Seriously. Those that know me (on multiple levels) know my love of "Jenny Ani" (on multiple levels). Jennifer Aniston is just... siiiiiiiiiiiigh. Love her. She's ridiculously talented. If you've never ventured outside of her Friends/romantic comedies days - give it a shot. I recommend Cake and Good Girl. Derailed is also a big step outside of what you know of her. If you're in to indie-type flicks - I recommend "She's Funny That Way" and "Life of Crime". Two movies I bought having never seen them, and was pleasantly surprised with them. ESPECIALLY Life of Crime. I had heard a lot of bad on it. I actually thought it was pretty darn good. I get it, though. The previews played it like it was supposed to be this super funny movie. It wasn't funny. It has a couple of cute moments, but if anything I'd grant it a dark comedy/crime status. Anyhoo... I'm rambling. She's talented, despite what "cliche Hollywood" gives her credit for - don't forget, she's a producer and director, too. In addition to that, she's funny as hell, brutally honest, drop dead gorgeous, and then we have this:
You can read through the whole article (and I encourage you to - PLEASE READ), but here are a few key points. Let's dive in:
"The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disgusting." A.MEN. I'll get into more as we reach deeper in this article/my blog, but perfect example: I had a wicked bruise on my arm the past few weeks. Cannot tell you how many "What man is beating up on you?"-type comments I got. Like OMG, there's no way you could have a bruise without it meaning you're a disobedient woman to your man. Shame on you. PUNCH.
"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 willing to buy into. This conditioning is something girls then carry into womanhood." YUP. As someone who was verbally belittled constantly in junior high/high school, there is never a day I truly believe when I'm told I look pretty that day. I see it as "You improved over that horrible look from the other day." And I am fully aware that's not how the people saying it mean it. So I've learned to smile and accept the compliment, all the while not believing a word they say.
"This past month in particular has illuminated for me how much we define a woman's value based on her marital and maternal status." Now, while this one obviously has direct meaning to what she's going through, the overall message still spoke to me. Any given day for me: "Why aren't you and Steve married yet?" "Are you getting married? When?" "Do y'all plan to have babies soon?" "Wait, you don't want kids?! WHY???" "Oh, you'll change your mind about kids once you're married." "It just shocks me you don't want kids, are you sure?" PEOPLE: I, as a woman, am not on this earth solely to be a wife and/or mother. I am a person that can make choices. These choices are mine, and you don't have to make the same ones, or even agree with the ones I make. I don't judge anyone that has kids. I don't look at them every day and ask them "Wait... you have kids?! WHY???" Just because I am not dying to pop out children for my husband does not make me a bad person. **Additional note here: I actually DO have kids. They just all have 4 legs instead of 2. Meaning they're animals - don't call the Guinness World Record people to come to my house looking for several 4-legged humans.
"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..." *waves hands in the air in praise* PREACH! Let me tell you, dear blog readers: I have had a rough couple of years emotionally. Losing my father, which I have been fairly open about here; having to put down my cat down 4 months later; of course, being a long distance every day from my love; plus the every day ups and downs that life throws at you. I've put on a fair amount of weight in the last year 1/2. I'm aware of that. Having people remind me is not necessary. Now, you know how you hear about those people that ask about a lady being pregnant, then are horrified to find out she's not, so they've basically just called her fat? This is something that no woman should ever have to deal with. Ever. To encounter it once in your lifetime is too many. So let me tell you how many times it's happened to me. Actually, I'd have to think about it to give you the real total, but just out the gate I thought of 5 people. And I am an outspoken person. But I swear every single time it happens feels like the first time and I am just dumbfounded that a person could see that as an ok thing to say when I have given you ZERO indication that I am pregnant. Do I wish I had not gained this weight? Sure. But I realize life has its weight yo-yos and I'm just at the down (or up?) part right now. What I don't need is people reminding me of where I'm at. "Oh gosh you're fat." *brain corrects them* "Awww, you're pregnant!" Nope. Nope, you're just an awful human. Thanks for playing.
Thank you, Jennifer for putting a VERY public voice to this everyday problem. And thank you all for allowing me to bend your ear (or eyes) on my personal connection to it.