In Hollywood, the social judgment and media attack on celebrities' appearances is disgusting – to say the least. From the pressure of maintaining a youthful face to the pressure of maintaining a no-fat, perfectly fit body can cause shame, embarrassment, and the potential desire for plastic surgery and BDD.
According to bodyshaming.org,
In the case of A-lister Jennifer Aniston, it can especially cause anger and the need to speak out.
Recently, the good ‘ol paparazzi caught Aniston on vacation and went wild with accusations that she must be pregnant because her abs didn’t appear rock hard. This is nothing new for her as she has been under scrutiny for several years regarding her fluctuating shape and size. You know, like most normal people. Fed up with being a victim of body shaming time and time again, the 47-year old decided to bite back in the name of all women. Here is an excerpt of an amazing entry she recently wrote for the Huffington Post:
…Little girls everywhere are absorbing our agreement, passive or otherwise. And it begins early. The message that girls are not pretty unless they’re incredibly thin, that they’re not worthy of our attention unless they look like a supermodel or an actress on the cover of a magazine is something we’re all willingly buying into. This conditioning is something girls then carry into womanhood. 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”?
The speculation that a near middle-aged celebrity must be pregnant if she’s “let herself go” is a major assumption that can be so damaging to her, as well as young celebrities who are already feeling the pressure of having to maintain a perfect body to remain adored by the public.
And while the rich and famous are some of the most scrutinized people in our society for all of the obvious reasons, a “regular” woman can also experience body shaming and ridicule for not having or maintaining her youthful, fit figure. The irony in assuming a woman is pregnant because her midsection is not completely flat is also feeding the belief that all women even want children in the first place! I mean, c’mon, we mustn’t forget that reproduction is a choice that most women have. For those who are actually incapable of reproducing or have go to great lengths to have children (e.g., in-vitro fertilization, adoption, surrogacy), being scrutinized and ridiculed can be especially painful.
Motherhood is a beautiful thing. To assume that a less-than-perfectly-fit body is a sign that a woman is pregnant is ignorant and stereotypical. Just as having a baby is a personal decision for a woman – so are her many other choices. This includes the choice to speak out against body shaming. Whether you join online discussion boards, share your perspective regarding body shaming on social media, or speak your mind to someone who directly insulted you, remember that you’re a rock star! Be proud of your curves, size, and natural beauty. ‘Cause you, too, can bite back like Aniston!
Have you ever been accused of being pregnant when you weren’t? Please share your thoughts with us in a comment below.
Cover image courtesy of: www.cinefrance.com