One of my favorite quotes of all time is from Naomi Wolf who said, “A cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty but an obsession about female obedience.” This quote is very apropos with what Jennifer Aniston wrote yesterday in defense of how she and other females are portrayed in the media (tabloid “journalism” to be exact).
She wrote. “The sheer amount of resources being spent right now by press trying to simply uncover whether or not I am pregnant (for the bajillionth time … but who’s counting) points to the perpetuation of this notion that women are somehow incomplete, unsuccessful, or unhappy if they’re not married with children. … 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.”
What we’re talking about here, in my opinion, is society and the media demanding female obedience. Women must be compliant to the standard of how society thinks she should look and behave. Anything out of that standard is considered gross misconduct and threatening. Jennifer Aniston is an example of this kind of societal disobedience because she is aging without plastic surgery, divorced, married again and doesn’t have children. How dare she (sarcastic)?! And what has the media and society stumped is that she is happy.
The notion that women can’t be happy unless they’re young, married and have children is both sexist and outdated. It is shocking that in 2016 we’re still talking about it! You would think it was the 1950’s when all women could be was a subservient housewife, nurse or teacher and weren’t allowed credit cards. I worked on FRIENDS and I’m familiar with Jennifer. She is a down to earth and lovely human being. She is also talented. Why aren’t we talking about those qualities?
It makes me angry that we have literally retrogressed as a society and we need to progress again. The first step is fighting back and saying “no.” Believe me, it was very hard for me to do because I was caught in this trap of female obedience for a long time in my pursuit to have a baby.
I felt I was incomplete because I didn’t have children. The fertility doctors shamed me for being a later age and I gave thousands upon thousands of dollars to do what God should only be doing. I became obsessed, obsessed with the notion that somehow I wasn’t a woman.
It took me a while to let go of the old idea that I needed to have a baby to be okay. To think that anything outside myself could make me happy. To tell society and those fertility doctors to go F’ themselves. My path is my path.
So, if you’re feeling like a failure because you’re not married, don’t have children, refuse to get plastic surgery, are divorced, not in a relationship, etc. You are so not a failure. Consider yourself a rebel, a modern woman and a bad ass chick who believes obedience is for puppies.