For some reason, people won’t just let Jennifer Aniston live her best childfree life, drinking Smartwater, lathering up with Aveeno and cashing “Friends” residual checks in peace.
As long as Aniston has been in the public eye, there’s been obsessive speculation about when she plans to settle down and start a family ― be it with Brad Pitt or Justin Theroux ― despite her repeatedly telling everyone to mind their business.
But at least she’s stopped taking the “just nasty” pregnancy rumors personally, as the star candidly reflected on the pressures she has faced to have children in a Hollywood Reporter cover story published on Wednesday.
“People certainly project onto you and all that, but my job is to go, ‘Listen, I’ll show you what I’m capable of, and you decide if you want to subscribe,’” she told the outlet. “So, you disappear as much as you can, you have fun, you take on these weird roles, you don’t give a shit, you enjoy yourself.”
“I used to take it all very personally — the pregnancy rumors and the whole ‘Oh, she chose career over kids’ assumption,” Aniston added. “It’s like, ‘You have no clue what’s going with me personally, medically, why I can’t … can I have kids?’ They don’t know anything, and it was really hurtful and just nasty.”
The Emmy winner laid most of the blame at the feet of the tabloids, but she said that culture of public scrutiny has “sort of changed hands” with the rise of social media in recent years.
“What the tabloids and the media did to people’s personal lives back then, regular people are doing now,” she said. “Although I haven’t seen a tabloid in so long. Am I still having twins? Am I going to be the miracle mother at 52?”
Aniston went on to blast the “double standard” when it comes how women are portrayed in the media, noting that, “Men can be married as many times as they want to, they can marry [younger] women in their 20s or 30s.”
“Women aren’t allowed to do that. Men in their 30s, by the way, are way different from men in their 40s and 50s,” she continued. “And late 20s even — it’s a whole new world that I’m finding is alive and kicking.”
Back in 2016, Aniston spoke out against “how much we define a woman’s value based on her marital and maternal status” in a blistering op-ed for HuffPost amid speculation that she was expecting a child with Theroux.
“We are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child. We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies. That decision is ours and ours alone,” she wrote at the time. “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,” she concluded. “Yes, I may become a mother some day, and since I’m laying it all out there, if I ever do, I will be the first to let you know. But I’m not in pursuit of motherhood because I feel incomplete in some way.”
Unfortunately, rumors about Aniston starting a family have continued since then, with reports circulating earlier this year that she had secretly adopted a child.
Representatives for the star shut down the speculation, stating in no uncertain terms that the “rumors of Jennifer being in the process of adopting a baby are false and never happened.”