Unfortunately for Jennifer Aniston, she’s had quite a few breakups in the public eye. Were she to date a banker from Iowa, she’d avoid the minefield of questions about Brad Pitt, Vince Vaughn, John Mayer, and Justin Theroux. Instead, she’s forced to not only defend her relationships, but to also defend the end of those relationships. And in an effort to fight against the media’s unfair narrative of Aniston as the sad, lonely girl who can’t keep a man, she’s pushed up against it with a consistent, opposing strategy. In a new interview with InStyle, Aniston insists she not heartbroken. This is not the first time she’s taken this route, and despite my love for all things Aniston, her comment begs an even more important question. What’s so wrong with being heartbroken, anyways?
Many celebrities air their dirty laundry in public, and it’s an act I often question. It is certainly no one’s right to know the personal business of our public figures, but broad-sweeping generalizations about divorce, breakups, grief, etc. are an easy way to relate without fully fanning out the deck. For example, when discussing her divorce from Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon told Elle Magazine,
“Right around Christmas time I was sitting in a parking lot and I felt like I just couldn’t get out of the car. . . . I thought, ‘Okay, half of the parking lot has dealt with this. More than half of the parking lot has dealt with this. Okay, let’s make it a little bigger. Half of this city has dealt with this. Okay, let’s make it a little bigger – half of this country, until I finally got out of the car.’”
Conversely, Phillippe told Man About Town Magazine,
“After the divorce, I was a physical wreck. I wanted to die. I was ready to kill myself. I was not taking care of myself at all. I would wake up and cry and vomit.”
I use these examples to illustrate that A-listers like Aniston need not always take the strong-girl route. Though she might not in fact be heartbroken, she certainly has the right to feel sad and lonely without being dubbed the “sad, lonely” girl.