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Thank You, Jennifer Aniston, for Calling Out the Ridiculous Sexism

Photograph by Getty Images

Being in the public eye often comes with intense scrutiny. Actress Jennifer Aniston has had her fair share of tabloid fodder. Most recently, there have been reports that the former “Friends” star is expecting a baby. This is certainly not the first time the public has been issued an Aniston baby bump alert, and it probably won’t be the last.

Now the actress is speaking out against these pregnancy rumors.

The 47-year-old says she’s annoyed by these false announcements.

“For the record, I am not pregnant,” wrote in the Huffington Post. “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 added.

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Aniston said she feels it’s important to set a good example for little girls who see how the media portrays her. She went on to say that society has a warped sense of beauty, which is passed to little girls who may feel that they aren’t beautiful as a result.

In order to get rid of this negativity it’s important for media outlets to stop publishing them. Social media as a whole plays an important role too, which means we should all think twice about the kinds of images we post online.

“Hi my dear weather lady, I’m watching you on the TV. I notice you look a little fat around the middle. Are you with child or just putting on weight…????”

I’ve experienced pregnancy rumors myself as an on-air personality. One day I opened up my Facebook inbox to find this message.

“Don’t feel badly. Are you pregnant?” a viewer asked.

The woman previously asked if I’d been back to work full-time because I’d been working a lot. After explaining that I was only filling in, she followed up with the pregnancy question.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t an isolated question. It appears that there are quite a few people wondering if I’m expecting baby no.3.

Was it something I wrote in one of my blogs? Did I somehow reveal that my husband and I were expecting, and later came down with a case of amnesia? That certainly wasn’t the case.

Then, I received this message from another viewer on a separate occasion.

“Hi my dear weather lady, I’m watching you on the TV. I notice you look a little fat around the middle. Are you with child or just putting on weight…????”

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While I understand that I work in an industry that places me under intense scrutiny, it doesn't give people the right to comment on my weight. As Aniston also mentions, there is a painful awkwardness that comes with these types of comments "on one’s fictional pregnancy." It also gives the impression that if a woman is without child, she's less of a woman. Not only is that not true, but also our ovaries are none of your concern.

“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," Aniston wrote.

It all boils down to love, respect and accepting others. Also, don't assume a woman is expecting. Wait until she delivers the news herself.

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