Jennifer Aniston breaks down during emotional Q&A: “My heart can’t take it”

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Kayleigh Dray
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Jennifer Aniston participated in a Q&A with some of the young teens and children attending the 46th Annual Giffoni Film Festival on Italy's Amalfi Coast over the weekend

However she was brought to tears when one young girl asked her if she ever woke up not knowing who she was.

"There's not enough fingers and toes in this entire room to count how many times that moment has happened," the 47-year-old confessed.

"We're all human beings at the end of the day, whether we're a waitress or we're a baker or we're a student — whatever we are, at the end of the day, you can kind of hit walls and think 'I can't go any farther' or 'This is too much, my heart can't take it' or 'The pain is too great' or 'Am I good enough?' or 'Will I survive?'

"And you just have to sort of, somehow, miraculously overcome,” she said. “You just go, 'I can.' Yes, you can."

The Friends actress wiped tears from her eyes, as she continued to explain to her young fans that they are not alone in their insecurities; everyone, at some point in their lives, is overwhelmed with feelings of self-doubt.

“And also know that your actors, your idols, your icons, whatever you call them, have all had that experience or that moment in their lives many, many times,” she said.

“There’s nothing that separates us from you, because we all started at the same place. We all came out of nowhere. ­­Don’t punish yourself if you feel that. Go talk to people and seek help and always find something to inspire you.”

Jennifer Aniston, who doesn’t participate in social media herself, also touched upon the subject of using Instagram likes as a means of validation.

Young people, she said, need to remember that their self-worth is far more complex than any filter or carefully-framed photograph can ever be.

“I think we need to empower women to not just be about dresses and beauty and selfies. We need to start having conversations and put our phones down and get out of social media, take social media breaks,” she said.

“That’s why we’re not seeing the right stories being told, because everyone is stuck in their phones.”

Her powerful message comes shortly after she penned a blistering essay about tabloid sexism for The Huffington Post.

In it, she slammed the media for their constant (and often unfounded) reports about her personal life – as well as their abhorrent obsession with her body, and the pregnancy speculation that comes with constant invasive paparazzi photos.

She wrote: “For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up. I’m fed up with the sport-like scrutiny and body shaming that occurs daily under the guise of ‘journalism,’ the ‘First Amendment’ and ‘celebrity news.’”

Jennifer continued: “Yes, I may become a mother some day, but I’m not in pursuit of motherhood because I feel incomplete in some way, as our celebrity news culture would lead us all to believe. I resent being made to feel ‘less than’ because my body is changing and/or I had a burger for lunch and was photographed from a weird angle and therefore deemed one of two things: ‘pregnant’ or ‘fat.’

“Here’s where I come out on this topic: we are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child,” the actress concluded. “We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies. That decision is ours and ours alone…

“We don’t need to be married or mothers to be complete. We get to determine our own ‘happily ever after’ for ourselves.”

We couldn't have put it better ourselves, Jennifer.

Images: Getty


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.