Agree, Jennifer Aniston: We Decide What Makes Us Complete, Happy, Successful

Pamela M Tsigdinos
3 min readJul 14, 2016

Jennifer Aniston grabbed the spotlight and lit up social media following the publication of a galvanizing opinion piece in Huffington Post.

In 913 words she accomplished what many women (yours truly among them) have spent years trying to do: bring attention to society’s perverse and pervasive tendency to portray women who are not mothers as lacking. She was helped along in her cause by a political misstep across the pond — more on that in a minute.

First, Jennifer Aniston called out everyone who contributes to the devaluing and marginalizing of women who do not fit a one-dimensional “ideal.” Her HuffPost piece led to many ‘attagirls’ for highlighting the unhealthy body shaming of women who are not supermodel perfect.

Like others, I applaud her tough talk on the harms of focusing on physical appearance. But, I also want to amplify the second part of her message — the one about society’s twisted obsession with “baby bumps” and its unhealthy idolatry of “moms.”

Take it away, Jennifer:

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

Seems Jennifer Aniston wasn’t the only one calling attention to the devaluing of women who are not mothers this past week.

Prejudicial Politicians

In England, there was this spectacularly stupid, disparaging statement by politician Andrea Leadsom made to The Times:

“… genuinely I feel that being a mum means you have a very real stake in the future of our country, a tangible stake. She [Theresa Law] possibly has nieces, nephews, lots of people, but I



Pamela M Tsigdinos

Writer and advocate. Published in The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, WIRED, Fortune, Reno Gazette Journal, Nevada Current