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Why is Jennifer Aniston's lovelife viewed as a disaster but George Clooney's not?

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Why is Jennifer Aniston's lovelife viewed as a disaster but George Clooney's not?

Post by Katiedot on Wed 15 Aug 2012, 13:01

Some interesting points:


Our Unyielding Obsession with Jennifer Aniston

Melissa Silverstein

If you've been under a rock for the last couple of days, I am here to inform you that we can all calm down now because Jennifer Aniston has finally gotten engaged. If you haven't been under a rock, you have been inundated with hideously titled articles that make me want to cringe. CNN did a photo spread called Jennifer Aniston's Men and USA Today wondered Has Jennifer Finally Found Her Happy Ending? (Those are the only ones I read the headlines of before giving up.)

We have been publicly obsessed with Jennifer Aniston since she got the haircut named for her character Rachel on Friends about 15 years ago (Yes, it has been that long. The show premiered in 1994.) All of the show's stars became huge, but Aniston was the biggest breakout. When she started dating Brad Pitt and they got his-and-hers matching highlights for the wedding, the deal was sealed.

She was pretty, seemingly perfect and had snagged the cutest guy in Hollywood.

We all know how that turned out. Since Brad and Jen broke up and Brangelina was spawned, we have, as a culture, been obsessed with watching Jennifer's love life and waiting for her to find the perfect man. Is this one going to give her the long-desired baby? Will that one hurt her like Brad?

I duly note that people are also incredibly obsessed with George Clooney's love life. But with him, it's always about which young woman he's been showing off and what a great life he has as the single man about town. Don't get me wrong, I admire him and his politics. But there is never an air of desperation in the stories about him. His stories are about freedom.

The stories written about Jennifer Aniston always make it seem like she is just desperate to get married and have a baby.

About the baby obsession: It has really gotten out of control. Kids seem to be another Hollywood accessory of late. Her desperation to get married was always coupled with her desperation for kids. As if an independent woman of means could not have a kid by herself if she wanted one.

Caitlin Moran said it best in a recent interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air. (And by the way, read her book, How to Be a Woman. I just started it and it is great.)

I mean just this week on the cover of Grazia, kind of like the biggest selling women's magazine in the U.K., was yet another picture of Jennifer Aniston with, you know, Jennifer's baby fear. And you know, we've spent 15 years discussing whether this woman is going to have a baby or not. I just think that's so rude. It's just, you know, we don't know what issues she's got. You know, that's totally her decision. The idea that this is like a national debate that we have all the time. You know, is she pregnant? Isn't she pregnant? Does she want a baby? Is she sad? Did she still wish she could have Brad's baby? Is she going to adopt a baby? Is she going to have a baby with this new boyfriend then leave him so she can be a single mother? It's just never been an option for Jennifer Aniston not to have a kid. Imagine if you saw George Clooney on the cover of a magazine every week with, is George broody? Is George going to adopt a baby? When is George going to have another kid? It would just seem weird. We'd seem demented, yet it's totally valid for women.
Jennifer Aniston illustrates a culture that is still so incredibly ambivalent about single women even though the numbers of single women — and single moms — keep growing. So while women are establishing and accepting their independence, at the same moment, the culture is tearing women down because it still really wants to promote marriage and so-called traditional values. As if there are any traditional values anymore.

Only a crazy loon would not wish Jennifer Aniston much happiness in her life. Maybe now that she is on her way to becoming Sadie, Sadie, married lady, people will leave her the hell alone. But I kind of doubt it. I'm guessing the tabloids are already prepping baby bump stories.

While I partly agree with that, I also think it's weird for George too: every girlfriend he dates is mentioned in the media as being 'the one' and that they're always 'in love' and about to get married or pregnant, so I think the media in general has issues with people being single. George is always being married off.

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Re: Why is Jennifer Aniston's lovelife viewed as a disaster but George Clooney's not?

Post by watching on Wed 15 Aug 2012, 13:43

Aniston has talked a length in interviews and on Oprah that she wanted marriage and kids. Hell when she was on Oprah when still married to Pitt, she admitted that she was taking pre-natal vitamins in the lead up to falling pregnant, the audeince cheered. So she gets held to her word by the public as she has told the world for the past ten years that she really wants kids. After her divorce, she talked about getting married again and of course she wanted children and that she will have children. She fuels the fire and that speculation into her life as she has dated a number of men that she would never have married or had be a father to her children. So people start questioning if she ever meant it or if it was just PR to sell her as the girl next door (much like her TV character who ultimately found her happiness with a bloke and kid). There are those who argue that in the 7 years post divorce from Pitt, if she truly wanted kids like she has said over and over again, she could have made it happen by now.

