Jennifer Aniston on the Sexism Surrounding Hollywood Breakups in the Media

Jennifer Aniston has (a few times over) been one-half of some of the most talked-about couples Tinseltown has ever seen. From her decades-old romance with Brad Pitt — the one fans still harp on as if they just broke up yesterday— to her bond with Justin Theroux, the actress can’t escape the tabloid spotlight. 

Wait, is Jen pregnant, again?! Is a baby on the way? Or better yet, you could see the headline now: Jennifer Aniston raises eyebrows on a dinner date with a new man. Two hours later: reports indicate the man is an old friend.

Though Jennifer Aniston has learned to handle tabloids and paparazzi with grace, always finding a way to squash rumors (and move on), this doesn’t mean that the behavior is acceptable. What’s even worse: whenever she breaks up with a guy, the blatant sexism running rampant across media outlets becomes obvious to the former Friends star. 

Jennifer Aniston sat down with InStyle Magazine to discuss her career, social media, her childhood, and more. When asked to discuss whether she has experienced sexism in her career, the actress made a statement that should serve as a lesson. 

Jennifer Aniston talks big breakups 

InStyle Magazine asked Jennifer Aniston, “Have you ever experienced sexism in your career?” Aniston replied:

I’ve definitely had my fair share of sexism in the media. Women are picked apart and pitted against one another based on looks and clothing and superficial stuff. When a couple breaks up in Hollywood, it’s the woman who is scorned. The woman is left sad and alone. She’s the failure. F that. When was the last time you read about a divorced, childless man referred to as a spinster?

Jennifer Aniston makes one thing clear concerning the undertone tabloids employ when discussing failed Hollywood romances. The women always “lose” him (as if she had no say in the matter) and the man emerges single and ready to mingle. Why is this the depiction? How has such a stereotypical, antiquated, and inaccurate account managed to stand the test of time?

Quite frankly, it’s sad to think that we haven’t come as far as we’d like to think in this arena, especially when considering the discrepancies in gender equality that come to bear via our word choice. However, when asked if she has hope for change, Aniston remained optimistic, stating:

Yes, and it’s long overdue. But we also need to be better at listening to one another. That includes men. They need to be part of this conversation. When everyone is mad and aggressive, people become too afraid to speak and there is no conversation. Same goes for politics. We need to include each other, to hear each other out. We can’t stoop to the anger. Michelle Obama said it best: “When they go low, we go high.” We should all be living by that if we want real progress. 

As Jennifer Aniston puts it, if we all follow Michelle Obama’s advice, we’ll be on our way to growth, on our way to a society we yearn to see. While it may not be just around the corner, Aniston urges all those with a voice to try and make a difference. 

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