“We are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child,” wrote artist Jennifer Aniston, quoted recently from the Huffington Post. “We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies.”
Aniston’s beautifully written opinion piece stole the highlight from the media. The 47-year-old artist talked about “the objectification and scrutiny we put women through.”
I feel that I have to share this article with all of you. As women, we are required to excel in a lot of things. We have to be successful with our career, look good physically, and be good wives and mothers in order to be called women of quality. And when we decide not to take on some of those roles, the society will judge.
Honestly, one of the reasons for me to move to San Francisco is to get away from the “single girl” stereotype in my country. SF is a city where young people build their professional careers, and there is less judgment on people in terms of the life choice they make. However, back in Indonesia, most of my friends are engaged by the age of 23, and as soon as they get married, they are expected to be mothers. The goal is to marry a rich guy, continue the parents' business, and live happily ever after. I am not saying that their choice is wrong. I truly admire women who can juggle their business and family life. However, that's not what I want, and I am pretty sure there are many women out there that also feel the same way.
My high school best friend, who hasn't contacted me for almost a year, sent me a message yesterday. Her first question was, "Do you know that (our other friend) is very skinny now?" and that was followed with "Have you managed to get a boyfriend?" Those questions are the reason why I hate to go to weddings and social gatherings back at home. I am fed up with the judgment that I have to feel incomplete or unhappy in some way if I am not married with children.
A woman’s value should not be judged by her marital or maternal status. It is our choice to decide on what we want in life. Don’t let the outdated cultural standard pressure you. As Aniston said, “We get to determine our own 'happily ever after' for ourselves.”
Read her full op-ed article here.