'Poor Jen' gets a ring on it
SMALL PRINT:WHEN THE tabloids’ own real-life Bridget Jones, Jennifer Aniston, got engaged to Justin Theroux at the weekend, the announcement could not have been more saccharine: “ Justin Theroux had an amazing birthday on Friday, receiving an extraordinary gift when his girlfriend, Jennifer Aniston, accepted his proposal of marriage,” Theroux’s representative told People magazine.
For many people, Aniston (43), represents the type of single woman people like to get their claws into: one who is in her 40s, and “lost” her husband Brad Pitt to Angelina Jolie. The narrative constructed around the supposed triangle of Pitt, Jolie and Aniston has rumbled on for seven years, selling millions of magazines.
Theroux (41) an actor (Mulholland Drive, American Psycho, Six Feet Under), director, screenwriter (Tropic Thunder, Iron Man 2, Rock of Ages) and general cool guy about town has been dating Aniston for around 15 months – half a decade in celebrity years. The couple recently purchased a €17m house in California.
How Aniston is treated in the press also reveals that the gender gap in Hollywood is wider than most. Her unmarried male counterparts such as George Clooney are free to romp around Beverley Hills and Lake Como unchastened, while Aniston intermittently known as either “Poor Jen” or “America’s Sweetheart” is seen as the jilted girl next door who lost out to the hotter cheerleader. Aniston, who achieved global fame and fortune as the character Rachel Greene in the sitcom Friends maintained a dignified silence regarding her personal life, yet varying degrees of sympathy and patronising tones coloured the commentary on her love life.
Presumably, the celebrity press online and off, will continue the Brad-Angie-Jen narrative that has been such a cash cow: the predictable headlines about Angelina’s made-up fury over Jennifer’s engagement or a rumoured thunder-stealing marriage from the Pitt-Jolies write themselves. And that’s even before we await months of pregnancy rumours and projected details about their wedding plans.
With Aniston and Theroux constantly in the spotlight and every frown, laugh and outfit change documented by the paparazzi, they’re going to need all the engagement wishes they can get.