Let me start by saying that addressing gossip is something I have never done. Jennifer Aniston: ‘For The Record, I Am Not Pregnant. Tap here to turn on cri de coeur essay notifications to get the news sent straight to you. 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.
Since I’m not on social media, I decided to put my thoughts here in writing. 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. 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.
Sometimes cultural standards just need a different perspective so we can see them for what they really are — a collective acceptance a subconscious agreement. We are in charge of our agreement. Little girls everywhere are absorbing our agreement, passive or otherwise. 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.
Is she eating too much? Has she let herself go? I used to tell myself that tabloids were like comic books, not to be taken seriously, just a soap opera for people to follow when they need a distraction. This past month in particular has illuminated for me how much we define a woman’s value based on her marital and maternal status. 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 are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child. I have grown tired of being part of this narrative. Yes, I may become a mother some day, and since I’m laying it all out there, if I ever do, I will be the first to let you know. But I’m not in pursuit of motherhood because I feel incomplete in some way, as our celebrity news culture would lead us all to believe.
From years of experience, I’ve learned tabloid practices, however dangerous, will not change, at least not any time soon. 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. Expert analysis and commentary to make sense of today’s biggest stories. Sign up here to have the best stories delivered straight to your inbox. The moral and aesthetic nightmare of Christmas.
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9a18 18 0 0 1-4. 6 0 0 1 3 24. 7 0 0 1 18. 3 0 0 1 23. 9a17 17 0 0 0-6.
2 10 10 0 0 0-6. I had never before been a special fan of that great comedian Phyllis Diller, but she utterly won my heart this week by sending me an envelope that, when opened, contained a torn-off square of brown-bag paper of the kind suitable for latrine duty in an ill-run correctional facility. I could not possibly improve on the sentiment, but I don’t think it ought to depend on the current austerities. Isn’t Christmas a moral and aesthetic nightmare whether or not the days are prosperous? My own wish is more ambitious: to write an anti-Christmas column that becomes fiercer every year while remaining, in essence, the same.
The core objection, which I restate every December at about this time, is that for almost a whole month, the United States—a country constitutionally based on a separation between church and state—turns itself into the cultural and commercial equivalent of a one-party state. You go to a train station or an airport, and the image and the music of the Dear Leader are everywhere. You go to a more private place, such as a doctor’s office or a store or a restaurant, and the identical tinny, maddening, repetitive ululations are to be heard. So, unless you are fortunate, are the same cheap and mass-produced images and pictures, from snowmen to cribs to reindeer. It becomes more than usually odious to switch on the radio and the television, because certain officially determined “themes” have been programmed into the system. Time that is supposed to be devoted to education is devoted instead to the celebration of mythical events.
It contains two seasonal articles that would probably not have made print were it not for the proximity to the said solstice. To be fair, the same can be said of the article that you are reading, but I claim exemption under the terms of the “to hell with all that” amendment. Christmas carol lyric because—well, because the existing model is composed of songs of such illiterate banality! But he presses on heroically with an attempt to compose a fresh carol, while fully admitting that the recently invented tradition of such songs creates an almost oppressive weight of kitsch.