Part of the tabloid mould is to unfairly and insensitively speculate on whether female celebrities are pregnant or are planning to have children—Jennifer Aniston has experienced this to a higher degree than many others over her decades-long career in the limelight.
Now the actor has taken control of that narrative by opening up for the first time about her fertility struggles and attempts with IVF, revealing that she went through some “hard shit” while she tried to conceive.
In an interview with Allure, Aniston revealed that throughout all those years of tabloid speculation, the actor was secretly undergoing IVF—a raw and frank reminder of how wrong it is to assume or probe women on whether they’re pregnant, because no one knows what’s really going on behind closed doors.
“All the years and years and years of speculation… It was really hard. I was going through IVF, drinking Chinese teas, you name it,” the actor told the publication.
“I was throwing everything at it. I would’ve given anything if someone had said to me, ‘Freeze your eggs. Do yourself a favour.’ You just don’t think it. So here I am today. The ship has sailed.”
Aniston said she has no regrets now, and even feels a little relief after navigating the journey.
“I actually feel a little relief now because there is no more, ‘Can I? Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.’ I don’t have to think about that anymore.”
Having finally shared her story, the 53-year-old said it felt like “coming out of hibernation”.
“I’ve spent so many years protecting my story about IVF. I’m so protective of these parts because I feel like there’s so little that I get to keep to myself… I don’t have anything to hide.”
The actor also discussed the problematic narrative tabloids continue to spin about successful female celebrities and whether they have children.
“God forbid a woman is successful and doesn’t have a child,” Aniston quipped.
The Friends alum added that her challenging journey through IVF has only made her stronger.
“If it wasn’t for going through that, I would’ve never become who I was meant to be. That’s why I have such gratitude for all those shitty things,” she explained.
There’s no doubt Jen is speaking for many women in this circumstance—here’s hoping her opening up will give some perspective to anyone who speculates about a women’s choice to have children.