George has been clear about what he wants/doesnt want and much like Aniston, the public take him at his word. He has stated that he doesn't want to wed or have kids. The majority of people out there know he isn't getting married again. I don't believe that any of the editors publishing the "she's the one to change his mind" stories honestly believe it.

I do think there is an element of sexism in the press writeups though. If you are single childless woman over a certain age, you are having to defend your choices (see Cameron Diaz, Eva Mendes, Kim Cattrell, Renee Zellweger, Oprah) and asked if you regret not having a "family" (like a kid is the only way to build a family for yourself). If you are a man, you are celebrated and applauded for bucking convention. Most publicists will tell you that a woman in the public eye who clearly states she doesn't want marriage and kids (the way George has) is considered unrelatable to the masses and it can be career suicide.
Practically on first name terms with Mr Clooney

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Re: Why is Jennifer Aniston's lovelife viewed as a disaster but George Clooney's not?

Post by Missa on Sat 25 Aug 2012, 22:53

I also think part of it is that Aniston played the victim card for a looooong time after her split from Brad. She would bring it up in interviews whether or not she was asked directly about it. So she played into that "Jen is still sad!" storyline herself. I also tend to agree with what watching said above, about whether Jen ever actually wanted children. She seems to enjoy her life as is.

That said, I remember a few years ago, People magazine ran a cover story about "Hollywood's Most Eligible Bachelors", of course with George on the cover, along with I think Jake Gyllenhaal and maybe Leonardo Dicaprio. It was all very wink wink, nudge nudge, these rascals are sowing their wild oats. Literally the VERY NEXT WEEK, People's cover story was about famous single actresses, including Nicole Kidman, Renee Zellweger, and Cameron Diaz. The title? Everything but Love. The whole article was a sad song about how these wealthy, successful women were obviously miserable because they didn't have a man. Confuzzled
Clooney-love. And they said it wouldn't last

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Re: Why is Jennifer Aniston's lovelife viewed as a disaster but George Clooney's not?

Post by lucy on Sat 25 Aug 2012, 23:40

Seems to me that's it's always been ok for boys to be boys, but the girls! Remember when Julia Roberts was a up and coming actress, she dated a lot of her co-stars and people commented in a negative way, but it was OK for the male actors and had been for a long time. Double standards. George's GF's use to make me upset, but no longer, he's a grown man, single, and he's not leading any of them on. They know he doesn't want till death do us part.
Not really sure about JA, does she really play the poor-poor pitiful me, or is it mostly the tabloids making yet another buck on the Jen/Brad/Angie same old. Why does anyone have to be in a for life relationship and be a parent to find true happiness? There's other lifestyles and not everyone is happy with the same person for a lifetime.
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Re: Why is Jennifer Aniston's lovelife viewed as a disaster but George Clooney's not?

Post by Katiedot on Sun 26 Aug 2012, 04:20

Good points everyone.

I think it's also partly to do with the fact that the media who write about the celebrities don't know all that much about the people they're writing about - think about how many inacurracies we read about reporting in George's life.

When you think about it, that's only to be expected firstly because there are a hell of a lot of celebs out there (the entire cast of every reality show for example) and who on earth would waste their time getting to know these people in depth?

And secondly because nobody really has a real insight into celeb lives. All those reports we read in The Daily Mail for example are based on nothing more than guesswork. The media reporting on stars' activities weren't there and don't know what really happened or why.

As a result, each celeb just becomes a charicature of themselves and the reporting done on them simply follows this. For example, George Clooney is the sexy stud women want and men want to be. Self-evidently he must be happy in his life - who wouldn't be?!

There may be some truth in the charicature but most human beings are complex creatures. Tabloid journalism in particular, doesn't allow for in-depth, complex reporting so every story is shaped around what we already think we know about that celeb.

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Re: Why is Jennifer Aniston's lovelife viewed as a disaster but George Clooney's not?

Post by it's me on Sun 26 Aug 2012, 06:58

really very well said

we need to remind that more often

thanks Kat
it's me
George Clooney fan forever!

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Re: Why is Jennifer Aniston's lovelife viewed as a disaster but George Clooney's not?

Post by tzizz on Sun 26 Aug 2012, 16:39

An article referenced by Einstein on his twitter. Two photos (one of George and one of Jennifer) that didn't copy when I cut and pasted the article. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Brunch/Brunch-Stories/Have-you-come-a-long-way-baby/Article1-919241.aspx

Sunday, August 26, 2012
Seema Goswami, Hindustan Times
August 25, 2012
Email to Author

First Published: 16:30 IST(25/8/2012)
Last Updated: 16:37 IST(25/8/2012)
Have you come a long way, baby?
So, how would you feel about a glamorous, gorgeous Hollywood star with millions in the bank and a steady succession of positively edible eye-candy on the arm? A star who holidayed in scenic locations throughout the year, showing off bronzed limbs and a perfectly-toned torso? A star who made frequent appearances in the gossip columns, thanks to a torrid and sometimes hectic love life? A star who seemed to have everything: money, fame, success, and lots of sex?

