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.

More
via Twitter / Soraya

There is a strange right-wing logic that suggests when minorities fight for equal rights it's somehow a threat to the rights already held by those in the majority or who hold power.

Like when the Black Lives Matter movement started, many on the right claimed that fighting for black people to be treated equally somehow meant that other people's lives were not as valuable, leading to the short-lived All Lives Matter movement.

This same "oppressed majority" logic is behind the new Straight Pride movement which made headlines in August after its march through the streets of Boston.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

For most of us, the hypothetical question of whether we would stick with a boyfriend or girlfriend through the trials of cancer and the treatments is just that – a hypothetical question. We would like to think we would do the right thing, but when Max Allegretti got the chance to put his money where mouth is, he didn't hesitate for a second.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via bfmamatalk / facebook

Where did we go wrong as a society to make women feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public?

No one should feel they have the right to tell a woman when, where, and how she can breastfeed. The stigma should be placed on those who have the nerve to tell a woman feeding her child to "Cover up" or to ask "Where's your modesty?"

Breasts were made to feed babies. Yes, they also have a sexual function but anyone who has the maturity of a sixth grader knows the difference between a sexual act and feeding a child.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / JLo

The Me Too movement has shed light on just how many actresses have been placed in positions that make them feel uncomfortable. Abuse of power has been all too commonplace. Some actresses have been coerced into doing something that made them uncomfortable because they felt they couldn't say no to the director. And it's not always as flagrant as Louis C.K. masturbating in front of an up-and-coming comedian, or Harvey Weinstein forcing himself on actresses in hotel rooms.

But it's important to remember that you can always firmly put your foot down and say no. While speaking at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Actress Roundtable, Jennifer Lopez opened up about her experiences with a director who behaved inappropriately. Laura Dern, Awkwafina, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, and Renee Zellweger were also at the roundtable.

Keep Reading Show less
popular