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There’s something about Jennifer

After all these years as our favourite on Friends, why are we still so fascinated by Hollywood actress, Jennifer Aniston, asks Psychologies Associate Editor, Anita Chaudhuri – and what does it reveal about us?

Headlines across the globe screamed: ‘Jen’s pregnant!’. There was no need to ask, ‘Jen who?’. Legions of us stopped what we were doing to pore over this latest episode of Ms Aniston’s real-life soap opera. Could it possibly be true? ‘But... she’s 47!’ was the first thought. The frenzy around the ‘baby bump’ story gathered such momentum, Jennifer was forced to deny rumours, saying, ‘For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up... fed up with the sport-like scrutiny and body shaming that occurs under the guise of “journalism”, the “First Amendment” and “celebrity news”.’*

It’s not a new narrative. Looking back through the celebrity magazine archives, the headlines follow a familiar pattern: ‘Jen: Pregnant at 40!’; ‘My baby is a miracle!’; ‘Pregnant and alone!’; ‘It’s a girl!’; and, more recently, ‘Yes, I’m pregnant – with twins!’ The latter ran last year in OK! Magazine, illustrated with a fake ultrasound scan, helpfully captioned in microscopic type: ‘Dramatisation’.

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Psychologies September 2016 - Find your Serenity