The Media Scrutiny Of Jennifer Aniston’s Fertility Struggles

It has recently been revealed by Jennifer Aniston in an Allure Magazine interview that she has struggled in the past with IVF fertility treatment and that ‘it was a really hard’[1] journey. However, now that Aniston has made it through that difficult time with ‘zero regrets’[2], she now feels ‘relief’[3], and so, decided to share this struggle with the world, even when it’s absolutely none of our business.

Jennifer Aniston has been a phenomenon for decades, since the popular (and personal favourite) tv show, Friends, where her hair could have said to be the second most famous thing about the sitcom. Still releasing movies and tv shows today, Aniston feels like the last of the old Hollywood celebrity age, with long lasting fame that now seems unachievable in the Tik Tok and influencer generation. However, being in the spotlight for so long has meant she borne the brunt of being a constant source for tabloids and gossip columns since the 90s. Aniston has had an impressive and ongoing career, and because the media couldn’t criticise her for her obvious talent, they picked on the topic people as a whole feel as though they are entitled to ask about when a woman reaches a certain age or gets a partner: children. 

Throughout Aniston’s lifetime, tabloids would say she wasn’t interested in kids, always pushing the narrative that she was ‘selfish’ and only cared about her career. Firstly, it is none of the media’s business what goes on in the life of a celebrity, especially with something as personal as having children. Secondly, there is no reason a woman focusing on her career should be viewed as something negative, or that all her worth should be based on motherhood. When a man doesn’t have children and focuses on their career, like actor Leonardo DiCaprio, no one bats an eyelid. It is also known that women are less likely to be casted in roles as they get older in comparison to men. When men have children, they can carry on working whereas women must take time off to take care of the child and/or recover after the birth. In all jobs, but especially in Hollywood, the constant change in new and upcoming actors has many roles awarded by chance and situation, having time away from work could make a big difference career wise.

Furthermore, having children shouldn’t be something that women have to be seen to strive towards and want, it should be an individual decision that is respected whether you decide to have them or not. The topic should also be discussed more sensitively, as it is not known if the person doesn’t want children or can’t have them. Although Aniston shouldn’t have felt as though she had to come forward about her struggles with IVF, a positive side of this was the comfort for others who have struggled with IVF to feel as though they are seen and that even the most famous of celebrities can relate.

Overall, the media should learn to mind their own business and let women live how they want and to make their own decisions without being scrutinised. However, we should also all stop feeling entitled to information of the inner lives of celebrities – we are all guilty of this, myself included. It was brave of Aniston to share her struggles, but it shouldn’t be something that she or anyone feels as though they must do. Our personal life should be able to stay personal without the immense pressure to reveal anything. Women shouldn’t have to feel as though they must have children to have worth, they should be able to choose whatever path in life they desire and continue to be respected for their decisions.

[1] Jennifer Aniston Has Nothing to Hide — Interview | Allure

[2] Jennifer Aniston Has Nothing to Hide — Interview | Allure

[3] Jennifer Aniston Has Nothing to Hide — Interview | Allure

Photo Credit: Jennifer Aniston by Benjamín Núñez is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.