Jennifer Aniston is famously perpetually tan. But she is not famously, perpetually THIS tan. It is a super questionable decision to paint her so much darker, especially in 2019, when we are meant to know better and do better. And, per the commenter that the Los Angeles Times quoted:
“I get that these covers are supposed to be channeling the glamour of yesteryear but that ‘glamour’ routinely marginalized women of color for white women (whether made tan or otherwise). Seeing Jennifer Aniston several shades darker than normal reminds me of that legacy. In 2019, if you want a brown-skinned woman on your cover, put a brown-skinned woman on your cover,” a commenter said.
The profile is pegged to Aniston’s new Apple TV show with Reese Witherspoon, called Morning Show. It sounds interesting, and I would like to check it out, but am unlikely to want to incur another bill. Oh, the dilemma. They pitched the show pre-Harvey, pre-Charlie Rose, pre-Matt Lauer, and yet it prophetically uses a morning show as its lens:
“The show gives you a behind-the-curtain peek at a lot of things — what it takes to pull off a morning show, the unique lifestyle of these anchors, the obsession with celebrity culture, and humanity in the midst of corruption. Plus we’re addressing the ugly truths of how men have treated women in our society, particularly in the workplace, for all these years,” Aniston explains. “We’re looking at the ways in which we’ve all normalized this behavior and how we’re all by-products of our environment, having grown up with sexism encoded in our messaging, however extreme or subtle. This show looks at how a culture of silence can slowly evolve and how we sometimes participate without even realizing it.” If that seems like a lot to unpack, that’s because it is.
By Aniston’s own admission, her role on The Morning Show is her most complex to date. She plays Alex Levy, the ambitious co-host of a television news program who confronts the sexism, ageism, and other -isms foisted onto her by a troubled male co-host (Steve Carell), her network’s male executives, and, in some respects, herself. “Alex’s sell-by date expired long ago, and she’s trying to stay relevant,” says Aniston, whose research included going behind the scenes at Good Morning America at 5 a.m. to get a sense of the matrix.
I find it intriguing that, in describing a show that deals with sexism and ageism, Jennifer describes her character as having an expired sell-by date. Said this way, this plainly, it sounds like Aniston and Reese and the show is ascribing to the belief that a woman has a sell-by date. I wish she had said is being treated like her sell-by date expired long ago, or fears that her bosses think her sell-by date expired long ago, or something. Especially because the show — the first one Apple TV invested in — has made an effort to promote women in its workplace:
“Women were never allowed to have power,” she says bluntly. “Power feels sexy to me today, as does women’s intelligence and how capable and creative they are.” Not surprisingly, The Morning Show crew has many cool ladies both in front of and behind the camera.
“There are a lot of women running this show,” Aniston says of the team, “and it moves really smoothly.”