Or, Jennifer Aniston Has Something to Say
It is 2016, right? You might think it was 1956 based on the media’s oh-so-sexist stance on women in the workplace and what makes us successful. Guess what, media types? Women actually aim higher than getting a new last name and popping out babies. Shocking!
But seriously . . . we struggled for the right to vote, for the same educational opportunities as those granted to men and the right for our bodies to be ours. We are still struggling to get equal pay for the same job. That’s bad enough but here we go, circling back to the same stereotypical bullshit that women belong in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, or they don’t belong.
Jennifer Aniston isn’t having any of it. I’m not necessarily a fan of hers, as I stated in another post on another blog (if you want to go read it, I’m not going to stop you) but I have to admire her for publicly outing the tabloids for being assholes. To wit – – she’s not pregnant, she’s fed up and she’s not taking it anymore. Preach on, sister. I’m right there behind you.
For years, Ms. Aniston endured the tabloids exalting over her alleged broken heart and pining away for her ex-husband after the Brangelina fiasco. Way, way past the expiration date of that gossip, the tabs glommed on to a monthly pregnancy story and they have pretty much decided to reside there, along with her self-proclaimed vacant uterus.
It may not seem like a huge deal, especially for a celebrity that is fairly constantly in the press. I get it. Some press intrusion is part and parcel of the business she’s in. And she’s played the game with them as well. However, as Ms. Aniston put it, the message such fascination endorses is disgusting and particularly so for young girls.
When is the last time you heard the media on the back of a single male celebrity? Has there ever been such hot debate on why (insert single male celebrity name) is single and childless? Let me answer that for you – – no. There hasn’t been. Because single men are considered worthy of envy. They are bachelors. They are living the dream. They are making the choice to be single and/or child-free and that’s okay. Better than okay, in fact.
But a single woman? Bust out the violins and get a therapist on the line immediately. Because single women are seen as sad creatures who want nothing more in life than a partner. They can’t possibly be happy or complete without one. And a woman who doesn’t have kids or (gasp!) doesn’t want kids? Blasphemy!
And it doesn’t stop there. A woman with anything that appears to be a bump around the midsection – – either you are pregnant (something Ms. Aniston is horribly familiar with) or you need to lose weight. Only a flat stomach is considered attractive and desirable (unless of course you have attained that ultimate female brass ring of being pregnant in which case you are given a pass until the golden child exits your uterus.) This, naturally, leads to speculation or outright accusations that said female has an eating disorder. And this can be if the woman isn’t “perfectly” thin or if she’s “too” thin.
Do you see where I’m getting with this? We cannot win. How can we when anyone other than ourselves is deciding what is “perfect?” How does the media know why Ms. Aniston, or you or me, has a little extra around her midsection (or anywhere else) and why do they get to judge? Why should strangers be able to tell you or me how we should look and judge our life’s choices?
I’ll say it right here. I’m not perfect. (My family knows this and they do not need to comment.) I’ve never had a flat stomach. I can get the stomach bloat. I’m in my forties and my body is changing. I’ve had some issues that have resulted in weight gain, weight loss and weight gain. For both personal reasons and circumstances, I’ve never given birth to a child. It doesn’t make me any less of a person and it has nothing to do with my worth. I don’t spend my spare time crying over a pint of Ben & Jerry’s because I am somehow less per the “acceptable standard” of the media because I’m not a size zero and my eggs haven’t been fertilized. You know what? Fuck off, acceptable standard. Life is hard enough without having to explain myself and assure people that I’m happy, even though I don’t have a wedding ring on my finger or a biological child draining my bank account. When did this become a thing?
Can we just stop with this? Can we stop judging people based on what they are supposed to be and just accept who and what they are?
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read Jennifer Aniston’s HuffPo post here.
Okay, rant over. For now.