Is Jennifer Aniston pregnant? This is something that tabloids have been running with ever since the movie star married actor/screenwriter Justin Theroux. So far, Aniston hasn’t revealed any baby bumps.
Well, according to People, this week the Friends actress took to Huffington Post to let everyone know that she isn’t having it anymore. In her post titled “For The Record,” Aniston makes it clear that she is not pregnant and is getting pretty sick and tired of how the headlines and tabloids portray women when it comes to these kinds of stories.
“For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up. 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.'”
This sort of thing does happen all the time, unfortunately. “Is she pregnant? Is she eating too much?,” Jennifer writes, talking about tabloids focusing on the physical appearance of women and how this is conditioning women and young girls to view themselves and others. “Has she let herself go? Is her marriage on the rocks because the camera detects some physical ‘imperfection’?”
It is why these rumors are always written to focus on her, rather than her husband. Justin could just as easily want to become a parent and a father, but as a society, we tend to paint women with that strong parental desire. Which begs the question, are women just naturally “more parental” than men, or do we as a society specifically condition women to behave and think as such?
“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 47-year-old actress writes. “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.”
Young people, both men and women, are often met with these kinds of standards that suggest they should go to college, get their boring nine-to-five job, get married, settle down, and have children by the time they are 30 years old, roughly. But the “have a baby” component is more stressful and more of a heavy burden for women than it is for men.
It can’t necessarily be denied that women have a particular bond and relationship to their children that men do not share, given the long and arduous nine-month pregnancy period women have to go through. A woman becomes a mother the moment she is pregnant; a man becomes a father when he holds his child for the first time. That sentiment certainly sounds nice and for the most part, it makes sense.
But the notion that this parental gene is something exclusive only to women is nothing but a lie. There are plenty of women out there who would be more than happy to tell you about the guys they’ve dated who have had “baby-fever.” People tend to forget, men are parents as well and can be just as in love with the idea of being a parent as a woman can.
“We are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child,” Aniston wrote. “We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies. That decision is ours and ours alone.”
Maybe a number of these media outlets will be able to write plenty of stories about Jennifer Aniston’s kids one day. But for now, it looks as if they’ll have to try something else.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]