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Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 7°C
# fed up
Jennifer Aniston slams tabloid media over pregnancy scrutiny
The Friends actress said that she is fed up of the body shaming that occurs “under the guise of journalism”.

Aniston comments on social media PA Wire / Press Association Images PA Wire / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

ACTRESS JENNIFER ANISTON, best known for her turn in Friends, has slammed the US media and paparazzi for their intense speculation over her body.

Numerous front pages of tabloids and celebrity magazines in the US have speculated over the years as to whether the actress is pregnant – most recently, her spokesperson had to say that her slightly rounded stomach was due to a big lunch.

Up until now, Aniston has remained relatively silent on the issue. But in an essay for the Huffington Post, she directly addressed the scrutiny.

jen aniston Google Images / OK Magazine Google Images / OK Magazine / OK Magazine

“For the record, I am not pregnant,” writes Aniston.

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”.

She goes on to say that every day she and her husband Justin Theroux, also an actor, are “harassed by dozens of aggressive photographers staked outside our home who will go to shocking lengths to obtain any kind of photo”.

She says that she is “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.

Aniston writes that the message young girls are given is that they are not pretty unless they are incredibly thin, and that celebrity “news” has helped to perpetuate “this dehumanising view of females, focused solely on one’s physical appearance, which tabloids turn into a sporting event of speculation”.

The actress goes on to say that there are much more important things going on in the world than what is going on in her life – and that a woman’s worth is not contingent on whether she is a mother or not.

She concludes by saying that she hopes people’s awareness of the issue will change – and that in turn tabloids will change when consumers stop “buying the bullshit”.

Aniston’s essay has been widely welcomed by other high-profile women:

The relationship between celebrities and the media has long been one of mutual benefit in many instances – celebrities can choose to sell photographs of their wedding and their newborn child for large sums.

In addition, some celebrities are understood to have agreements with photo agencies and brands.

However, Aniston’s essay follows a trend of celebrities speaking out against the intrusive nature of the paparazzi in particular.

Actor couple Kristen Bell and husband Dax Shepherd have criticised the actions of paparazzi on social media, while Halle Barry and Jennifer Garner championed an anti-paparazzi law that was brought in in California in 2014.

Much of the concern revolves around photographs taken of children.

Berry had said during testimony about the proposed law that there are “innocent little children who didn’t ask to be celebrities”.

Garner, meanwhile, said that “there are violent, mentally-ill stalkers who can now get close to my kids by simply following mobs of photographers and blending in”.

In January, actor Anne Hathaway posted a photograph of her pregnancy bump on Instagram so that she could trump paparazzi who had spotted her on the beach.

With her essay, Aniston is not only drawing attention to the actions of paparazzi, but also to the scrutiny women in the public eye face when it comes to their bodies.

Read: Anne Hathaway posted this photo to teach paparazzi a lesson>

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