Jennifer Aniston wants to change the lens through which we look at women. And for her, that begins with challenging the way she's been painted in the media.
In a follow-up to her Huffington Post essay, "For The Record" — a powerful indictment of tabloid media culture and the larger culture of sexism that conflates women’s worth with their marital and maternal status — Aniston is opening up in the pages of Marie Claire. The actress-producer fronts the magazine’s December 2016 issue and reflects on how much she’s endured as the subject of gossip chatter — and why she’s done listening to the noise.
"My marital status has been shamed," the Office Christmas Party star says. "My divorce status was shamed; my lack of a mate had been shamed; my nipples have been shamed. It's like, 'Why are we only looking at women through this particular lens of picking us apart? Why are we listening to it?'"
After nearly 30 years in entertainment, Aniston "just thought: I have worked too hard in this life and this career to be whittled down to a sad, childless human."
Women are so much more than their connection to others, whether they be romantic partners or children, Aniston reminds readers — though she does note that she has found peace with her husband, Justin Theroux.
"I feel completely seen, and adored, no matter what state," she says. "There's no part of me that I don't feel comfortable showing, exposing. And it brings forth the best part of myself, because I care about him so much."
And with that support system in place, Aniston intimates that she's taking this time to step back and carefully consider her next step professionally. "This is a time when I'm not completely sure what I'm doing," she says. "I'm at this sort of crossroads trying to figure out what inspires me deep in my core. What used to make me tick is not necessarily making me tick anymore ... The most challenging thing right now is trying to find what it is that makes my heart sing."