The Allure of Jennifer Aniston

I just don’t get it.  I suppose that’s because I am a woman.  I mean she is pretty.  And wholesome in appearance.  You can’t really imagine Jennifer doing anything bad.  She’s got too sweet a face for that.  But is that who she really is?  I don’t think so.  The girl next door stereotype is behind that image.  And on that basis, who wouldn’t love to have Jennifer Aniston, the thespian(?), living next door?  Huh?

Anyway, I haven’t doggedly followed her career, but in the movies I have seen her play in, she consistently turns out a fine performance.  However, who could cast her as Medea, for example?  And that is not simply unique to Aniston but to all actresses who attempt this idealized version of women we live with in our culture, our world.

If you’ve ever chronicled the history of film, you will notice that with each generation to emerge, similar physical characteristics — especially the women — are in demand and you can even see resemblances between actresses from the 20s, for example, right through today.  (I can’t think of any at the moment, off-hand, but they exist.)

So this standard of beauty was adopted early in film and has sustained itself for close to a century and women who have stars in their eyes go to Hollywood and wait to be discovered.  I wonder how many of them there are?

I am happy to see that however slowly ever since women have entered the ranks of film decision-making hierarchies the standard now appears to have blemished slightly, as it might, when women start defining how they want to be portrayed, instead of male fantasies governing those territories.  I like to see roles developed for older thespians, both men and women.

Maybe it’s part of our madness with youth so endemic in our culture that no one wants to think about getting old?  Don’t know.  But we are youth-oriented, and have played down the importance of experience in human development.  Experience, naturally, requires time and although not impossible to remain forever young, right(?), when the skin begins to resemble crepe paper, we must recognize that humans change.  (Hard to do when you want to stay young forever.) And they become old — some of them, anyway — and must live as old people do in our culture especially, institutionalized.  You can buff away all the implications of the fundamental shift in living standards and call them things like, Leisure World, but essentially we are using these places as repositories for the aged population, because we can’t deal with them, maybe?

And thus we indulge our fantasies with visions of Jennifer Aniston and consider ourselves healthy.

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