+
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.

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.

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Linda Ronstadt's 1970's ballad is a chart-topping hit once again thanks to 'The Last of Us'

The iconic 70s song "Long, Long Time" was an integral part of an unforgettable episode that fans are calling a masterpiece.

Linda Ronstadt (left), Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett (right)

HBO’s emotional third episode of the zombie series “The Last Of Us” became an instant favorite among fans, thanks in no small part to Linda Ronstadt’s late 1970s ballad, “Long, Long Time.”

Using the song as the episode’s title, “Long, Long Time,” moves away from the show’s main plot to instead focus on a heartbreakingly beautiful love story between Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett), from its endearing start all the way to its bittersweet end.

The song makes its first appearance during the initial stages of Bill and Frank’s romance as they play the tune on the piano, just before they share their first kiss.

We see their entire lives together play out—one of closeness, devotion, and savoring homegrown strawberries—until they meet their end. The song then plays on the radio, bringing the bottle episode to a poignant close.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

13-year-old ventriloquist sings incredible, sassy version of 'You Don't Own Me' on 'AGT'

Ana-Maria Mărgean only started her hobby in 2020 and is already wowing audiences on "America's Got Talent."

America's Got Talent/Youtube

Ana-Maria Mărgean singing "You Don't Own Me" on "America's Got Talent"

It’s not every day a ventriloquist act is so jaw-dropping that it has to be seen to be believed. But when it does happen, it’s usually on “America’s Got Talent.”

Ana-Maria Mărgean was only 11 years old when she first took to the stage on “Romania’s Got Talent” to show off her ventriloquism skills, an act inspired by videos of fellow ventriloquist and “America’s Got Talent” Season 2 champion Terry Fator.

Using puppets built for her by her parents, the young performer tirelessly spent her quarantine time in 2020 learning how to bring them to life, which led to her receiving a Golden Buzzer and eventually winning the entire series in Romania.

Mărgean is now 13 and a competitor on this season of “America’s Got Talent: All-Stars,” hoping to be crowned the winner and perform her own show in Vegas, just like her hero Fator.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

34-year-old man is learning to read on TikTok in series of motivational videos

His reading skills have improved so much that he plans to read 100 books this year.

@oliverspeaks1/TikTok

Oliver James is the biggest star on BookTok.

With over 125,000 followers, 34-year-old Oliver James is a star in the BookTok community. And it all started with a very simple goal: Learn to read.

For most kids, school is a place where they can develop a relationship with learning in a safe environment. For James, school was the opposite. Growing up with learning and behavior disabilities subjected him to abusive teaching practices in special education, which, of course, did nothing to help.

"The special education system at the time was more focused on behavioral than educating," he told Good Morning America. "So they spent a lotta time restraining us, a lotta time disciplining us, a lotta times putting us in positions to kinda shape us to just not act out in class."

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Buffy Sainte-Marie shares what led to her openly breastfeeding on 'Sesame Street' in 1977

The way she explained to Big Bird what she was doing is still an all-time great example.

"Sesame Street" taught kids about life in addition to letters and numbers.

In 1977, singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie did something revolutionary: She fed her baby on Sesame Street.

The Indigenous Canadian-Ameican singer-songwriter wasn't doing anything millions of other mothers hadn't done—she was simply feeding her baby. But the fact that she was breastfeeding him was significant since breastfeeding in the United States hit an all-time low in 1971 and was just starting to make a comeback. The fact that she did it openly on a children's television program was even more notable, since "What if children see?" has been a key pearl clutch for people who criticize breastfeeding in public.

But the most remarkable thing about the "Sesame Street" segment was the lovely interchange between Big Bird and Sainte-Marie when he asked her what she was doing.

Keep ReadingShow less
via Pexels

A couple celebrates while packing their home.

One of the topics that we like to highlight on Upworthy is people who are redefining what it means to be in a relationship. Recently, we’ve shared the stories of platonic life partners, moms who work together as part of a “mommune” and a polyamorous family with four equally-committed parents.

A growing number of people are reevaluating traditional relationships and entering lifestyles that work for them instead of trying to fit into preexisting roles. It makes sense because the more lifestyle options that are available, the greater chance we have to be happy.

A recent trend in unconventional relationships is married couples "living apart together," or LATs as they are known among mental health professionals.

Actress Helena Bonham Carter and director Tim Burton, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and producer Brad Falchuk, and photographer Annie Leibovitz and activist Susan Sontag are all high-profile couples who’ve embraced the LAT lifestyle.

Keep ReadingShow less