Let’s stop portraying Jennifer Aniston as a victim

Written by Renate O'Connor

With the news that she’s secretly married her long-term boyfriend Justin Theroux, perhaps the media will give the saddest woman on the planet a break now. After all, since her divorce from Brad Pitt, she’s just hopped from man to man in a desperate attempt to find love again, right? Will she ever have children or will she just end up a sad old spinster throwing darts at a picture of Angelina Jolie’s face?

Let’s forget that Jennifer Aniston is not only a world renowned and critically acclaimed actress, director, producer, philanthropist and businesswoman… Last year she ranked third on the ‘Forbes’ Top Earning Actresses list, earning $31 million in a year. All this success, yet the media is obsessed with focusing on her private life. They’re convinced because she’s a woman, she must be seriously unhappy to not have a ring on her finger, or a baby in a pram to push.

Think I’m exaggerating?

This Spike article from 2009 boasts the unbelievable headline, The top 7 reasons no man will ever love Jennifer Aniston.” Their reasons being she’s ‘too successful’, ‘too desperate’ and ‘not hot enough’ to want to have a private life and stay current.

This Mirror article from 2010 asks, “Why can’t she keep hold of a man?”

Here Ego TV has compiled a handy little list of “6 Reasons Jennifer Aniston is still single.”

But the constant obsession with her love life doesn’t end even when she does have a guy in her life. Just a few months ago scathing reports that she’d been left “pregnant and single again” by now husband, Justin (put that in your pipe and smoke it) managed to fly around, even without a single shred of evidence.

Its seems ever since she stole our hearts all the way back in 1994 as Rachel in ‘Friends’, the public and the press have decided that Jennifer is ours for the taking. We ‘love’ her so why doesn’t a man? It’s been a whole decade since her divorce, yet headlines still talk about the so-called love triangle between her, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Is it really news that she doesn’t want to discuss their relationship? I’d like to think after ten years you’d be well over an ex… 

Renate O'Connor, Kettle Mag, Let's stop portraying Jennifer Aniston as a victim, Image: Rex Features, Splash News

You can’t help but question, would this all be happening if she was a man? If it was Brad who decided to stay single after their break up, would there be as many, if any, provocative headlines and endless patronising features, creating this depressive narrative wondering if he’ll be alone forever?

This is a strong independent woman, who declines to comment on her personal relationships because they are just that, personal. Tabloids assume she is unhappy or resentful of other women, when if you actually listen to what she has to say she is anything but. During an interview with Vanity Fair in 2008 she spoke out against claims that her marriage broke down because she didn’t want to have kids…

“A man divorcing would never be accused of choosing a career over children. That really p**sed me off. I’ve never in my life said I didn’t want to have children. I did and I do and I will!”

“The women that inspire me are the ones who have careers and children; why would I want to limit myself? I’ve always wanted to have children, and I would never give up that experience for a career. I want to have it all.”

Maybe once she’s back from her honeymoon she’ll release a statement, maybe she won’t. Maybe pictures will appear from her star-studded wedding, then again maybe they won’t. Just because someone is in the public eye because they work in the film and entertainment industry, doesn’t mean we’re entitled to know about every aspect of their lives. There’s no “Keeping Up With The Anistons.” Lets leave Jennifer alone and stop portraying her with patronising self-pity… the woman is a badass!