The key paragraph of Jennifer Aniston’s Tuesday Huffington Post treatise is the last. She notes that tabloid practices, and more specifically in this case those of the photographers who funnel assets to the world via syndicates like X17 and Splash, ‘will not change, at least not anytime soon.’
So where should fans and media consumers take the fight? That’s a question that will continue to be debated over the coming days and weeks. But already, in the comments to Aniston’s piece, there are some very good suggestions.
Carrie Graham, an assistant director of research at UC Berkeley, provides one of the most actionable ideas. This is not so much something for we as readers, or Aniston and Justin Theroux to do. But rather, a logical M.O. for today’s generation of rising young actresses:
Jennifer, I wish you had spoken out earlier. I wish you hadn’t given all those interviews over the years where you described your diets and exercise regimen with the implication that we should all follow your lead if we wanted to be beautiful and acceptable. I remember in the 80s when you lost a bunch of weight on a low-carb diet. To this day I remember how you scraped the insides out of bagel to reduce carbs and stay perfect. You gave these interviews and posed for photos over the years contributing to all of our sense of self-loathing. Now that they are criticizing you, you are speaking out. I’m glad you are doing so. But it would also be helpful if you would encourage young actresses not to participate in all those “how I look so perfect” interviews because that is really where the problem starts.
In Aniston’s defense, the swirl of paparazzi attention has gotten much worse in the past decade or so, fueled by TMZ’s impact on the West Coast media equation, endless copycat-content websites and the way the kind of quick-hit content the actress describes fits snugly into the screen of a smartphone. So here’s Jennifer Manifesto Item #1: Just Say No to “How I Got This Body” features.
Another interesting way to possibly heed The Huffington Post call is to consider the advice of reader Kara Elliott. She reminds that for many, it’s another insidious media element that is more harmful:
I get it but, but seriously, I don’t know a single person in my sphere who reads the tabloids or give it one ounce of credibility, what I do see is the young people and even older men and women reading Cosmo, GQ and Vanity Fair and any number of online articles showing celebrity women Photoshopped or dressed in thousands of dollars…talk about shaping what young girls and boys deem beautiful, sexy, and acceptable. Lets actually talk about these entertainment giants that do influence our youth and society on what is important…and its not the purse, lipstick, belly, or boobs of the next famous actress.
So perhaps Jennifer Manifesto Item #2 is a new insignia or icon that can be adorned to features, cover stories and photographs. A little symbol that means “Photoshop Free.”
Screen grab via: x17.com