Jennifer Aniston Blasts ‘Warped Standards Of Beauty’ In Powerful Essay

jennifer aniston pregnancy rumours body shaming

by Katie Rosseinsky |
Published on

Jennifer Aniston is no stranger to having her every move scrutinised by the tabloid press. Over her two decades in the spotlight, she’s been the subject of every rumour going, been pitied for no reason whatsoever and – like so many women in the public eye – been the focus of extensive and doubtless hurtful body shaming. Naturally, the actress has had enough.

In a powerful new essay for the Huffington Post titled ‘For The Record,’ Aniston has broken her silence to criticise the culture that celebrate women solely for how they look – and in particular, celebrates thinness above all else.

The actress begins by addressing the most recent pregnancy rumours – started by InTouch Weekly after Aniston had the effrontery to be photographed wearing a bikini after having eaten some lunch. ‘For the record, I am not pregnant,’ she writes. ‘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.”’

jennifer aniston pregnancy rumours body shaming
Jennifer Aniston ©Getty Images

After describing the daily ‘insane tabloid ritual’ of having ‘aggressive photographers staked outside [the] home’ which she shares with husband Justin Theroux, Aniston goes on to explore what this circus means for everyone.

‘If I am some kind of symbol to some people out there, then clearly I am an example of the lens through which we, as a society, view our mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, female friends and colleagues.

As Aniston herself probably knows only too well, it often seems that the only acceptable states for a woman in the public eye – and by extension, in the world at large – are to exist as a ‘perfect’ body shape or to be pregnant. And if you’re pregnant? Maybe you aren’t ‘showing’ quite enough (see the scrutiny of Kate Middleton’s two pregnancies for a case in point) or you have the indecency to look ‘too’ pregnant - it was hardly a surprise that Kim Kardashian spent most of her second pregnancy away from the cameras.

‘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.

It’s a view, Aniston believes, that’s not just hurtful and damaging for the celebrity in question, but for all women.

jennifer aniston pregnancy rumours body shaming
With husband Justin Theroux ©Getty Images

‘Little girls everywhere are absorbing our agreement, passive or otherwise. And it begins early. 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 is something we’re all willingly buying into,’ she continues. ‘This conditioning is something girls then carry into womanhood.’

‘We use celebrity “news” to perpetuate this dehumanising 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”?’

As Aniston argues, it’s time to stop using women’s bodies as the focal point for their narrative, and while her essay is a pretty damning indictment of how the media treats women, she ends on a hopeful note.

‘We get to decide how much we buy into what’s being served up,’ she writes. ‘Maybe someday the tabloids will be forced to see the world through a different, more humanized lens because consumers have just stopped buying the bullsh•t.’

Read Jennifer's essay in full at The Huffington Post.

READ MORE: London Mayor Bans Body-Shaming Ads

READ MORE: Why Body Shaming Needs To Stop

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