First things first: I have to admit, I FULL-BODY EYEROLLED the opening of this interview:
I met Jen (don’t roll your eyes at me — that’s what we call her) in my kitchen about six years ago when my husband, Jimmy [Kimmel], and I invited our friend Justin [Theroux] over for pizza with his new girlfriend. At first I was a bit starstruck that Rachel Green was standing near my bananas. She was wearing black jeans, a black tank top, and wedge sandals, and she smelled like vacation.
The author, Molly McNearney, is a professional writer — she is, in fact, the head writer for Jimmy Kimmel’s show — and there is no way she didn’t know those brackets were an eye-roller. (She may have decided they were funny? I would argue the first use of brackets is annoying and the second might be amusing, but they need a third to actually make it properly funny. My note is that you should also bracket [Green] to really sell the joke.)
But the whole thing is really pretty good; while it falls prey to the usual issue where a friend conducting an interview ALWAYS fails to ask the needed probing follow-up question, Aniston herself is forthcoming in a way that is pretty refreshing. As a single 43-year-old woman with no children, this part really spoke to me:
JA: 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. First, with all due respect, I’m not heartbroken. And second, those are reckless assumptions. No one knows what’s going on behind closed doors. No one considers how sensitive that might be for my partner and me. 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?
It has to be frustrating for her that this narrative for her has stuck so completely — Jen’s pregnant! Jen’s heartbroken! Jen’s pregnant again! Jen’s not pregnant! WILL JEN EVER BE PREGNANT?!?!!? — and the truth is that we don’t know and it’s not our business if she’s had fertility issues, or if she never wanted kids but felt she couldn’t say so publicly, because it might harm her America’s Sweetheart image, as ridiculous as that is, and as much as that is also none of our business. I understand why people are interested — I’m interested! We’re nosy humans and people love to gossip — but, you know. No wonder she’s not on Twitter. Just stay off the internet, Jen. Even if that means that you won’t read the bit where I say you look GREAT on these covers.
These covers are just very, very well done. They’re EXTREMELY in character for Aniston — the little black dress she loves, the FANTASTIC hair, the toe ring that I am sure is hers — and they’re both intimate and aspirational. I have to say, I love the Laura Brown version of InStyle. It’s not always perfect — what is? — but it also never feels like they’re phoning it in. Which is so refreshing.
[Photos: Ben Hassett for InStyle]