Why Jennifer Aniston’s Op-Ed Is So Important
She says our culture’s “warped standard of beauty” hurts all women
After years of dealing with gossip and speculation about her love life and pregnancy status, Jennifer Aniston is speaking out. The actress wrote an op-ed for the Huffington Post saying she is “fed up with the sport-like scrutiny and body shaming that occurs daily under the guise of ‘journalism,’ the ‘First Amendment’ and ‘celebrity news.’”
If you think this is just another celebrity whining about being a celebrity, think again. What Aniston writes actually applies to women everywhere: “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.”
Aniston goes on to say that if female celebrities continue to be ruthlessly objectified, girls will internalize the message that they’re “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 the magazine.”
Aniston calls out the media for obsessively covering her fertility status, instead of important news like mass shootings and the election. “The sheer amount of resources being spent right now by press trying to simply uncover whether or not I’m 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.”
That Aniston—literally the most beautiful woman in the world—feels the standards our culture perpetuates are unfair and unreasonable is a powerful indictment. “We are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child,” she writes. “We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies. That decision is ours and ours alone.” We couldn’t have said it any better.