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After years of pregnancy rumors, a “fed up” Jennifer Aniston addressed the issue head-on AP Images/Jordan Strauss
Jennifer Aniston arrives at the 21st annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Jennifer Aniston is setting the record straight about everything in her life.

In a deeply honest essay written for Huffington Post, Aniston addressed all of the rumors surrounding her false pregnancies and slammed tabloids for spreading more gossip about her.

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Aniston has faced pregnancy rumors for years, even when she was married to Brad Pitt. Things seemed quiet for a few years as she went through a very public divorce and eventually married her now-husband, Justin Theroux. Those pregnancy murmurs started again during Aniston and Theroux’s recent vacation, when bikini photos of the actress surfaced.

For the record, I am 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.”

Every day my husband and I are harassed by dozens of aggressive photographers staked outside our home who will go to shocking lengths to obtain any kind of photo, even if it means endangering us or the unlucky pedestrians who happen to be nearby. But setting aside the public safety aspect, I want to focus on the bigger picture of what this insane tabloid ritual represents to all of us.

Aniston realized she is a symbol to some for how women should be, but she’s not interested in that role.

“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. Sometimes cultural standards just need a different perspective so we can see them for what they really are — a collective acceptance… a subconscious agreement,” Aniston wrote.

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She shared an important message about how young girls are negatively influenced by the media:

And it begins early. The message that girls are not pretty unless they’re incredibly thin, that they’re not worthy of our attention unless they look like a supermodel or an actress on the cover of a magazine is something we’re all willingly buying into. This conditioning is something girls then carry into womanhood. We use celebrity “news” to perpetuate this dehumanizing view of females, focused solely on one’s physical appearance, which tabloids turn into a sporting event of speculation. Is she pregnant? Is she eating too much? Has she let herself go? Is her marriage on the rocks because the camera detects some physical “imperfection”?

Years ago, she looked at the tabloids just like “comic books,” basically an escape from reality for some. But now, after years of being a target for rumors, she has a distinctively different opinion about both herself and other women in society.

“This past month in particular has illuminated for me how much we define a woman’s value based on her marital and maternal status,” she wrote. “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 of 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.This past month in particular has illuminated for me how much we define a woman’s value based on her marital and maternal status,”

Aniston said that she may become a mother someday, but she is tired of feeling like motherhood is what determines her value. She also is tired of the awkward moments that follow congratulations from friends, family, colleagues and strangers when word of a fictional pregnancy breaks.

Aniston called for changes in the messages that the media sends to the public:

What can change is our awareness and reaction to the toxic messages buried within these seemingly harmless stories served up as truth and shaping our ideas of who we are. We get to decide how much we buy into what’s being served up, and maybe some day the tabloids will be forced to see the world through a different, more humanized lens because consumers have just stopped buying the bullshit.

Nicole is a content editor with Rare. 
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