Forever under our scrutiny, when a famous couple decides to part ways it is plastered over all of our media outlets. From Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s “conscious uncoupling” to Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris’ documented demise, none of these splits have had quite the impact or social media frenzy than the recent revelation that ‘Brangelina’ will be no more.
The golden couple of Hollywood, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, were idolised for their relationship and individual success in the industry in the ten years since they announced their partnership. Their wedding in 2004 was showcased by Hello! magazine, and each moment of their decade together has been documented online and in print. Despite all of this attention, there is another familiar face that is being dragged up again and again in their divorce narrative.
It is common knowledge that the beginning of Pitt and Jolie’s relationship was not precisely a thing of fairytales – Pitt’s marriage to Jennifer Aniston was still very much a part of his life when he met Jolie on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith and this failed relationship of our beloved Jen An has been one on which the dust has never been allowed to settle. Naturally therefore and almost instantaneous with the information that Jolie had filed for divorce was the onslaught of memes suggesting that Aniston would be pleased with the news, with gifs of her laughing circulating quickly. Not long after, articles were shared speculating Aniston’s response to the breakup, and a highly successful actor was dragged into a media frenzy that she should have no part of.
Aniston’s current husband, Justin Theroux, has slammed this apparent need for Aniston to be mentioned, stating “there’s an endless appetite for trash”. The celebrity culture that currently engulfs our society is an ugly thing, and one that we all partake in to some degree. It is plastered over the internet, fuelling what perhaps started as a mix of curiosity and admiration for that one percent of the population that lives the life we should all supposedly aspire to – utmost success and adoration.
Social media grants us an almost unrestrained access to all that celebrities do, and as they are given an outlet to share, we only hunger for more. It is evident that celebrities have little to complain about, and a certain level of introspection and scrutiny is an inevitable part of the business, but our thirst for scandal and clickbait pieces has made the public and private life of those we envy very difficult. A complete state of privacy is currently a foreign concept, but a need for some semblance of one should still be respected. No matter their bank balance and recognisable faces, celebrities are humans, and we all have our limits. Jennifer Aniston should not suffer because a man she was once married to is getting a divorce, and we must learn to find the line between curiosity and our “appetite for trash” before this culture does real harm.
(Image courtesy of The Dish)