In 2016, Jennifer Aniston reminded the media how tiresome it is to have to effectively defend yourself for a change in your physical appearance. She called suggestions that she was secretly pregnant “absurd and disturbing”. And she was right: no one should need reminding that a woman’s body is not something to speculate over.
However, it seems as if we have a very long way to go before the tabloids stop with their incessant body-shaming, as Natalie Portman – who is currently filming Marvel’s Thor: Love And Thunder in Sydney, Australia – found out this weekend.
It took just one photograph of the talented actor to send the rumour mill into overdrive, with many tabloids falling over themselves to suggest that Portman “stepped out seemingly with a baby bump.”
Underlining how truly ridiculous this is on her Instagram Stories, Portman wrote: “Hey, so I’m totally not pregnant.
“But apparently it’s still okay in 2021 for anyone to speculate and comment on a woman’s body shape whenever they want? Do better.”
Portman’s response underlines the point originally made by Aniston: gossip like this doesn’t just see women’s bodies thoughtlessly picked apart, but also implies that pregnancy is the ultimate goal for our sex.
“[These reports give us a] dehumanising view of females, focused solely on one’s physical appearance… Is she pregnant? Is she eating too much? Has she let herself go?” she stated previously.
“I resent being made to feel ‘less than’ because my body is changing and/or I had a burger for lunch and was photographed from a weird angle and therefore deemed one of two things: ‘pregnant’ or ‘fat,’” continued Aniston.
“We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies.”
In the meantime, there are so many more interesting things to talk about when it comes to Portman – not least of all the fact that she’s set to portray the first female Thor on screen.
“I’m starting to train, to get muscles,” she told Yahoo! Life, adding that the film will be “based on the graphic novel of the Mighty Thor.”
“She’s going through cancer treatment and is a superhero on the side,” she said.
“If there can be all these female superheroes, the more of them they are, the better it is.”