There’s an episode in Friends in which Jennifer Aniston’s character, Rachel Green (we’re guessing you’ve heard of her), convinces Ross’s new girlfriend Bonnie to shave her head. Yup, not exactly subtle script writing is it?
At this point in series three, Rachel and Ross had a long history of dating behind them: not did they flirt at high school but they had seriously dated as adults. So, when he meets someone new and invites her to come on a trip away with his friends, it’s only a matter of time until Rachel, his ex girlfriend, simply has to not only hate this woman, but plot against.
In this instance, it’s to try and rob her of her attractiveness, taking away a symbol of what society considers stereotypically female and therefore fits into the restrictive beauty standards we set.
Because, women are bitchy, aren’t they? They couldn’t possibly get along if they are, for example, working on the same level professionally or have dated the same person.
We’ve seen it again and again in TV shows and films, women pitted against each other, often playing into the trope of “crazy ex-girlfriend”.
So, it feels like a glorious middle finger up to this industry and narrative that in a recent interview for Interview Magazine, Aniston has revealed that she met one of her closest friends (who also happens to be one of the biggest names in Hollywood), through their mutual ex-boyfriend.
Speaking with Sandra Bullock for the interview, Aniston recalls when they met for the first time, years ago at the Golden Globes.
Referring to actor Tate Donovan, Bullock explains: “Yes, and we were introduced by our former boyfriend. I say ‘our’ because you and I both partook of this one human being.”
“Yes, we did. That’s a beautiful way of saying it,” Aniston agrees. “We both partook of Tate”.
Laughing together, the two women herald his “type” as “talented, funny, kind, introspective, generous, lovers of architecture, lovers of interior design”.
Before remembering that the second time they met was at a friend’s wedding, and clearly their connection was already pretty strong: “I sent you a note and you sent me a shot”, says Aniston.
Bullock muses that the pair went back and fourth with notes and drinks a few times, before “getting sick” from drinking together, which we can presume solidified their bond.
Bullock continues to ask, “why did it take so long for us to connect?”, telling Aniston that her first impression of her was “a beautiful woman who has extraordinary timing, [which is] impossible to find”.
In a society obsessed with pitting women against each other, it’s so empowering to hear two of the most successful female actors talking about how they came together through a bond that we’re programmed to think should make us enemies.