No doubt about it, Jennifer Aniston is today's hot topic. Why? Because she's had enough.
Enough of media scrutiny. Enough of the pregnancy rumours. Enough of the paparazzi. Enough of the incessant womb staring.
And I'm 100% behind her.
In a blog written for the Huffington Post, Jennifer Aniston personally addresses those who constantly harass her, taking pictures of/papping her belly, speculating about when/where/how that 'much-wanted' baby will materialise. And, as a mid-thirties singleton with no current conception prospects, I totally agree and sympathise with her irritation.
'I wanted to participate in a larger conversation that has already begun and needs to continue.'
'For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up,' she writes. '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'.'
Yep. She's pulling no punches. At all.
Now, I realise that I am a journalist. I'm paid to write about celebrities, their culture and, essentially, their dramas. I can understand that many of you reading this will probably be thinking 'hypocrite', and I (hands up) completely agree. However, during the course of my career I can honestly say that I've never felt the need to resort to such dirty tactics to generate news. In fact, I actively avoid writing about supposed pregnancies because it makes me feel like I'm betraying my fellow womankind. I myself am fast approaching forty. I cannot tell you how many times I've entered into a discussion with both friends and family about the 'right time' for me to start thinking about having kids.
It's like everyone else (bar me) is marching to the resounding beat of Amie-Jo's body clock. And, like Jen, I'm bloody sick of it.
Jen goes on to write:
'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.'
'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.'
She then goes on to make a powerful statement about motherhood:
'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.'
Not kidding, I actually want to hug it out right now with Jennifer Aniston. Never in my years of feeling hopelessly inadequate about being single/childless have I heard such an elegantly written and ridiculously intelligent call to arms. And it's been a long, LONG time coming.
It's time guys. It's time we stop this madness. Our bodies are our own. Our lives and decisions are our own. Thank heavens someone like Jen has the courage to finally speak out against this ridiculous obsession.
Read the full Jennifer Aniston Huffington Post blog here.