After years of being splashed on the front page and stalked by paparazzi, former Friends star Jennifer Aniston has voiced her opinion on the media’s treatment and portrayal of female stars, saying “the objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing.”
The open letter published on The Huffington Post describes the constant harassment by photographers, being analysed over her appearance and the ridiculous beauty standards the media encourages.
We use celebrity “news” to perpetuate this dehumanizing view of females, focused solely on one’s physical appearance, which tabloids turn into a sporting event of speculation. Is she pregnant? Is she eating too much? Has she let herself go? Is her marriage on the rocks because the camera detects some physical “imperfection”?
She continues by addressing the horrible reality of those never-ending pregnancy rumours, firmly stating “For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up.”
I’m not in pursuit of motherhood because I feel incomplete in some way, as our celebrity news culture would lead us all to believe. 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.” Not to mention the painful awkwardness that comes with being congratulated by friends, coworkers and strangers alike on one’s fictional pregnancy (often a dozen times in a single day).
After reading Anniston’s striking words, fellow stars are sharing their support, including Melissa McCarthy who, appearing on Entertainment Tonight, said she’s “one hundred thousand billion percent” behind the cause.
Celebrities such as Jason Bateman and Nicki Reed took to Twitter to praise and promote Aniston’s wise words.
However not everyone seems to agree with Aniston. Controversial journalist Piers Morgan criticised the essay, insisting that “female stars like Jennifer Aniston deliberately perpetuate the myth of ‘perfection’ by posing for endless magazine covers which have been airbrushed so much that in some cases the celebrity is virtually unrecognisable.”
It’s evident that Jennifer Aniston isn’t the only famous face feeling the negative effects of the tabloid industry. Hopefully we’ll see more stars in the spotlight speak up about the importance of building up women rather than tearing them down.
You can read the full essay here.