Jennifer Aniston’s Story Speaks to Many Women Who Believe “We Don’t Have to Be Married or Be Mothers to Be Whole”
Most women who reach their 30s have been asked when they’re going to have children. Probably more than once. For the people who are asking, it doesn’t seem to matter that these women have built a great career or moved on to a different stage of their life where kids aren’t part of the plan. Now imagine you’re a celebrity like Jennifer Aniston. People keep asking these same questions, and it can get pretty tiresome to have to explain yourself constantly.
Bright Side wants to share the story of the actress who played Rachel Green with you. After years of comments about her personal life, she openly expressed how important it is to be able to choose how you want to live your life.
Jennifer Aniston was born on February 11, 1969. Both her mother and father were actors, so acting was something that she was familiar with from an early age. She attended a music, art, and performing arts school in New York, where she majored in drama.
At first, she couldn’t even find work in commercials. She worked in an ice cream store and as a waitress for over 2 years. She borrowed money and spent her last few bucks to get photos taken, that she used to audition for Friends.
The success of Friends and the iconic Rachel Green
Friends premiered in 1994 and was an absolute success for the next 10 years. Jennifer’s character became a public favorite — her outfits and hairstyles set trends for a decade, and are remembered and imitated to this day.
In 2000, Aniston married Brad Pitt. The couple was a favorite of the people and the press, who kept an eye on what they were doing, where they were going, and especially when they were going to have children. But this was never a priority for them. The marriage ended in 2005 and soon afterward Brad Pitt made his relationship with Angelina Jolie official.
A star comedian
Jennifer could have suffered from something that happens to many actors who play memorable characters: getting stuck in Rachel Green and never being able to be recognized for any other roles. However, Aniston worked hard to make sure that didn’t happen. Starting with her role in The Good Girl (2002), she never stopped working.
Friends ended in 2004 and Jennifer’s career moved to the big screen. That same year, the movie Along Came Polly was released with another great star: Ben Stiller. In 2006, came the box-office hit The Break-Up, that she co-starred in with Vince Vaughn. Thus, Rachel was left behind, and Jennifer made it clear that her career was just beginning. In 2012, the actress received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
New challenges in dramatic roles
Although she is a great comedienne, Jennifer didn’t want to be pigeonholed in that either. In 2005, she starred in Derailed and in 2008 came the success of Marley & Me. She also starred in He’s Just Not That Into You in 2009 and Just Go With It (2011). In 2014, Jennifer surprised everyone with Cake, where she plays a woman in chronic pain.
Jennifer married Justin Theroux in 2015. Despite her work success, she was on magazine covers for her personal life. In an interview, she said, “No one considers that it might be a sensitive subject for my partner and I. They don’t know what I go through emotionally or medically. There is pressure on women to be mothers, and if they are not, then they are damaged. Maybe my purpose on this planet is not to procreate. Maybe I’m meant to do other things.”
An open letter in which she said “enough”
In 2016, Jennifer felt she had reached a limit and published an open letter. For the first time, she addressed those who made up pregnancy rumors years ago. However, she did not take it personally and was not at all spiteful. Instead, she showed concern for others.
Jennifer posited that, just as she was being exposed, that was the way all women are portrayed, with a twisted standard of beauty. She expressed concern that girls would grow up believing they were only beautiful if they were skinny.
Aniston sent a strong message: “We are complete with or without a partner, with or without children. We have to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies. This decision is ours alone. Let’s make it for ourselves and for the young women who look up to us as an example to follow. We don’t have to be married or be mothers to be complete. We decide what our happy ending is.”
Jennifer Aniston today: a multifaceted actress and businesswoman
In 2021, The Hollywood Reporter interviewed her at her home to discuss the success of the second season of The Morning Show with Reese Witherspoon, the reunion of the cast of Friends, and the upcoming release of the movie Murder Mystery with Adam Sandler.
Jennifer admits that she doesn’t look at magazines anymore, and that “I used to take everything personally, all the pregnancy rumors and the belief of ’oh, she chose her career over having kids.’ No one has any idea why I don’t have kids, what’s going on with me on a personal level, on a medical level.”
Today, Jennifer enjoys the success of her cosmetics brand, continues to choose her projects, and receives awards for her career, like the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award in December 2021, where in her speech she stated that she believes her best work is yet to come.
At what points in your life have you felt pressure about what your body looks like or whether you want to be a mother?