Jennifer Aniston wants to set the record straight with her latest magazine interview, published in InStyle’s September issue. For the tell-all, the cover girl spoke candidly with good friend Molly McNearney about her past relationships, the trajectory of her career, and her lifetime of managing industry sexism.
“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,’” the actress told McNearney. “Those are reckless assumptions.”
One major takeaway from the interview that many Yahoo readers latched onto was Aniston’s blunt take on her childlessness: “There is a pressure on women to be mothers,” she said, “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?”
Readers took to the comments section of the original Yahoo Lifestyle article, most to support Aniston’s stance and applaud her honesty.
“You go girl, live your life YOUR way,” one commenter wrote, wishing Aniston continued happiness. “Amen to her,” another reader said.
Several fans pointed out some major double standards facing Aniston and other women in Hollywood when it comes to child-rearing: “Leonardo DiCaprio is single and childless at 43, and not one single media outlet blames his breakups on his lack of desire to have children,” one commenter lamented, referring to rumors surrounding the circumstances of Aniston’s two high-profile splits. Earlier this year, she ended a two-year marriage to Justin Theroux, and in 2005, she split up with Brad Pitt.
“Funny how [George] Clooney used to be hailed as the ultimate bachelor, but somehow Jennifer is labeled as the sad childless spinster,” another reader noted.
Some fans lauded Aniston’s choice to put her career first: “She knows that if she takes a break she may never get the roles she’s getting,” one commenter said. “Hollywood is constantly moving.”
“I am so tired of the misconception that marriage and children are the only path for a woman,” another reader wrote.
One questioned why the entertainment world seemed to be having difficulty appreciating a grown woman’s choices: “At age 49, I’d probably agree. I guess if she wished to be a parent, she’d be a parent.”
Others acknowledged her practical sense: “It’s best that she didn’t have a child she wouldn’t be dedicating her life to, and pushing off on nannies to raise,” one supporter wrote. “There are millions of parents who should have come to a similar realization.”
Her candor even earned her some new fans: “Never really cared for her, but I like her a lot now,” one reader said.
Not everyone related to the idea that raising a child isn’t a universal experience; one reader said: “I can’t imagine missing the pure joy of having children.”