Almost a year ago, 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.
But now, for daring to wear a bikini on holiday, Eva Longoria is the latest high-profile actress to be subject to pregnancy rumours.
While on holiday in Hawaii with her husband Jose Baston and friends, Longoria, 42, was photographed by a long lens paparazzo while standing up with her stomach on show.
Now, Longoria has felt forced to defend rumours, and saddeningly, in the process, made self-conscious comments about her own body.
“I saw some pictures of myself really fat on a boat and I have to tell you all I did was eat cheese,” she told fans in an Instagram story. “Everybody is saying I'm pregnant and I'm not. I was just lactose intolerant apparently. I just had to share because my whole family is calling me asking me if I'm pregnant.
“Yes, I look pregnant, but that was just a ball of cheese in my stomach...everybody gets bloated.”
She then moved the camera over her stomach, and said: “I'm not bloated today but that's pre-pancake. So that's the news of the day, just eating a lot of cheese, a lot of wine, a lot of pancakes.”
It seems Longoria has swiftly moved on and is rightly enjoying her holiday. But the fact she felt forced to criticise her own appearance to defend the claims serves to certify another point Aniston made last summer. The actor wrote that gossip like this perpetuates 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?”
Not only are women’s bodies thoughtlessly picked apart by this type of gossip but it also implies that pregnancy is the ultimate goal for women, Aniston suggested.
“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,’” the former Friends actress added.
“We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies,” she concluded.
Photo: Rex Features.