Finally—Jennifer Aniston answers the question. Reluctantly, and for good reason, but she's answered humanity’s shouts as to whether she’s currently pregnant (again) or just had a big lunch. It was a big lunch.
In a piece for The Huffington Post, in which she is labeled Actor/producer/director, Jen addresses the rumors that have continued to circulate for over a decade.
“For the record, I am not pregnant,” she writes. “What I am is fed up.”
A pretty big deal considering she’s managed to ignore the pregnancy rumors, along with Brangelina, who the media can’t seem to separate her from, even though she is now happily married to The Leftovers hunk Justin Theroux.
“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. Since I’m not on social media, I decided to put my thoughts here in writing,” she said.
So Jen took to her computer (we’re imagining a MacBook Air, perfectly manicured nails, and a nice glass of chardonnay at hand) to spill her guts. She’s had enough. What put her over the edge was that vacation in the Bahamas, where she was caught by the paparazzi in a bikini with a small bump from a bigger than usual lunch, and the following week the tabloids had her pregnant—with “quotes” from "sources" and all.
“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.”
Ok, she’s smart and she can write and she’s thick skinned and maybe we’ve all upset our favorite Friend and should feel terrible because she’s just a pretty, intelligent, hard working lady who doesn’t bother anyone and has had her heart broken in front of the world.
But then she dangles this little nugget in front of us and this is what endlessly sparks curiosity once again.
“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.”
How many times are we going to hear this one? Jen is 47, so it looks like adoption or a surrogate at this point….here we go again.
“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. 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),” she writes.
Jen also gave us a peek into what it’s like to be her, and despite the riches and fame and perfect body and hair, she does have a point about living in a bubble.
“Every day my husband and I are harassed by dozens of aggressive photographers staked outside our home who will go to shocking lengths to obtain any kind of photo, even if it means endangering us or the unlucky pedestrians who happen to be nearby. But setting aside the public safety aspect, I want to focus on the bigger picture of what this insane tabloid ritual represents to all of us,” she says.
“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. 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. 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 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. 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?’”
Ok, now we’re into it. She goes on.
“I used to tell myself that tabloids were like comic books, not to be taken seriously, just a soap opera for people to follow when they need a distraction. But I really can’t tell myself that anymore because the reality is the stalking and objectification I’ve experienced first-hand, going on decades now, reflects the warped way we calculate a woman’s worth.”
“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.”
And cue the tears.
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