Wednesday, the Huffington Post posted a column by what some call, America’s sweetheart, Jennifer Aniston. Aniston as she puts it is “fed up.” Aniston writes the reasons for being fed up is” 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.” For the average American woman, they may not have the press following them around, but they certainly can relate to the issue.
The days of the construction worker whistling as women walk by may have gone by but now there is the advent of social media where one’s whole life is out there to be examined. In Philadelphia, a young woman, 17-year old Tayja Jones, posted her prom pictures feeling terrific about herself. Unfortunately, the faceless internet trolls decided to degrade and insult this young woman due to her size. In one fell swoop, these people tore a hole in this young woman’s ego. Jones later stated how she got through this was that “You’re not the only person. You should know who you are inside and the outside shouldn’t affect the inner you. Just stay strong.” The damage may have been done though. This beautiful girl doesn’t believe she is going to attend her senior prom due to the derogatory insults.
Aniston writes that “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.” She insists that this body shaming is not just about her, no far from it. Aniston points out the effect this focus on one’s body image is resulting in young girls feeling unworthy because they do not fit into the perfect little picture of what beauty is to this culture. Aniston writes that, “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.”
Aniston shares with the reader how there is an almost crazed pathology with entertainment news journalists who are on a mission to find out when, how and where is Ms. Aniston pregnant. Aniston tells of the insanity of photographers whose only mission is to see if her stomach is protruding in any way. Aniston makes the case that culturally we are saying that a woman isn’t complete without giving birth or becoming a mother. She writes, “the perpetuation of this notion that women are somehow incomplete, unsuccessful, or unhappy if they’re not married with children.”
Aniston’s advice to us is, “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. That decision is ours and ours alone. Let’s make that decision for ourselves and for the young women in this world who look to us as examples.”
Agnes Bedard calls herself a daughter of the 60's. She stills believe that one voice can lead us out of darkness, that one person can start a change, and that one act of kindness can change one person's world. Politics is how the world works to change and that is why she is so passionate about it. As Agnes said we need to fight for our f.uture. Agnes Bedard is also the author of "Before I was Me" Bedard is also a wife, mother and grandmother