couldn’t hear this narrative anymore about being pregnant or not pregnant; you have no idea what is going on personally in our lives and why that is or is not happening and it feels. . . In my own brain, I’ve shifted my perspective, so who gives a sh*t!” she adds.
“If you’re going to walk out and have your nipples showing, or your belly is a little bloated, or you’re not at the weight you want to be — you are perfect no matter what you are and no matter where you are and who cares?” she continues. “You have to tune out the noise, which is fine by me, because I just know that I’m happy and healthy and doing everything I can to be good in the world and to the people I work with. But, it’s hard. It’s something that people are addicted to: Salacious stories. Maybe [gossip magazines] will be dead one day. Who ever thought Donald Trump would be the President of the United States? I didn’t. I can’t predict squat anymore.”