Image for post
Image for post

Jennifer Aniston Doesn’t Need Your Pity

Enough with the ‘Poor Jen’ stories already

Maybe some could see it coming. Maybe some feared it could happen. Maybe some were genuinely shocked. Nevertheless, Jennifer Aniston and hubby Justin Theroux have split after more than four years as a committed couple and two years as a married couple, and now Aniston’s romantic life will be mercilessly scrutinized while Theroux will just be seen as just another man , smiling.

Of course, Aniston has been been mercilessly scrutinized ever since former hubby , and was categorized as a tragically single woman who then who (but who didn’t marry her right away — — until they , and now that they are splitting is right back in the thick of it, including articles suggesting, once again, that she , that she’s made (it’s always the woman’s fault, right?), that she’s (wouldn’t any person, male or female, who wanted to make a go of it be?), and that maybe she and Brad should (because … why?)

Cue the “poor Jen” stories and headlines.

What kind of man gets this kind of romantic scrutiny? Sure, there were , deemed a perpetual bachelor even though he’d been married and had several long-term relationships before — — marrying Amal and becoming a dad. It’s just that there’s an extra layer of pathos if we’re talking about women, especially “older “women — Aniston is 49, hardly “older” but 49 nonetheless. You can read into that what you will.

That said, all the talk about Aniston — whether single, engaged, married or divorced — sounds all too familiar: she’s miserable, alone, frustrated, sad or forlorn without a man; a woman whose desperation led her to tie the knot too soon; a woman whose dreams have “been shattered” after being “dumped;” because obviously, all she wants is a man — or

What are we to make of such talk?

How about — nothing?

Let’s ignore it. Let’s let all women, whether single, married or divorced, mothers or childfree, celebrity or not, just be women — or better yet, people, with no expectation of what kind of person they should be or the kind of life they should have. Let’s get past that initial moment of judgment and be open to what others may want, even if it doesn’t look like what we might choose or want.

I understand some of us are slightly obsessed with celebrities. I just hope we can get past labeling people as being sad, lonely and desperate if they don’t have a romantic partner — especially women, because society still wants to believe that we gals can’t possibly have a fulfilling life without a man or children.

But we can — even if we’d like to find love again.

After her split from Pitt, : She doesn’t believe in one true love and she doesn’t believe in closing her heart. “I think there are many people, many soul mates. … Maybe it’s a fairy tale, but I believe in happily ever after.”

There’s no reason for Aniston to stop believing now.

This article was first published on my website, . Please stop by and read more.

Written by

Award-winning journalist, coauthor of “The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels,” mom, changing the narrative about older women

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store