Let me guess. You would admire this apocryphal figure, right? You would gaze enviously at the holiday homes and the private jets. You would marvel at the numbers of partners notched up. You would wonder about how lucky some people can get.

Nobody treats George Clooney like a failure because he has never remarried after a brief fling with matrimony early in life Photo: Getty Images

Yes, if we were talking about George Clooney, this is exactly how most people would respond. Here’s a handsome movie star with a jet-setting lifestyle, complete with private planes, holiday homes in exotic locations, and a bevy of interchangeable beauties who seemed to grow ever younger as he grew older and greyer.

Wow! What’s not to love? Or to envy.

But if the star in question was Jennifer Aniston, the reaction would be very different, wouldn’t it? As, indeed, would the narrative, even when the facts of the case are much the same.

Yes, the rules are reversed when it comes to the ladies. So while Clooney is written up as the man who has everything, Jennifer Aniston must always be portrayed as ‘poor old Jen’, always so unlucky in love. First, her husband, Brad Pitt, left her to play Happy Families with his Mr and Mrs Smith co-star, Angelina Jolie. Then her rebound guy, Vince Vaughn, didn’t quite work out. And let’s not even get into John Mayer (honestly, what was she thinking?) or what’s his face, Paul Sculfor.

And now, poor thing, she’s looking for love with a younger man, Justin Theroux. But hang on. She is now 43. Yes, you read that right: 43. Is it too late for her to have babies? Has she put her ovaries on ice for far too long? Can she ever have the fairy-tale ending that all women long for: with a doting husband and a brood of beautiful babies?

Poor old Jen, indeed! It must be a dreadful life, right? To have made enough money to never have to work again unless you choose to; to have your pick of the handsome leading men of Hollywood; to still look amazing on the shady side of 40; to be in control of your life. God, I can’t quite figure out how she copes!

But sarcasm aside, isn’t it a tiny bit worrying that even if you are a Hollywood star in the 21st century, you still have to abide by some romantic, medieval notion of how women should live their lives? That unless you are in a happy marriage – which has produced a couple of kids – your life is essentially worthless. And that you must be spending all your time chasing that ever-elusive dream; no matter how loudly you protest otherwise.

Jennifer Aniston is rich, famous and successful: and yet, the media persist in painting her as the eternal victim Photo: Getty Images

To be fair to Jennifer Aniston, she has never played into the poor old Jen narrative of her life story, as retold by the tabloid press. She never tires of pointing out that she is fed up of the eternal triangle she is expected to form with ex-husband Brad and his new partner Angelina. She has moved on; and so should we. She loves her bachelor lifestyle. She is in no hurry to get married again. And she is not sure about having children because kids can get a bit ‘messy’. In other words, she loves her life the way it is.

But no matter what Aniston may say, somehow the narrative of Jen as victim has gotten some sort of insidious hold on the world. And even now, when Justin has announced that he got the ‘best birthday present ever’ on his 41st birthday when Jennifer accepted his proposal (and an eight carat, emerald-cut diamond ring), we are still not willing to let it go.

So now, it’s become all about how Aniston, the poor thing, is trying to steal the Jolie-Pitt thunder by announcing her engagement in the week before her ex-husband and his partner are planning to get hitched in a private wedding at their French chateau. Poor old Jen. She never did get over being dumped by Brad.

Meanwhile, George Clooney continues to party his way across the world with his current squeeze, the former wrestler (honestly, you couldn’t make this stuff up!), Stacey Keibler, having dumped the gorgeous Italian model, Elisabetta Canalis, when she became too clingy. Nobody treats him like a failure because he has never remarried after a brief fling with matrimony early in life. And nobody regards him with pity because he has failed to procreate (though, God knows, the world could do with a few mini-Clooneys).

George Clooney and Jennifer Aniston have a lot in common. They both started out as TV sensations, he with ER, she with Friends. They both went on to have film careers, albeit with varying degrees of success. They both had failed first marriages. And they both went on to have a string of relationships afterwards. But you wouldn’t guess that from the way their stories are told by the media.

I guess in the end it really doesn’t matter just how far you’ve come, baby. If you’re a woman, your life is still deemed worthless unless you have a baby (or two), and a husband to call your own. Yes, even if you are Jennifer Aniston.

seema_ht@rediffmail.com. Follow Seema on Twitter at twitter.com/seemagoswami


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