Jennifer Aniston says there is a pressure on women to become mothers or they risk being “deemed damaged goods”.
A frequent target of tabloid magazines speculating whether her decision not to have children is due to heartbreak over a divorce to actor Brad Pitt in 2005 or because she has “committed to a career”, Aniston said the “reckless accusations” were hurtful because “maybe [her] purpose on this planet isn’t to procreate”.
In a wide-ranging interview with InStyle magazine, Aniston, 49, spoke of her attempts to remain “poised and balanced” while the tabloids attempted to tell her story for her.
Having previously hit out at the magazines for “absurd” body shaming, the Friends star said the assumptions about her were made without any real knowledge of her life.
“It’s pretty crazy. The misconceptions are “Jen can’t keep a man” and “Jen refuses to have a baby because she’s selfish and committed to her career”. Or that I’m sad and heartbroken,” she said.
“First, with all due respect, I’m not heartbroken. And second, those are reckless assumptions.
“No one knows what’s going on behind closed doors. No one considers how sensitive that might be for my partner and me.
“They don’t know what I’ve been through medically or emotionally.
“There is a pressure on women to be mothers, and if they are not, then they’re deemed damaged goods.
“Maybe my purpose on this planet isn’t to procreate. Maybe I have other things I’m supposed to do?”
Aniston said she regarded her treatment by sections of the media as sexist.
“Women are picked apart and pitted against one another based on looks and clothing and superficial stuff,” she said.
“When a couple breaks up in Hollywood, it’s the woman who is scorned. The woman is left sad and alone. She’s the failure. F that.
“When was the last time you read about a divorced, childless man referred to as a spinster?”