So I bought myself a gossipy fashion mag yesterday for a bit of frivolous sofa time, just me, a cup of hot tea, a slice of cake and the dog curled up on my toes, and while it was mostly exactly as I’d hoped it would be, I came upon a story that had me nudging the dog off, hauling myself up from my repose, and putting aside my unfinished cake. Drastic action I know!
Basically, according to the report and the ‘sources’ quoted in it, Jennifer Anniston is going through nothing short of a confidence and image crisis after spending time on the red carpet aside her co-star promoting their new movie Just Go With It. No, I’m not talking about Adam Sandler, but 23-year-old bikini model Brooklyn Decker (I’ve never heard of her before but then I’m neither American nor male, and no I’m not particularly interested in seeing the movie).
Apparently the press has been setting up a ‘Jen vs Brooklyn’ battle that has seen Jen being ‘outshone’ by Brooklyn and being alluded to as ‘a washed-up has-been’. I’m sorry, but this is not my idea of someone who fits that description:
Jennifer is a woman who has had over 20 years of experience in TV and film, who acts, produces and directs, and is incredibly busy making movies right now (not all of them much cop I confess but enough along the way that have merit), who is in control of their destiny and seems to be enjoying life to the full (ignoring all the other reports that is).
The notion that a woman of Jen’s calibre and character would be so crushed by the presence of someone who thus far has made their living from wearing not-a-lot is laughable. How can you even compare the two? Okay, Aniston may have thought at some point ‘I wish I was that young again…wish I had a few more inches of height…wish I could go back and have that fun again’ but don’t we all think that at some point? It’s called being human.
A crisis though? Really? Jen’s new shorter hair has been read as a desperate act to make a ‘comeback’, and grab back the spotlight. But what if she just fancied a change?? Holy cow.
The magazine piece went on to say that Jen’s now looking at major Botox/ surgery, getting a new stylist, and has already upped her workout regime. If it’s true, it sounds like a woman who both wants to try something new and is aware of the hideous lack of decent roles and downright rotten-to-the-core sexism in Hollywood for women over a certain age, and who can blame her for that? But as Jen herself said just recently ‘Women need to learn that aging is beautiful’
And really, what if she did get the chop to shake things up a little and get everyone talking? Jen knows the power of a haircut more than anyone after all. That would be a woman who knows how to play the game not a woman who was beside herself with envy. Again, I believe she’s a woman in control, not a gnarly old dish-rag.
BUT I THINK WHAT HAS ANNOYED ME MOST is not whether any of this is true – we all know most of this stuff is fiction – but that it appears in a magazine, a women’s mag, at all. Especially as a few pages along there’s an inspiring piece about female war reporters and their right to report from dangerous places (with particular reference to the Lara Logan story). It’s a really confusing message I think.
Would such a story ever, I mean, EVER be conceived, let alone written and printed if say Brad Pitt starred alongside Taylor Lautner? NO. And neither should it I might add. There’d be tales of masculine japery on set and shots of them laughing together on the red carpet, together with headlines like ‘Wow, look out ladies!’, it’d be all puffy chests and virility.
The piece ends once again with a quote from Jen’s ‘inner circle’. The anonymous source says, ‘The thing is, work is all Jennifer has. It’s not like she has a man at home who tells her she’s the most beautiful thing in the world. Once her work has gone, she’s got nothing.’
WHAT??!! Imagine George Clooney is still a single guy and re-word the above quote to fit him instead. It’s funny right? It honestly sounds ridiculous. So how can the press print this stuff and not feel, well, embarrassed?
For me it’s just another sign of the rot that is still so shamelessly proliferating the media (society): a woman cannot age without becoming bitter and twisted, cannot make a change without it being a sign of encroaching madness, and cannot be alone without her being a barren and sad figure in the wilderness, probably talking to cats (real or imaginary).
But what do you think? Are you fed up with the way Jennifer Aniston – and other women – are treated in the press? Or is she fair game as a media figure… start commenting everyone!
Nikki Newman, 36, from England, currently lives in Qatar, where she moved this year due to her husband’s work. A former teacher and proud mother of 7-year-old Oliver, she’s currently focusing on settling her family into their new lives, while also pursuing her passion for painting. To see Nikki’s work please go to: www.nikkinewmanart.com