Monday, July 18, 2016

In The Pursuit of Happiness: Jennifer Aniston on Society's Expectations For Women

She'll be there for us -- see what I did there? Jennifer Aniston stood up to body bullies everywhere last week when she took to the Internet to dispel those pesky pregnancy rumors that she just can't seem to dodge these days.

Everyone's favorite friend (ha, I did it again!) penned a refreshingly real and honest essay for The Huffington Post in which she took aim at the unrealistic expectations our society places on women...
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. 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.
But what I *really* loved? I mean, loved to the point that I wanted to pump my fist in the air and scream, "YES! Thank you, Jennifer! That's one victory for women!" -- however, I'm in the quiet library right now, so I figured that wasn't the very best idea...
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.
Hmmm, writing our own version of happily ever after. In our culture, that's sort of a radical, out-there notion, isn't it? We're conditioned to want and strive for certain things in life -- boyfriend, wedding, house, kids. In that order. If we deviate from that script, even ever so slightly, we're criticized or labeled or bullied. And even though it shouldn't, all this finger wagging can mess with our confidence and sense of self. We start to question if we're on the "right" path and what is wrong with us if we're not.
I know I've never been immune to all this bullying, and I'm forever having this internal conversation with myself where I'm trying to talk myself out of getting down on myself. Because it's all too easy to let that outside noise become the voice you start to hear in your head -- and we all know that outside noise is the LAST thing you need to be listening to. It lies and tries to get you all sorts of worked up. At the very least, I've found, it just makes you extremely tired and exhausted.

So, I say we change the conversation. I say we stop putting ourselves and others down just because of those crazy "expectations" we grew up with. I say we start living life on our terms, bullies be damned. And at the end of the day, I say we start celebrating each other because we're pretty darn awesome just as we are. Who's with me and Jennifer?? #BeBraveBeYou xoxo

P.S. More wise words on feminism, finding balance, body image, mental illness and being yourself! :)


  1. I read what she had to say earlier today and was so happy with her words! I LOVED her statement (that you quoted) about not worrying about getting married or having children, just following your own path FOR YOU basically. I hope so many women hear that and appreciate it. I know I did.

  2. I 'm with you 100%! I 'm sick and tired of these ridiculous expectations and people that want to control my life! Yay personal choices! :D Oh and the article was great go Jennifer ;)


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