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New Book Reveals Why ‘Friends’ Star Jennifer Aniston Endured Scrutiny Over Being Childless

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The book “Toxic: Women, Fame, and the Tabloid 2000s” delved into the lives of nine women, including Jennifer Aniston, who faced intense media scrutiny and fame.

Aniston’s high-profile relationships, particularly with Brad Pitt, garnered significant attention.

The book highlighted the relentless tabloid portrayal of Aniston, particularly regarding motherhood, and her resilience in the face of intrusive media scrutiny.

“This kind of portrayal of her [as] a desperately baby-hungry woman. It doesn’t really stand up to scrutiny,” author Sarah Ditum said. “The tabloid version of her was exaggerated and gussied up basically so everybody could feel their feelings about what women were deciding to do with their lives in general.”

“She became the sort of stand-in for that whole debate,” Ditum added.

“We have not read Ms. Ditum’s book and have no comment to offer,” Aniston’s spokesperson stated.

Despite enduring public speculation, Aniston has maintained her dignity and found a highly successful career in acting and comedy.

The book emphasized the challenges faced by women in the entertainment industry and the impact of media portrayal on their lives.

“I was going through IVF, drinking Chinese teas, you name it. I was throwing everything at it,” Aniston said. “I would’ve given anything if someone had said to me, ‘Freeze your eggs. Do yourself a favor.’ You just don’t think it. So, here I am today. The ship has sailed.”

“The narrative that I was just selfish,” she said. “God forbid a woman is successful and doesn’t have a child. And the reason my husband left me, why we broke up and ended our marriage, was because I wouldn’t give him a kid. It was absolute lies. I don’t have anything to hide at this point.”

“I found it really painful going back over and reading some of the interviews and seeing how aggressively people pursued her about whether she was having children or not,” Ditum said. “It’s like the nightmare scenario of being at a family Christmas dinner and your relatives keep asking you when you’re going to have kids. Only it’s happened to you in the mass media every time you go out to have an interview.”

“It was quite difficult to read that and see it from her perspective,” she added. “And it’s for two reasons. No. 1, it’s because she’s a woman, and there has always been more focus on women and their fertility than there is on men and their fertility.”

“But, also, because of the … global fandom investment in her and Brad Pitt’s relationship and this expectation that they were going to go from being the golden couple to being the golden family. People wanted that for her, and when it didn’t happen, they were damn well going to ask her questions about why it didn’t happen, which was very unpleasant for her.”

“One of the things that I thought about a lot while I was writing this book was about the different ways that people can deal with celebrity,” Ditum said. “There are some people who get consumed by that image.

“Jennifer Aniston … she’s interested in acting, in comedy more than she’s interested in being a celebrity, I think. So, she doesn’t do a lot of the ‘celebrity’ stuff. She always says that she’s kind of baffled by social media and doesn’t understand why anyone would be on it.”

“One of the things that’s … protected her is that she’s always had a bit of reserve and distance between Jennifer Aniston herself, the person, and Jennifer Aniston, the character that was being invented and knocked around in the press. It surprised me how much dignity she’s managed to maintain.”

“While she was dealing with incredibly intrusive questions, it surprised me that she didn’t necessarily avoid the implications of fertility and relationships in the movie choices she was making. And partly that’s because if you’re a woman in Hollywood, you are going to get offered romantic roles. You’re going to get the wife, the girlfriend, whatever.”

“But looking over the stuff she did, there were some [projects} she chose to do that put, front and center, the idea of wanting a family and those things,” Ditum said. “But I think that’s just a function of what roles you are offered. And you can see there’s just a dearth of good roles for someone who comes out of network television in that era. And it’s only when you get to the streaming explosion that you suddenly have good roles for women on TV again.”

“She’s not spending her life mooning over her ex,” she said. “She had a series of relationships with incredibly attractive, talented men. She’s had a successful career in comedy and is now obviously at the peak of her game.”

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