Let’s Put A Stop To The Poor Jen Narrative Before It Starts

It's patronising, tired and sexist.

Let’s Put A Stop To The Poor Jen Narrative Before It Starts

by Georgia Aspinall |

Jennifer Anniston is an award-winning actor, outstanding activist and successful businessperson, yet somehow, she continues to be defined by her relationship status. Being involved in possibly the most publicized love triangle of all time, which saw her cast as the victim of a cheating husband and malicious mistress (another vile narrative), seemingly began a lifetime of pity towards one of the most highly acclaimed women in Hollywood.

When news broke of her separation from husband Justin Theroux, the predictable reporting began. She was holding him back from his beloved New York City, she stopped making time for him, she’s still in love with Brad Pitt (that one is my favourite for its sheer absurdity). Not only do all of these pit Jen as the cause of their separation, they paint her in the way many women who get divorced are, as the woman who stopped trying.

They make her culpable for the divorce, perpetuating the idea that only those people who don’t put enough effort into a marriage get divorced. In reality, there are multiple outside factors that impact a relationship breakdown. Maybe they both just realized it wasn’t working anymore and made the healthy decision to separate instead of continuing to flog a dead horse? Maybe they both just want to be single because married life isn’t for everyone? Maybe it’s none of our business?

The obsession with finding out why they’re getting divorced is already tired and it’s only just begun. But the most annoying outcome of this? The poor Jen narrative starting all over again. Notice the way we react to this announcement; all of the Justin Theroux social media posts are along the lines of ‘YAS A HOTTIE BACK ON THE MARKET’ or ‘I KNEW HE WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH FOR HER’. The Jennifer Anniston posts? ‘Oh god, poor Jen, she must be so upset’, ‘She really can’t keep a man, can she?’, ‘Now she can get back with Brad!’.

Let’s get this straight, Jennifer Anniston does not need a man to be happy. Jennifer Anniston is a BAD BITCH who is capable of feeling completely fulfilled all on her own. None of us need to be in relationships to be happy, but Jennifer Anniston in particular, with her incredible career and ridiculously fabulous life certainly does not need to be married for us to consider her life full.

She’s told us this herself before, in an open letter via the Huffington Post, where she stated:

‘We don’t need to be married or mothers to be complete. We get to determine our own “happily ever after” for ourselves. I have grown tired of being part of this narrative.’

It was using this platform that she attacked the way tabloids objectify her, and determine her value based on her marital or motherhood status. She alluded to the same concerns in the separation statement, which the couple gave to the Associated Press, saying:

‘Normally we would do this privately, but given that the gossip industry cannot resist an opportunity to speculate and invent, we wanted to convey the truth directly,’ before confirming that there was no ill will, and they are simply ‘two best friends who have decided to part ways as a couple, but look forward to continuing our cherished friendship.’

Divorce is obviously shit, but from the statement they’ve put out they’re just making the same rational decision 42% of people make so they can go on to be in healthy, fulfilling relationships or (gasp, shock, horror) be happy on their own? We look at divorce as if it’s some sort of failure, when in reality accepting that you are going to be better satisfied without a person you’ve spent years of your life with is a brave, healthy decision.

Not only is it hugely unfeminist to characterize Jennifer as the poor, lonely divorcee lost without the love of a man, it’s unfeminist not to feel sorry for Justin. He is just as likely to feel lonely and heartbroken as Jen, where is the pity for him? We may not have to feel sorry for either of them, they’ve obviously accepted their choice to separate and are moving on, but if we are going to sympathise, we should be doing it with both of them.

So, let’s put an end to the poor Jen narrative before it begins, let’s instead celebrate the fact she has two movies out this year, both of which she was an executive producer on. Separated or not, Jen is killing it.

Click through to see Jen's fabulous style through the years...

