This post may invite a number of interpretations yet I still find it worth reposting. It may be contrasting to the celebratory mood but I wanted to share this article/note written by Jennifer Aniston back in 2016 because it says everything that I wanted to say. We may not be celebrities but if you’re a single woman or a wife in a childless marriage, then take some time to read this because it’s worth your time.
I’m reposting this because I’m getting tired of the questions and the pity and all the things we hear and receive if you don’t belong to the conventional bunch in this society or at least be that of what you’re supposed to be doing at certain stages of our lives. It’s exhausting – physically, mentally and emotionally.
Social gatherings are no longer fun just imagining the same bunch of attacks (questions) will be thrown at you:
Oh, still no kids, huh?
Don’t you want one?
Have you tried doing this and that.. blah blah blah
And then after attacking my human capabilities then comes the attack on my faith & religion.
Oh, maybe you’re not praying for it!
I mean, really?! Wow.
After that self-roasting (because you chose to attend this party,) the happy ones will start sharing their future plans for the family; comparing notes on everything and then you find yourself in a totally awkward situation AGAIN because you’re out of place. It’s as if you’re suddenly cut out of the line. What can you say? You don’t have kids, remember?
But oh! wait for a little because you’ll be back in the conversation in a while. Wait ’til they talk about how hard parenting is and how they badly need breaks from their kids and almost always, we receive this:
At least ‘tong si (insert name here) wala pang p
inoproblema na ganyan. Kaya enjoy nyo na dahil pag nagkaanak na kayo… etc etc etc.
At least (insert name here) don’t have these problems yet. So enjoy your time as a couple because when you get to have kids… etc etc etc.
It’s a statement highlighting how “lucky” we are to still enjoy our time together but also painted with a threat of the horrible side of parenting once it’s come to us.
Then they start wondering why we no longer attend social gatherings. 🙄 Again, it’s exhausting explaining myself, defending myself and agreeing to the things people say just to shut them up. I’d rather stay at home and enjoy each other’s company.
For some time now, I’ve stopped posting Mother’s Day message to my social media and just sent my personal greets to the people I love. Why? Because it’s like an open invitation to remind me of the things that I failed to accomplish for the past x years of my marriage to which I’m very much aware of; as if marriage and family is a kind of race that we MUST all win in life and we get an accolade for every stage that we complete. It should not be like that.
This time and moving forward, I’m excusing myself from anyone’s pity and judgement.
Do whatever you want but please stay away from my uterus.
For The Record | Jennifer Aniston
Let me start by saying that addressing gossip is something I have never done. I don’t like to give energy to the business of lies, but I wanted to participate in a larger conversation that has already begun and needs to continue. Since I’m not on social media, I decided to put my thoughts here in writing.
For the record, I am not pregnant. 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.”
Every day my husband and I are harassed by dozens of aggressive photographers staked outside our home who will go to shocking lengths to obtain any kind of photo, even if it means endangering us or the unlucky pedestrians who happen to be nearby. But setting aside the public safety aspect, I want to focus on the bigger picture of what this insane tabloid ritual represents to all of us.
If I am some kind of symbol to some people out there, th
en clearly I am 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. Sometimes cultural standards just need a different perspective so we can see them for what they really are — a collective acceptance… a subconscious agreement. We are in charge of our agreement. 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 objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing.
I used to tell myself that tabloids were like comic books, not to be taken seriously, just a soap opera for people to follow when they need a distraction. But I really can’t tell myself that anymore because the reality is the stalking and objectification I’ve experienced first-hand, going on decades now, reflects the warped way we calculate a woman’s worth.
This past month in particular has illuminated for me how much we define a woman’s value based on her marital and maternal status. The sheer amount of resources being spent right now by press trying to simply uncover whether or not I am pregnant (for the bajillionth time… but who’s counting) points to the perpetuation of this notion that women are somehow incomplete, unsuccessful, or unhappy if they’re not married with children. In this last boring news cycle about my personal life there have been mass shootings, wildfires, major decisions by the Supreme Court, an upcoming election, and any number of more newsworthy issues that “journalists” could dedicate their resources towards.
Here’s where I come out on this topic: 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. Let’s make that decision consciously, outside of the tabloid noise. We don’t need to be married or mothers to be complete. We get to determine our own “happily ever after” for ourselves.
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.
I have grown tired of being part of this narrative. Yes, I may become a mother some day, and since I’m laying it all out there, if I ever do, I will be the first to let you know. But I’m not in pursuit of motherhood because I feel incomplete in some way, as our celebrity news culture would lead us all to believe. 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 (often a dozen times in a single day).
From years of experience, I’ve learned tabloid practices, however dangerous, will not change, at least not any time soon. What can change is our awareness and reaction to the toxic messages buried within these seemingly harmless stories served up as truth and shaping our ideas of who we are. We get to decide how much we buy into what’s being served up, and maybe some day the tabloids will be forced to see the world through a different, more humanized lens because consumers have just stopped buying the bullshit.
Originally article is found here.