So, Jennifer Aniston finally lost her cool. Thank god for that because what she had to say is every woman's story.
An actress, producer, director and winner of 33 awards, finally lost her cool after years of staying mum about all the rumours and headlines that were posted about her. This time, when the paparazzi came up with a headline speculating her pregnancy, Aniston wrote an exclusive article for the Huffington Post about the constant speculation she has been subjected to for decades. Finally, a celebrity who was able to articulate brilliantly what the media has done to an entire generation of women.
And when she struck back, she probably did not realize she was connecting with an audience worldwide.
When she talked about being judged and spied on all the time, about body shaming and the need that society has attached to women getting married and having babies- she has possibly spoken about the experience of every living woman today.
Don't believe me? Let's look at how things are fairing in India.
Very few actresses who received acclaim for their roles came back to the big screen after tying the knot. They might have their reasons, but actresses themselves have pointed out that marriage becomes the benchmark where the career of a female actor comes to a standstill. We do not have to ponder much for examples.
Right from Madhuri Dixit to Rani Mukherjee, do we see them as much as we see their male, married contemporaries? It's the twenty-first century. It's a damn shame that we still have to rant about this.
I vividly remember my aunt saying, "A woman's life begins after she's married- with her husband and kids!"
It's probably a dialogue that has reached every woman in some form or another. Many of us physically cringe when we see that a friend of ours has changed their marital status on Facebook (damn this social media). I do, not because she has what I don't (yep, that's how it's seen) but because my mother would have seen that too, and it will start a loop from which there is no escaping.
The reason is the that women are not allowed an identity.
No matter where she gets in life, she's judged through the lens of her marital status and motherhood. I once saw a wailing mother of an adorable seven-year-old girl who was diagnosed with thyroid. The cause of her mourning was not the lifelong illness of her child but the fact that she will no longer be able to enjoy motherhood. That's how much it's part of that little girl's identity.
We, as the human race, need to understand that women are people.
Breathing, living entities. This basic idea needs to be learnt. The problem arises with women being seen as the lesser beings, the ones who need to be tended and protected. It then further deteriorates to deeper pits when women are brought up to live up to this idea, which is then passed on and on and on! Change will arrive, but only when we stop unmindfully consuming the platter that's set before us. The more you know about the ingredients, the more you know about what exactly you're eating and the surer you can get about it not being utter shit.
It's the twenty-first century. There is too much evidence around us to nullify the possibility that we are dumb. Let's not pass on this evil to our coming generations.
Feature image source: GettyImages