More

After years of nonstop coverage of her romantic life, Jennifer Aniston is fed up.

She's pushing back for herself and for others against societal expectations.

After years of nonstop coverage of her romantic life, Jennifer Aniston is fed up.

For more than two decades, Jennifer Aniston's love life has been a mainstay of gossip magazines — and she is sooo not having it anymore.

In an essay published at the Huffington Post, the 47-year-old actress fired back at members of the press who've intruded into her life all these years with rumors about hook-ups, break-ups, secret marriages, and babies splashed across their front pages.

"Let me start by saying that addressing gossip is something I have never done," she begins. "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."


Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for smartwater.

"For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up."

And really, who can blame her? Looking back at how every relationship she's been in since beginning her acting career has been dissected and become the subject of speculation has got to be exhausting, plain and simple.

From her marriage to Brad Pitt (2000-05) to her relationships with Vince Vaughn (2005-06) and John Mayer (2008-09) to her relationship and eventual marriage to Justin Theroux (2011-present), Aniston's dating life is treated as some sort of highly scrutinized public record. It's ridiculous.

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston arrive at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. Photo by Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images.

What's even worse: These stories aren't even accurate.

InTouch Weekly has made a number of false claims about Aniston's love life. In 2012, the magazine claimed she was pregnant (she wasn't). In just the past month, the outlet has published seven (yes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) stories saying the same thing. For more on the constant tabloid speculation, check out this list Upworthy put together in 2014.

What's with the obsession?

In 2014, Aniston addressed the barrage of pregnancy rumors, explaining that her worth as a woman is not tied to whether she has kids.

In an interview on the "Today" show, Aniston dismissed the idea that there's some universal checklist women need to meet. Society's expectations are unfair, and she wasn't going to play that game anymore.

"It is always such an issue of, 'Are you married yet?' or 'Did you have your babies yet?' It's just constant," she told Carson Daly in the interview. "I don't have this sort of checklist of things that have to be done, and if they're not checked then I've failed some part of my feminism, or my being a woman, or my worth or my value as a woman, because I haven't birthed a child. I've birthed a lot of things, and I feel like I've mothered many things. I don't think it's fair to put that pressure on people."

Aniston and Vince Vaughn attend the French Open in 2006. Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images.

These expectations, created by society and the media, affect all of us, not just Hollywood celebrities.

The message being pushed and upheld — that women are only "complete" if they marry and have children — is toxic.

A woman who is single without children at age 50 is just as valid as a married 25-year-old with three kids, who is just as valid as an 18-year-old single mom.

There is no one right way to be a woman. That's the very core of feminism.

Aniston attends the 2011 premiere of "Horrible Bosses." Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images.

"We are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child," writes Aniston at Huffington Post, echoing what she told Daly over a year ago.

"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."

You are complete, just as you are.

Really, though, how many more times do women have to say things like this before society takes their words to heart? Here's hoping this will be the time the message finally sticks.

True

Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

Keep Reading Show less
via KrustyKhajiit / YouTube

Thomas F. Wilson played one of the most recognizable villains in film history, Biff Tannen, in the "Back to the Future" series. So, understandably, he gets recognized wherever he goes for the iconic role.

The attention must be nice, but it has to get exhausting answering the same questions day in and day out about the films. So Wilson created a card that he carries with him to hand out to people that answers all the questions he gets asked on a daily basis.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of FIELDTRIP
True

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

Obesity increases risk for heart disease or diabetes, which in turn leaves Harlem's residents — who are 76% Black or LatinX — at heightened risk for complications with COVID-19.

Keep Reading Show less

Sometimes a politician says or does something so brazenly gross that you have to do a double take to make sure it really happened. Take, for instance, this tweet from Lauren Witzke, a GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate from Delaware. Witzke defeated the party's endorsed candidate to win the primary, has been photographed in a QAnon t-shirt, supports the conspiracy theory that 9/11 was a U.S. government inside operation, and has called herself a flat earther.

So that's neat.

Witzke has also proposed a 10-year total halt on immigration to the U.S., which is absurd on its face, but makes sense when you see what she believes about immigrants. In a tweet this week, Witzke wrote, "Most third-world migrants can not assimilate into civil societies. Prove me wrong."

First, let's talk about how "civil societies" and developing nations are not different things, and to imply that they are is racist, xenophobic, and wrong. Not to mention, it has never been a thing to refer people using terms like "third-world." That's a somewhat outdated term for developing nations, and it was never an adjective to describe people from those nations even when it was in use.

Next, let's see how Twitter thwapped Lauren Witzke straight into the 21st century by proving her wrong in the most delicious way. Not only did people share how they or their relatives and friends have successfully "assimilated," but many showed that they went way, way beyond that.

Keep Reading Show less
via WatchMojo / YouTube

There are two conflicting viewpoints when it comes to addressing culture from that past that contains offensive elements that would never be acceptable today.

Some believe that old films, TV shows, music or books with out-of-date, offensive elements should be hidden from public view. While others think they should be used as valuable tools that help us learn from the past.

Keep Reading Show less