Jennifer Aniston’s Essay Inspires Women In Entertainment To Weigh In On The Conversation Of Sexist Standards

Jennifer Aniston recently penned an essay within the Huffington Post to make her frustration known to the media in regards to all of the unwanted attention she garners as the subject of rumors and false headlines, while being objectified all the while.

The essay sparked conversation on the issue of sexism in the media and has brought forth a number of opinions from other well-known actresses, who have perhaps been experiencing similar attention as Aniston. However, it’s clear that for over a decade now, Jen has been the queen of the tabloids.

The Friends star made note of the fact that media members are guilty of sexism for their incessant need to write stories about her maternal status and her appearance, shedding light on the fact that this perpetuates a “dehumanizing view” of women.

CBC relays the basis of Jen’s essay and shares excerpts from the letter.

“[Aniston stated] earlier this month that constant tabloid speculation over whether she’s pregnant contributes to sexist cultural standards that equate a woman’s worth with her appearance and maternal status. ‘We use celebrity “news” to perpetuate this dehumanizing view of females,’ Aniston wrote.”

Marisa Tomei spoke out about the admirable step Aniston took in writing the well-worded letter, yet reminded that set ways are tough to dismantle and change, as Sentinel & Enterprise shared.

“Entrenched ways take a while to change, but having the conversations and opening it up, objecting to it or seeing different points of view about it is really helpful.”

Allison Janney also commented on Jen’s initiative to finally let her frustrations be known, while at the same time advocating for women on the issue of sexism in our culture.

“I applaud Jennifer. I hate that she had to do it, but I think she just had enough.”

Ella Ceron, the digital entertainment editor at Teen Vogue, also weighed in on the topic, stating that women have always been held to different standards than men. Ceron reminds that women are taught from childhood that appearance and weight are of great importance.

“More scrutiny has always been leveled at women, no matter the context. Women are held to different standards than men, and are taught from a young age to value their looks and their grooming and their weight very seriously.”

It has been the case with tabloids for decades, that women are a focus mainly for their appearance, and these outlets have always sought to body shame and critique slight alterations, whether factual or not. A recent case of press coverage aimed at the current appearance of Renee Zellweger in the trailer for Bridget Jones’s Baby, sparked a negative response. Rose McGowan shared her disgust with Variety when they critiqued Zellweger’s appearance in the trailer, noting the article to be “vile, damaging, stupid and cruel.”

Although Ceron is right in her assessment that women have always been scrutinized for appearance and weight, she sees a silver lining due to actions such as those taken by Aniston, so that people are now conversing and listening to discussions on the issue.

“We’ve been subjected to this for years, and now with the influx of social media, we have spaces to discuss and vent our frustration. What’s more, people are finally listening to us.”

Another issue that plagues women in the media is ageism. Barbra Streisand was open about her frustrations over the fact that in the media, a woman who is 40 is somehow “too old.”

Jamie Lee Curtis spoke out about Jen’s stance, and also shared how back in the day she ensured to emphasize a need for appreciation of women in their real state by insisting on being photographed prior to having her hair and makeup done at a photo-shoot.

“It was my way of making my statement back in the day. And now Jennifer’s written what she wrote… It’s an important conversation.”

[Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for The Critics’ Choice Awards]