A commenter asked the actress if she was pregnant. And that is never okay.
Why can't the world stop asking women if they are pregnant?
Case in point: Jennifer Garner, who recently shared a video to Instagram while wearing overalls and was immediately asked if she was pregnant.
"I am 48, have three healthy kids, and am not—and never will be—pregnant. We can lay that pupper to rest," Garner clapped back in the comments section. "Have I gained the Covid 19? Possibly. But that is another story 😂🍕🌮🍩🍫🍷"
Garner has been dealing with pregnancy speculation for years. Just last year a magazine ran a cover claiming both Garner and her pal Reese Witherspoon were dropping "baby bombshells."
Witherspoon shared the cover on her Instagram recently, tagging Jen Garner in the caption and asking "Can we raise our imaginary babies together?"
"We are going to be the cutest imaginary family," Garner replied. "I'll just go ahead and move in now."
As much as we are all for an alternative reality where Witherspoon and Garner are BFFs who move in together to raise their children, it's pretty clear that isn't happening in the real world.
What is happening is speculation about women's bodies, which isn't cool.
In 2019, the magazine linked Jen Garner's supposed fondness for sweaters to a secret pregnancy and not, you know, sweater weather.
In 2020, internet commenters assumed overalls were covering up a pregnancy.
Could it be that Jen Garner just likes sweaters and overalls?
This is exhausting, but women in the public eye have to put up with pregnancy rumors nearly constantly. Remember when Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge was said by tabloids to be three months pregnant? She totally shut that down by drinking Guinness on St. Patrick's Day.
And of course, no woman in history has been pregnant as often as the tabloids have made Jennifer Aniston out to be, something she's written at length about, noting that the speculation is hurtful to her on a personal level, and is damaging on a societal level. "If I am some kind of symbol to some people out there, then clearly I am an example of the lens through which we, as a society, view our mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, female friends and colleagues," she wrote for Huffington Post in 2016. "The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing."
"We use celebrity 'news' to perpetuate this dehumanizing view of females, focused solely on one's physical appearance, which tabloids turn into a sporting event of speculation. Is she pregnant? Is she eating too much? Has she let herself go? Is her marriage on the rocks because the camera detects some physical 'imperfection'?" Aniston wondered in her essay.
Like Aniston, Garner and Witherspoon are frequent subjects of false stories that say more about our society than they do about the women they claim to be reporting on.
It's good to see these two powerful women clapping back at companies and commenters peddling pretend pregnancy narratives. As much as we love a *real* pregnancy announcement, we're bored to death of bump speculation. Women—those making the headlines and those consuming them—deserve better.
[A version of this post was originally published on March 18, 2019. It has been updated.]
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