25 October 2020

We’re Gonna Party like it’s 2005

The internet had a collective orgasm the other night. As I am pretty sure everyone knows, photos of Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt that are so wonderful (but also wholesome, look who we’re talking about here) were taken at the SAG awards – so much so that if you weren’t careful, you’d think we were somehow back in 2005. The one couple that could effectively drop the Sussexes to a secondary news story (at least for a day), is the blonder (at least for now as Brad has gotten himself some new highlights) part of the love triangle of doom. Their story is a study in celebrity relationships and gossip and how these things can both help and hinder a career. And, just as you thought a story might finally be winding down (15 years later FFS), it is reborn.

It’s like they’re playing with us (they are), they know we’ll all be in a frenzy (obviously) and that it’ll help build the new version of their brand. But will it?

For Brad Pitt, I definitely see the value in resuscitating Brennifer?Anispitt? He needs a positive spinoff story after the end of his last marriage and his continued estrangement with his children (though Hollywood and the public don’t seem to hold men to the same standard when it come to relationships with their children – hi there Tom Cruise – so I guess it’ll fade). Getting the world talking about him with Aniston, on the same night he is recognised by his peers for Once Upon A Time in Hollywood (that movie wasted two hours of my life that I will never get back and I am just not ok with it), is a definite win. It effectively erases any suspicions about past behaviour and firmly and likely forever placing him in golden boy territory.

But what about Jennifer Aniston? I mean, she’s riding on a high too. I haven’t seen The Morning Show, but I’ve read she was very good in it. She’s definitely at the top of her game right now – and those poor, single Jen articles are finally dead. Instead, she’s highlighting her work and living her best life. This is a Jen that I can definitely be a fan of.

Thing is, this whole needed for them to be coupled up like this is just so outdated and sad. Let’s not highlight her work, or a very successful career. Instead, we just really hope she gets back together with Brad. Sure, they were hot together fifteen years ago for sure. But six kids, 2 divorces and some excellent facial work later, they aren’t the same people. And society isn’t the same either. Why are we insisting that she needs to be coupled up?

More and more women are talking about how they don’t want to get married and have children. Even Queen Oprah spoke about it in an interview recently, and it’s something she has said before. She was focused on her show, her career, building her empire. As she should. Had she been married and had children, she would never had been able to build the life she has, or touched the number of lives she has been able to touch. She may have still been successful, but not to the scale she is today. She seems happy with her choice, so why shouldn’t we be happy for her?

Success means different things for different people. For some, it’s getting married, having a family, watching their children go off and lead wonderful lives. That’s a wonderful goal, and a beautiful life, if that’s what you want. But we have to stop assuming it is something that is supposed to happen, that it is the way life was meant to be lead. We need to kill this is societal expectation that we keep imposing on people, and in particular women, even if the contrary makes so many people uncomfortable. Imagine a world filled with women who not only have children and take care of their families, some at home, but who are also business moguls, celebrated artists, high level politicians – and are not judged because of their family situation, and only their accomplishments (much like men are). Imagine a world where more men stayed at home so even the women with families could go out there and take over. This is a scary prospect for all of those who are battling against equal rights today – because they know that in a world where people truly have the same opportunities, their mediocrity will shine through and they won’t have the power they do now.

But what does this have to do with Brad and Jennifer you ask? Well, maybe Jennifer is just happy at living her best life poolside in California with her friends, cocktail in hand, kicking ass at her job and having a good time. Hell, I know I would be. Maybe she doesn’t need to couple up with Brad again. Maybe, she’s fine just the way she is. Would that be so bad?

Image Credit: @Tero_Hoo