Jennifer Aniston is sick and tired of facing relentless pregnancy rumours and body shaming – and the actress has laid out her feelings in a powerful op-ed penned for the Huffington Post. The actress addresses the "absurd and disturbing" scrutiny that women are exposed to by the media.
"For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up," wrote Jennifer in an essay titled 'For The Record'. "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 continued: "Every day my husband and I are harassed by dozens of aggressive photographers staked outside our house who will go to shocking lengths to obtain any kind of photo. What I want to focus on is the bigger picture of what this insane tabloid ritual represents to all of us.
"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."
The star, who was the subject of pregnancy reports just a few weeks ago, said that while "addressing gossip is not something I have never done", she wanted to write the post because she is not on social media.
"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 resources being spent right now by the 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 wrote.
"… 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.
"We don't need to be married or mothers to be complete. We get to determine our own 'happily ever after' for ourselves."
Closing her post, Jennifer said she has "grown tired of being part of this narrative", adding that she will be "the first to let you know" if she does become a mother.
"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'," she wrote.
"I've learned tabloid practices, however dangerous, will not change, at least not any time soon.
"What we can change is our awareness and reaction to the toxic message buried within these seemingly harmless stories served up as truth and shaping out ideas of who we are."