If you've been living under a rock this past week, you might have missed the media frenzy surrounding Cheryl's rumoured pregnancy. Emphasis on the word 'rumoured' because, as always, it's pure speculation.
"Is Cheryl pregnant? Singer, 33, reveals stunning new curves at L'Oreal Paris party for PFW amid claims she is 'expecting baby with Liam Payne, 23'," one headline reveals.
"Cheryl shows off her rumoured baby bump in a dazzling display at a glitzy party in Paris," reads another.
Some imply that Cheryl's "healthy fuller figure" surely means she's pregnant, others suggest that the fact she'd removed the ability to comment on her Instagram photos is a sure-fire sign she's with child.
Everyone appears to think it's fine to suggest that Cheryl is pregnant. But we all know perfectly well, it isn't.
If you're devouring media coverage around Cheryl's rumoured pregnancy like a hungry hyena - or if you're the person writing this coverage - I'd like to ask you this: how would you feel if someone at work suggested that you were pregnant, when in fact, you weren't? And what if you were pregnant but hadn't told anyone yet and were waiting for the right time?
What particularly gets on my nerves is the fact that Cheryl's weight has become such a huge area of scrutiny. Cheryl is a slim woman and her weight has been the subject of much debate over the years - but now, all of a sudden she's sporting a "fuller figure" and that gives us the right to say she's pregnant?
It's like asking someone who's a bit bloated when their due date is. It's not acceptable.
It takes me back to all of the media speculation surrounding Jennifer Aniston's rumoured pregnancy, which was later put to bed with a blog from the actress setting the record straight - she wasn't having a baby.
Jennifer wrote: "For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up. I'm fed up with the sport-like scrutiny and body shaming that occurs daily under the guise of 'journalism', the 'First Amendment' and 'celebrity news'.
"The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing. The way I am portrayed by the media is simply a reflection of how we see and portray women in general, measured against some warped standard of beauty."
She added: "We use celebrity 'news' to perpetuate a dehumanising 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?"
Jen hit the nail on the head here, the constant need to be speculating over women's lifestyles is part of a deeper issue in society - one where it's expected of women to be focusing on marriage and babies once they've hit 30 (because otherwise what else do they have going for them?); one where we constantly scrutinise their bodies for change; and one where we focus on their clothes, rather than their achievements.
It's no wonder that one quarter of girls aged seven to 10 feel pressure to look "perfect" when this is the message we send day-in, day-out through national media.
This scrutiny and speculation surrounding famous women - and women in general - needs to stop.
Regardless of whether or not Cheryl is expecting, it's her news to share and not ours to speculate. In fact, it's none of our bloody business.Suggest a correction