Why Jennifer Aniston's essay on women in Hollywood is 'required reading'

In a column, Jennifer Aniston wrote, 'The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing.'

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/File
Jennifer Aniston arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Mother's Day' at the TCL Chinese Theatre in 2016.

Actress Jennifer Aniston is “fed up” with the way women are portrayed in the media, and other celebrities and industry observers are praising a column she recently penned about these issues. 

Ms. Aniston, who has recently appeared in films such as “Mother’s Day,” “Horrible Bosses 2,” and “Cake,” discussed the portrayal of women in an online column for the Huffington Post that was posted on July 12. 

In it, she wrote that she is "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'.... If I am some kind of symbol to some people out there, then 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.” 

Aniston addressed what she called “some warped standard of beauty.” 

“We are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child,” she wrote. “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.” 

One fellow actress who praised the column is Melissa McCarthy of “Ghostbusters,” who said she supports Aniston’s views “one hundred thousand billion percent” in an interview with “Entertainment Tonight.”

Meanwhile, Lauren Alexis Fisher of Harper’s Bazaar called Aniston’s essay “powerful,” while Heidi Stevens of the Chicago Tribune wrote that the “essay should be required reading … [It] perfectly captures the way we dehumanize anyone with a modicum of fame, and how that dehumanizing seeps into the air we breathe.”

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