Photographed by Ruven Afanador
Jennifer Aniston says she has stopped taking "hurtful" pregnancy rumors personally.
The actress, 52, talked to The Hollywood Reporter about of scrutiny over her personal life and some people's assumptions that she "chose career over kids," explaining that past pregnancy rumors were painful for her to see.
"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,'" said Aniston about attention toward her private life. "So you disappear as much as you can, you have fun, you take on these weird roles, you don't give a s—, you enjoy yourself, you remember that you have a gorgeous group of friends and your life is blessed and you do the best that you can."
"I used to take it all very personally — the pregnancy rumors and the whole 'Oh, she chose career over kids' assumption," she continued. "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."
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The Morning Show star added, "What the tabloids and the media did to people's personal lives back then, regular people are doing now [on social media]. 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?"
"Now you've got social media," she said. "It's almost like the media handed over the sword to any Joe Schmo sitting behind a computer screen to be a troll or whatever they call them and bully people in comment sections. So it's just sort of changed hands in a way. And I don't know why there's such a cruel streak in society. I often wonder what they get off on."
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Photographed by Ruven Afanador
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Aniston also addressed what she called a "double standard" with the treatment of men's personal lives.
"Men can be married as many times as they want to, they can marry women in their 20s or 30s. Women aren't allowed to do that," she said. "Men in their 30s, by the way, are way different from men in their 40s and 50s. And late 20s even — it's a whole new world that I'm finding is alive and kicking and they're not … what was my point? Oh, about maintaining a little bit of mystery so that people can suspend disbelief when they see you in character. I guess I feel like if you're doing what you do well enough, you should be able to do it. And if you're not, you probably shouldn't do it anymore."
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Aniston wrote a scathing essay back in 2016 for the Huffington Post addressing false pregnancy reports at the time, saying, "For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up."
"Here's where I come out on this topic: 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. "Let's make that decision for ourselves and for the young women in this world who look to us as examples. Let's make that decision consciously, outside of the tabloid noise. We don't need to be married or mothers to be complete. We get to determine our own 'happily ever after' for ourselves."
Added Aniston at the time, "I have grown tired of being part of this narrative. 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."