Gallery

Jennifer Aniston Style - Best Dresses & Outfits

Jennifer Aniston style 1995 dress
1 of 30

Jennifer Aniston - 1995

Jennifer Aniston style 1997 denim shorts
2 of 30

Jennifer Aniston - 1997

Jennifer Aniston style 2011 horrible bosses balenciaga
3 of 30

Jennifer Aniston in Balenciaga at Horrible Bosses LA premiere - July 2011

Jennifer Aniston style along came polly
4 of 30

Jennifer Aniston at Along Came Polly premiere - 2004

Jennifer Aniston style black dress life of crime
5 of 30

Jennifer Aniston poses onstage at the 'Life Of Crime' Press Conference on September 14th

Jennifer Aniston style blue dress life of crime
6 of 30

Jennifer Aniston attends the premiere for 'Life Of Crime' on September 14th

Jennifer Aniston style burberry new york we're the millers
7 of 30

Jennifer Aniston in Burberry at We're The Millers New York premiere - 1 August 2013

Jennifer Aniston style cannes film festival white dress
8 of 30

Jennifer Aniston at Cannes Film Festival - 2004

Jennifer Aniston style celine horrible bosses leather dress
9 of 30

Jennifer Aniston in Celine at Horrible Bosses London photocall - July 2011

Jennifer Aniston style docle and gabbana trousers paris
10 of 30

Jennifer Aniston in Dolce & Gabbana trousers in Paris, 2012

Jennifer Aniston style dolce and gabbana dress the daily show
11 of 30

Jennifer Aniston in Dolce & Gabbana at the Daily Show - August 2010

Jennifer Aniston style donna karan bounty hunter
12 of 30

Jennifer Aniston in Donna Karan at Bounty Hunter premiere, LA - March 2010

Jennifer Aniston style dress chanel
13 of 30

Jennifer Aniston in Chanel - The Hollywood Walk of Fame - February 2012

Jennifer Aniston style emmy awards 1999
14 of 30

Jennifer Aniston at Emmy Awards - 1999

Jennifer Aniston style emmy awards 2004 white dress
15 of 30

Jennifer Aniston at Emmy Awards - 2004

Jennifer Aniston style floral dress we're the millers
16 of 30

Jennifer Aniston attends the European premiere of 'We're The Millers' in London. August 14th 2013.

Jennifer Aniston style glitter dress kaufmanfranco
17 of 30

Jennifer Aniston In Kaufmanfranco – Annual Women in Hollywood Tribute

Jennifer Aniston style gold dress valentino couture
18 of 30

Jennifer Aniston in Valentino Couture at London premiere of Horrible Bosses - July 2011

Jennifer Aniston style justin theroux the leftovers dress
19 of 30

Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux at 'The Leftovers' premiere - June 23, 2014

Jennifer Aniston style lacma art
20 of 30

Jennifer Aniston at the LACMA Art + Film Gala Honoring Ed Ruscha and Stanley Kubrick - October 2012

Jennifer Aniston style leather dress valentino mtv movie awards
21 of 30

Jennifer Aniston in Valentino - 2012 MTV Movie Awards

Jennifer Aniston style nina ricci the daily show
22 of 30

Jennifer Aniston in Nina Ricci at The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

Jennifer Aniston style paris
23 of 30

Jennifer Aniston in Paris, 2012

Jennifer Aniston style red dress valentino
24 of 30

Jennifer Aniston in Valentino

Jennifer Aniston style red lace dress 1995
25 of 30

Jennifer Aniston - 1995

Jennifer Aniston style sag awards black dress
26 of 30

Jennifer Aniston SAG Awards - 1999

Jennifer Aniston style sag awards dress
27 of 30

Jennifer Aniston at SAG Awards - 2000

Jennifer Aniston style vivienne westwood 2011
28 of 30

Jennifer Aniston in Vivienne Westwood at Sephora Fragrance Signing - May 2011

Jennifer Aniston style we're the millers black dress premiere
29 of 30

Jennifer Aniston attends the 'We're The Millers' premiere in Germany. August 15th 2013

Jennifer Aniston style white dress burberry
30 of 30

Jennifer Aniston in Burberry at 40th AFI Life Achievement Award - June 2012

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us