Jennifer Aniston Addresses Tabloid Scrutiny: ‘Stop Buying The Bullshit’

“Women are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child.”

Actress Jennifer Aniston addressed circuitous rumors of pregnancy and marital distress in an essay that carefully dissects the plight of being a woman in Hollywood. Published on The Huffington Post, Aniston, 47, sets the record straight after years of tabloid speculation surrounding her personal life. In the letter, she writes, “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.’”

What begins as a first-person essay describing the plague of celebrity status as brought on by paparazzi and deep-seated objectification by the media, quickly transitions into a conversation about a much broader topic. She writes:

“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. Sometimes cultural standards just need a different perspective so we can see them for what they really are — a collective acceptance... a subconscious agreement. We are in charge of our agreement.”

The actress mentions how, culturally, tabloid buzz has been revered as a gossip column of sorts, “not to be taken seriously.” The way in which such media portrays — or rather, objectifies — women, however, has become a reflection of the greater issue at hand, which, in Aniston's words, is “the warped way we calculate a woman’s worth.”

Aniston's position on the matter of tabloid scrutiny does not stand without opposition, however. British journalist Piers Morgan suggested she “dismount from [her] high horse” in a letter published on The Daily Mail, writing, “There’s another reason why the media objectify and [scrutinize] famous women, and why little girls get confused about beauty and body image. It’s this: female stars like Jennifer Aniston deliberately perpetuate the myth of ‘perfection’ by posing for endless magazine covers which have been airbrushed so much that in some cases the celebrity is virtually [unrecognizable].”

Though criticism for Aniston’s powerful, emotionally-driven essay may inevitably draw in its own crowd of supporters, the brigade of celebrities publicly endorsing her sentiments highlights the underlying issue in need of attention. Aniston says it best herself:

“[Women] 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.”

Read Jennifer Aniston’s complete essay, “For The Record,” here.

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