The Guardian: Jennifer Aniston and the sad single lady media narrative

The Guardian: Jennifer Aniston and the sad single lady media narrative

I have a piece in The Guardian today, about Jennifer Aniston’s engagement and why we’re all so invested in her finally getting re-married.

I wish Aniston and Justin Theroux nothing but the best, but I wish our fixation on her left ring finger would stop. Not just hers, either: all women’s. Our willingness to buy into this “Jen single and loathing it” narrative, and our willingness to watch romcom after romcom in which the professionally fulfilled woman realises that the only thing that will really bring her life meaning is a diamond ring are one and the same. And they’re inextricable from our belief that an unmarried woman is somehow less of a woman. Incomplete. Unfulfilled. Miserable.

Here’s a People headline you never saw: Jen Single by Choice! And here are the bullet-point subheadings you never saw printed underneath it: Totally happy! Doesn’t need a man to validate her existence! Would rather be single than marry someone she isn’t wild about just for the sake of getting married! In gossip magazine world, just as in romantic comedy world, no one actually feels this way. Those successful professional women might tell themselves and their concerned loved ones that they’re totally fine being single, but we, the audience, know that they’re just lying to themselves. That’s what we’ve believed about Aniston all these years. She must be unhappy. How could an unmarried woman her age possibly be fine with it?

You can read the rest here.


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