This Chanel top, from 1996, is part of a bikini set worn on Instagram by Kim Kardashian in 2018 (fair warning, Kim’s pic is both headless and crotch-forward). The cover photo even feels like a vague emulation of Kim, all blank directness and hyper-extended hair. Perhaps that’s all by design; the interview touches a lot on both her megafame and her wealth — the entire lede is about her large house in a fancy enclave — and the effects that’s had on what she has shared of herself, what she wishes she’d shared, what she didn’t want to, and above all the assumptions people made because of her notoriety. All things she shares with Kim, I guess. Or maybe it’s a coincidence and the cover is just meant to be grabby.

By now, you’ve probably seen the highlights of this interview: Jennifer discusses having done IVF in the past to try and have kids, a confession that’s something of a Holy Grail in gossip journalism. But the profile, and the way it’s all delivered, is so bizarre — not least because it’s a shock this kind of scoop would go to Allure, of all publications. Allure is going to say nice things about your vanity line of moisturizers and strike a Girl Boss tone; Allure is not, typically, where you open your veins. Maybe Allure got it because Allure is the one who knocked at the right time, or at all; I have NO idea. But, read the story and see if you agree with my theory about all this, which is: This was just supposed to be a puff piece about Jennifer Aniston’s hair care line, but Jennifer privately decided she was in the mood to set a few records straight, so she steered the chat in that direction and threw the reporter for a massive loop. Because, while I get not leaping right in with a quote about fertility, but it takes the writer a whole 1150+ words to get there. Perhaps I’m being generous, but given the conversational swerve, I can sort of see why she might want to capture the feeling of, “I was just supposed to talk to her for ten minutes about shampoo and write about how her hair is pretty, and then KABLAMMO.” I’m only allowed to excerpt 100 words, but I can just about get the moment here. Context: They’re chatting about how much we don’t appreciate ourselves, and how she’s glad she didn’t have social media when she was younger to make her feel worse, and then says she’s grateful for the shit she DID go through because it’s shaped her.

“Otherwise, I would’ve been stuck being this person that was so fearful, so nervous, so unsure of who they were.” She finishes her smoothie and reaches out to Chesterfield. “And now, I don’t fucking care.”

Maybe I look confused. She explains.

“I was trying to get pregnant. It was a challenging road for me, the baby-making road,” says Aniston, of a period several years ago.

On the scale of dumb things to say, this is the moment when I really hit it out of the park. “I had no idea.”

“Yeah, nobody does,” she replies graciously.

I wanted to quote the chunk after that, but it was too many words. Anyway, to be clear, I’m not ragging on Jennifer for deciding she wanted to tell her side of things as it relates to IVF and wanting kids; she bore the brunt of a LOT of tabloid cruelty about it, especially when Brad Pitt cheated with Angelina, who had kids by then. If I were her, I’d want to clear it up, too, and put an end to that bullshit. I’m mostly trying to puzzle through why the piece is structured the way it is, and all I can come to is that the writer legitimately had NO IDEA this was going to come out of Aniston’s mouth. I imagine that reporter mentally praying that her voice memo app was recording properly and being TERRIFIED of accidentally erasing it. That said, there’s still way too much of the writer’s inner monologue and such in here, but… well, just read it. Sometimes it works, often it’s odd, and in general… I hope Jennifer HAS found her peace.

[Photos: Zoey Grossman for Allure; Allure’s December 2022 issue is available on newsstands in NY/LA November 14, and nationwide November 21]