Jennifer Aniston grabbed headlines again this week.
This time the news focus wasn’t solely on her newest streaming series, the launch of a new product or a new film. It was Jennifer’s admission that she’d endured failed IVF and the “shitty” aftermath.
I’m not gonna lie. I’m glad Jennifer Aniston has come clean here in this Allure magazine cover story. I’d wondered — more than once — if she and I had more in common than our chronic frustration with pop culture’s slavish idolatry of baby bumps and motherhood. Take that infamous Huffington Post piece she wrote in 2016. She wanted to set the record straight about the media’s obsession with whether she was pregnant or not. Her piece held gems like this:
“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.”
“In 913 words Jennifer Aniston accomplished what many women (yours truly among them) have spent years trying to do: bring attention to a pervasive tendency by society to look down on women who are not mothers.”
Jennifer Aniston Puts IT Out There
Call it an infertile’s intuition, but I have a pretty good sense of who has or has not lived through IVF’s hellish torture. Jennifer Aniston seemed to walked right up to the edge of admitting to failed IVF back in 2016. Consider the exasperation in this paragraph:
“This past month in particular has illuminated for me how much we define a woman’s value based on her marital and maternal status. The sheer amount of resources being spent right now by press trying to simply uncover whether or not I am pregnant (for the bajillionth time… but who’s counting) points to the perpetuation of this notion that women are somehow incomplete, unsuccessful, or unhappy if they’re not married with children.”
I’m stating the obvious when I write that the “Failed IVF Club” is no one’s first choice. But once in it, you realize, as Jennifer Aniston noted to Allure:
“If it wasn’t for going through that [failed IVF], I would’ve never become who I was meant to be. That’s why I have such gratitude for all those shitty things. Otherwise, I would’ve been stuck being this person that was so fearful, so nervous, so unsure of who they were. And now, I don’t fucking care.”
Truer words were never spoken. Everyone cheers and celebrates and throws parties for women once they become mothers. So, it’s about f*cking time, we handed out a few awards for those who couldn’t or didn’t.
Jennifer Aniston, if you’re out there reading this: Step on up here to this virtual stage so I can hand you your sash and your crown. Stand tall, together with your sisters around the world, unashamed in all your beautiful, hard-won glory. We’re glad you’ve officially joined an ever-growing list of badass women. It’s long past due that we acknowledge to the world:
Yes, once you’ve come through the agony of losing children you once tried so damned hard to bring into the world, you arrive at an attitude of ‘I don’t fucking care’ what people think of me. You also develop an added layer of compassion coupled with an extraordinary understanding of loss. With it comes steely strength, fierceness, fortitude and resilience forged in fire that most people walking this earth will never fully understand.
Don’t Fall for the Make a Buck ‘Fertility’ Flacks
You’re not alone, Jennifer. We have your back and we get you. But, also a word of advice: don’t be fooled by the egg freezing propaganda. Clinic operators are already, I’m guessing, beating a path to your door. How do I know? Because PR and marketing folks representing egg freezing profiteers are already pinging me to interview egg freezing clinic managers and their equally opportunistic IVF operators. Ironically, they’re using you as a case study of what women don’t want to become. Seriously!
A note to the flacks filling my inbox: Did you not bother to read this blog and my bio first to see who you were pitching? You’re doing a superb job showing just how tone deaf the IVF and egg freezing industry truly is. Let me help you. Why don’t you read a few of the pieces linked below or check out my most popular blog posts in the sidebar, and then decide if you still want to hype egg freezing to young vulnerable women. Maybe turn your attention instead to climate change, voting rights and the many other topics that will actually help the next generation.