On Wednesday’s Ellen DeGeneres Show, Jennifer Aniston opened up about what inspired her to write her summer Huffington Post essay, speaking out against decades of sexist tabloid-media coverage about her.
DeGeneres complimented Aniston for an “eloquently written” and “beautiful” op-ed and said she was glad the actress wrote it.
Aniston said that at first, she wrote it for herself, not necessarily intending to publicize it. “I was pretty raw at the time,” said Aniston. She said after returning from a vacation she had gone on following her mother’s death, she was mobbed at the airport.
Aniston realized that a photograph had been released of her with a bump and a circle around her stomach with an arrow pointing to it, the kind of tabloid imagery she says she’s had to “live with for the last 10 to 15 years.”
“I was just fed up with it and I think these tabloids, all of us, need to take responsibility on what we ingest into our brains,” said Aniston. “Just because we are women, we have a uterus, we have a vagina, we have ovaries, we need to like, ‘Get to work, lady.’”
She pointed out that there are many other successes women can achieve beyond childbirth, not that that’s not an important achievement if women seek to go that path. “We as women do a lot of incredible things in this world other than just procreate,” said Aniston, also mentioning DeGeneres’ recent Presidential Medal of Freedom.
She said tabloids “love the narrative” of either this actress is depressed, this actress is jealous of this other person, etc.
“Whatever the horrible little headline is, we’ve just got to break out of that and go ‘Who, whoa,’” said Aniston, adding that women are often the authors of these “horrible articles” and she hopes people will stop buying the magazines and start supporting each other. “It’s up to us what makes us happy and fulfilled,” she added.
Later on in the show, DeGeneres and Aniston dressed up in sumo wrestler outfits to play charades. “She’s got a baby bump,” joked DeGeneres. “Uh-oh, circle it,” laughed Aniston.
During the game, Aniston hula-danced and twerked in her outfit. She was on a winning streak and then struggled with how to shimmy — “You looked like you were scratching your butt in the tree,” said DeGeneres, before taking her turn.