Colin was still bummed out from England's early departure from UEFA Euro late last month. It didn't help that our housemates called the English team the most overrated footballers on the planet. We might have sensed the heatwave. Otherwise, we would talk little (and focus on the assignments and examinations). We've been studying the classics for a year, but it doesn't mean that we weren't allowed to discuss less-important topics. Jennifer Aniston's op-ed was one of them.
I chanced to meet Emma last weekend. My cousin was a huge fan of romantic comedy and an unapologetic tabloid reader. She didn't know what to make up of the Jennifer Aniston essay. She might have picked Huffington Post because there would be more serious readers. Facebook could have had the same effect, she added. She hardly sympathized with her, as she would be one of the few actresses who were past 40 and still have a career. And she kept on repeating her hair care products and ads for anti-aging creams.
Professor Hanley believed that Aniston's stature could make some men looked at women differently. It won't happen soon, she pointed out. There was hardly any change in America's ambivalent stance towards women, and my tutor thought that the actress was taking it personally. My tutor had a point, as the media could be unforgiving. (What really happened between Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt? No one would know.) And they would insist that this was part of the job. The professor argued that women would comprise the majority of tabloid readers, which surprised me. I wondered if the Jennifer Aniston essay would be the actress' possible foray into the political arena. My tutor was clearly amused. I was reserved yet dour.
The awful truth
My mother was a devoted follower of soap operas, so it seemed natural that she was up to date with the latest celebrity news. She could imagine the pressure that Jennifer Aniston was going through. She was successful, but the social norm would look at a married woman who could juggle family and career. In other words, she would be incomplete until she could have a child of her own. What about Helen Mirren? She admitted that she don't have any maternal instinct. And she turned out to be one of the few actresses who were passed the middle age and still have movie offers. Mom gave me a blank stare.
Emma figured that the Jennifer Aniston essay was a means of covering the actress' insecurities and fears. She will turn 48 next year, and there's no guarantee that the film projects will keep on coming. My cousin insisted that the actress won't be nominated for an Academy Award. And she thought that the media would give her a break when Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie part ways. She read the tabloid reports, but she couldn't tell if there was trouble in paradise.
Colin was taken aback at my mention of the Jennifer Aniston essay. Was I bored to death? Perhaps. He asked me if I was a huge fan of her works. I was unfamiliar with her films, but I saw a few episodes of "Friends". I could fall for Rachel Green. George was rather dismissive of the op-ed, as he thought that Aniston should be grateful that Hedda Hopper wasn't around. I asked my housemate if he knew of any actress from the studio era who had the same predicament as Aniston. He gave me a wry smile. I would be annoyed.