Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Garner have a lot in common. They are both actors, they're both moms of three, and they're both having a laugh clapping back at magazine headlines suggesting they're pregnant.
Witherspoon shared the cover of the latest issue of OK! 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 this case, a magazine linked Jen Garner's supposed fondness for sweaters to a secret pregnancy and not, you know, sweater weather.
But women in the public eye have to put up with pregnancy rumors nearly constantly. Just recently, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge was said by tabloids to be three months pregnant, a rumor she totally shut 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 that make money 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.
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