I've always liked Jennifer Aniston, inasmuch as a person can like someone they've never met. She seems pretty grounded, and also like someone with whom I could go out for Mexican with in a group of friends.
I think this even more after reading her blog entry For The Record on Huffington Post.
Obviously I have no experience being stalked by paparazzi - more like I am the actual paparazzi always taking pictures of every blessed thing - but I was happy with what she had to say about women and how society scrutinizes us. What the world at large thinks it is allowed to weigh in on in the lives of women. The thing she touched on that resonated with me the most is how much we define a woman's value based on her marital and maternal status.
It's time for questions about when someone is going to get married or have a baby to stop. Those things are really intensely personal. You should not be asking the questions, period, of men or women. If someone volunteers the information, the conversation may proceed. If they don't, it's off limits. Personally I find that the people who ask me these invasive questions are not my family or close friends. They're random acquaintances or people I don't even know well. Step off.
Some people don't want to get married. Some people don't want to have kids. You don't deserve to know their reasons for either. Hell, some people CAN'T have kids, and you poking your nose around in something that's likely already a huge source of pain to them to satisfy your own nosiness is thoughtless and cruel.
I know that these rules are quite different than what were acceptable topics of conversation even less than 40 years ago. I know we're still changing. Slowly changing. I know it's a hard thing for people to adapt to, the notion that you are not privvy to a woman's reproductive plans. When I was younger, it was most certainly expected that you would grow up, get married, and have kids. And that people would ask you when you were going to get a move on those things. That's not the case anymore.
In 2016, we're finally in a place in the civilized world where people are making active choices in their own reproduction. You can have no kids, one kid, three, five, six. What you can't do is tell others the appropriate number of kids to have. You also can't publicly ask people like me about when I'm having kids without getting your ass handed to you. It's not your business and I don't have to be polite or nice in response to that question.
As for the parent vs. non-parent bullshit: You can't act like you're more if you are a parent and someone is not - you're not more exhausted, you don't have the capacity to love more. Likewise, you can't act like you're more if you're not a parent and someone is - you're not more evolved, you're not more focused. Neither of you are better. You've simply made different choices. Choices are awesome. We as women need to be supportive of the choices of other women. And we as a society need to let others be exactly who they are and not lay our conceptions of gender roles on top of them.
Marriage and motherhood are not the only two things a woman has in life. She might have a job outside the home, an in-home business, an etsy shop, a blog, a book club, a passion for tennis, so many other things not to mention the intangible things: her thoughts and dreams and hopes and ideas about the world. We are, each of us, so many things. We are all worthy of love. We all have value. None of us owe anyone an explanation of our life choices. Whether you're a wife and mom or not, it is so crucial to maintain your own identity outside of any role you play, and to practice self-care and love and not feel guilty about any time you take to do that. You'd can't fill anyone else's cup if your cup is empty.