When I start hearing people drag out the end of sentences to sound more like questions, I start to think that this person must watch a lot of the Kardashians. Similarly, when I find myself thinking about the whole Brad and Angelina snafu more than I would like to admit, I start to think I must be spending too much time on Facebook or Instagram.
I’m not a huge into celebrity gossip. I’m not going to say that I never read an article about juicy celeb rumors, but I also don’t really eat it up either. Still, harmless memes posted as jokes on Instagram give me parts of a story that I piece together as I go. This week, it just happens to be Jennifer Aniston in a cheerleader’s uniform, “cheering” about the divorce of her ex.
I’m just going to say, I am a huge fan of Friends and Jennifer Aniston. I know about the whole Brad and Jennifer break up, not because I’m some ruthless vulture that gets off on the drama of others, but because I could relate to it. I always felt like Aniston got shafted, and yet, she held her head high and still had a successful career. Things didn’t turn out the way she wanted but she still made the best of it. That’s my idealized, hint-of-underdog take on it. It inspired me.
And, you know, I never really hated Brad and Angelina, either, because I just thought, “Hey, that’s the way it works out sometimes.” My first serious boyfriend broke up with me and started dating someone else right away. I was devastated, heart broken, angry and felt betrayed. I HATED her. And him. And really everyone.
But, as time went on and I matured in age and emotion, I let go of all that anger and hatred and betrayal. I got to the point where I just thought, “Hey, that’s just the way that one went. That’s what made them happy. It sucked for me, but it doesn’t make them horrible people.” And, if I can do that at age 20, than I’m sure Jennifer Aniston is capable at age 40.
What I’m seeing in the media right now is ugly. Memes of Jennifer Aniston portrayed as some kind of vindicated, smug school girl who finally got hers. Angelina Jolie has been dubbed a ‘crazy lunatic’ by Chelsea Handler, indicating that the only thing Brad did wrong in all of this was marry a woman that couldn’t hold her shit together. Apparently, Brad’s off shagging someone else, but we don’t really care about that because we’re too busy watching the spectacle of women being assholes to each other.
(I’m just going to stop for a minute and remind everyone that we actually don’t even know these people at all. We know their public image and they are all playing the game because it’s what they are paid to do. So EVERYTHING we see and hear needs to be taken with a grain of salt.)
But, for arguments sake, let’s say that what we see and hear about these people are a true indication of what is actually going on here. I’m going to (try to) break this down to you in a way that takes out all of the stereotypes of crazy, vengeful women and just propose a story line free of biases.
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt fall in love. They get married. Brad works on a movie with Jolie and maybe didn’t mean to, but he fell in love her. Maybe Jennifer was distant, maybe they both got really comfortable and didn’t feel it anymore, maybe their relationship was more about looking like the perfect couple rather than actually being the perfect couple. Maybe the end was already coming and this just happened. Or maybe she really was super in love with him and he loved her but they outgrew each other. Maybe he felt bad, maybe he didn’t, maybe he’s shitty or maybe he’s not. We don’t know.
I’m not condoning cheating, but they are both humans and shit happens. I guarantee anyone reading this article knows SOMEONE in their life who has cheated but could still be considered a good person overall.
Now, for Angelina’s part in this…
Perhaps she wasn’t the seductive mistress she’s been portrayed as or the “other woman” who won in the end. Maybe she didn’t mean to fall in love with Brad, either. Maybe it just happened. Maybe she even felt bad but in the end ultimately decided that she didn’t want to give up the man she loved just because someone else was going to get hurt. Who hasn’t been in that situation before? Or maybe she wasn’t worried about Aniston. We don’t know.
Either way, both are successful women. Angelina Jolie supports at least 29 charities, most centering around children, she has been on field missions in more than 20 countries, started her own foundation, was named UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, was the first recipient of the Citizen of the World Award, and so much more. That’s not to mention her success as an award winning actress and filmmaker. Why aren’t we talking about that?
Jennifer Aniston supports at least 22 charities, most centered around children, the homeless, and cancer. She is an advocate for St. Jude Children’s research Hospital, has donated more than a million dollars to charity, and won the GLAAD Vanguard Award in 2007 for “outstanding contributions to increase understanding and awareness” to the LGTB community. She is one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood and is an award winning artist, producer and business woman. She did this, even after 10 years of being asked ridiculous questions about her ex and his new wife.
Jolie and Pitt didn’t work out, and yet somehow, Jennifer Aniston’s name is still being thrown around like candy during a parade, which is insulting to her, to Jolie, and really every female who has ever been accused of not being able to properly handle emotions (myself included.)
Here’s what women ARE NOT:
- Crazy, vengeful beings that are obsessed with the lives of their ex
- Waiting around for the men that cheated on them to come back
- Hoping the girl that came after them “gets hers”
- Crazy “c*nts” that deserve to be cheated on because of an action they participated in over 10 years ago
Maybe some people find themselves in these situations, but the majority of females are not.
Once, when I was particularly upset of the end of a relationship with a guy who really wasn’t good for me at all, my parents reminded me not to be bitter about the girl who comes next. When that girl did come along, and I bashed her for “being ugly,” my parents condemned my behavior. (I see now my behavior was actually the only ugly thing in this situation.)
They said, “If you know how he treated you, and it wasn’t great, why aren’t you being more empathetic for the girl who will have to deal with his behavior next?” Good point. Furthermore, I came to realize that my ex may have changed. Maybe the behavior he had that I found unfair, he worked on. Or maybe someone else didn’t find it as unfair and maybe it’s good he found someone like that – a conversation for another day, but you get it. What I’m trying to say is, human nature is fluid. There is good, there is bad, and people grow and transform every day.
I hate the idea that people may think I’m still hurt over my ex, because I think it’s an insult to me. It implies that a woman feels like nothing without a man. That a man was so good for me, meant so much to me, that I am still bitter over his exit from my life. This is insulting at face value, but even more so when you consider all that I’ve accomplished before he walked into my life, during his stay in my life, and afterwards. It discounts how I picked myself up after a break-up and assumes that in some way, however small, I am still pining after him. This whole media storm of Aniston vs. Jolie implies that Aniston is still bitter over Brad, suggesting that she was and is still unable to find complete happiness without him. THIS JUST IN: Females can find happiness without male sidekick. Don’t believe me? Ask me, I’ll tell you how I did it.