Jennifer Aniston has opened up about how pregnancy rumours and “reckless assumptions” about her child-free state have affected her over the years.
Throughout Aniston’s two marriages (Brad Pitt, 2000-2005, and Justin Theroux, 2015-2018) and at every moment in between, the actress has been the subject of media speculation about her love life and motherhood status.
“The misconceptions are ‘Jen can’t keep a man,’ and ‘Jen refuses to have a baby because she’s selfish and committed to her career.’ Or that I’m sad and heartbroken,” she told friend and interviewer Molly McNearney.
“First, with all due respect, I’m not heartbroken.”
Aniston secondly labelled those assumptions as “reckless” given that any one of many possibilities – such as a potential fertility struggle – could be at play.
“No one knows what’s going on behind closed doors. No one considers how sensitive that might be for my partner and me,” she said.
“They don’t know what I’ve been through medically or emotionally. There is a pressure on women to be mothers, and if they are not, then they’re deemed damaged goods.
“Maybe my purpose on this planet isn’t to procreate. Maybe I have other things I’m supposed to do?”
The Horrible Bosses actress has previously spoken of how much she resents and resists being cast as a “sad, childless human”.
To InStyle, she lamented how “sexism” plays a role in how a relationship breakdown, like hers and Justin’s announced in February this year, is reported by the media.
"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?"
Aniston said she had also experienced sexism in her career, but told the magazine she had never encountered the kind of harassment, bullying or coersion spoken about in the #MeToo movement.
The beloved Friends star offered a slightly different perspective on the movement than the one heard by many other women in Hollywood.
"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."
You can read more here or in the September issue US InStyle.