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Jennifer Aniston is really bored of everyone talking about her “milestone” birthday, and rightly so

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Christobel Hastings
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Whether it’s her appearance, relationships, or reproductive status, Jennifer Aniston’s life has always been subject to intense media scrutiny. But, true to form, the Hollywood star is shaking off the negativity and embracing the next chapter of her career. 

She’s one of Hollywood’s most iconic stars, but despite her enduring career, Jennifer Aniston continues to be plagued by obsessive media scrutiny on her appearance, love life, and the state of her uterus.

It doesn’t take much to imagine how maddening it must be to have your personal life continually examined in the public eye. But in spite of ongoing media speculation, the Friends actress is defying her critics with a happily-ever-after narrative of her own creation, and it’s all down to her work.

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Aniston, who recently made a return to the small screen as Audrey Spitz in Netflix’s summer comedy Murder Mystery, is starring in Apple’s upcoming TV drama The Morning Show as Alex Levy, a morning news anchor whose career is turned upside down when her co-star of fifteen years, Mitch Kessler (played by Steve Carell) is fired over sexual misconduct allegations. Things take a turn for the worse when an ambitious, aspiring journalist, Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) arrives on the scene to rival Levy for the top spot in the world of morning news, prompting Levy to fight off the pervasive sexism and ageism of her industry.

Fifteen years after the hit US sitcom Friends wrapped, Aniston has spoken out about her long-awaited return to TV, explaining that she’s feeling completely enervated by the scope of her creative projects.

“I’m entering into what I feel is one of the most creatively fulfilling periods of my life. Seriously,” the Marley and Me actress told the New York Times. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I feel like it’s just about to really bloom. I’ve failed. I’ve succeeded. I’ve overcome. I’ve, you know, I’ve stayed around. I’m still here.”

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Aniston, who was once dubbed “America’s sweetheart” also reflected on the media’s preternatural obsession with generating heat around her “milestone” 50th birthday, which she celebrated in February.

“50 was the first time I thought, ‘Well, that number,’” she continued. “I don’t know what it is because I don’t feel any different. Things aren’t shutting down in any way. I feel physically incredible.

“So it’s weird that it’s all of a sudden getting telegraphed in a way that’s like, ‘You look amazing for your age.’ I think we need to establish some etiquette around that dialogue and verbiage.”

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As Aniston so eloquently points out , a woman’s worth does not reside in her appearance, reproductive system, or relationship status. If the media were to examine the breadth of Aniston’s acting work over the years, and the award-winning performances that continue to accumulate, then we’d definitely have cause for conversation. But in any case, shutting down outdated gender norms that posit women as wives, mothers or spinsters, and giving airtime to her creativity beyond tabloid talk, simply underlines why she’s one of the greats.

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