Jennifer Aniston wants you to know she’s not pregnant and she’s fed up.
The actress has penned an open letter decrying gossip and “the business of lies” for the Huffington Post, addressing the endless rumours about her marriage and pregnancy speculation, referencing the constant harassment by paparazzi she endures with husband Justin Theroux.
“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,'” she writes, opting for a public forum for her outrage since she isn’t on social media.
Aniston isn’t looking for sympathy, she’s addressing the issues of the representation of women by the media, especially in the tabloids.
“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,” she writes. “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. This conditioning is something girls then carry into womanhood. 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.”
“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,” she continues.
The 47-year-old “Friends” star calls attention to the “newsworthy” stories that should be capturing the attention of the media more than her body and those is-she-or-isn’t-she pregnancy stories.
“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,” she writes.
The actress promises that if she ever does decide to have a baby, she’ll be the one to let the public know, but it’s not something she’ll be bullied into because she feels “incomplete,” the way tabloids often depict.
“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,” her open letter reads. “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).”
“What can change is our awareness and reaction to the toxic messages buried within these seemingly harmless stories served up as truth and shaping our ideas of who we are,” her statement concludes.