In the magazine world, the September issue, and not just for Vogue, is the priority issue. It’s where they make ad money. It’s where the clothes for the new season are showcased. Things may have changed since so much content has moved to digital but there’s still a certain prestige with the September issue and most publications are looking for a big name to cover their September issues. And InStyle’s big get for September 2021 is Jennifer Aniston.
This has been timed for the release of the second season of The Morning Show on September 17 on Apple, overlapping with the final two or three episodes of season two of Ted Lasso. Is that the streaming services version of a lead-in show? Ted Lasso and The Morning Show are Apple’s marquee series. Airing them back-to-back is subscriber retention and attraction.
As Alex Levy, Jennifer Aniston gave one of the best performances of her career, perhaps the best performance of her career. She’s never been more brittle and raw, she’s never been more exposed, she’s never gone for it so vulnerably, and almost 30 years after she broke out in the business, she’s reached a new level of popularity – from Gen X to Gen Z, from TikTok to analog, everybody knows her. “Knows” is the operative word here because, I mean, it’s been a while, so what’s Jennifer Aniston going to say in an interview that reveals anything new; does she even want to reveal anything new?
So there’s not that much that’s surprising here in this conversation between Jen and InStyle editor Laura Brown. By now, we KNOW: she’s a good friend, she hates tabloid bullsh-t, she’s takes care of her body, she’s done a lot of therapy, she’s worked on herself. Oh, but maybe this is new: she’s one of those people who can stop at one chip. If she’s stressed, she’ll have a chip. And she knows that’s annoying so there’s no point in telling her that’s annoying.
What’s not annoying at all, at least to me, is a side to herself that Jen’s been flexing more and more of, especially since she joined Instagram. This is something I wrote about last year with respect to Jen, before the US presidential election – her activism, her vocal activism. When the pandemic started in the west, she used her platform to counter the crazy conspiracy theories that COVID was a hoax; she encouraged people to stay home, stay safe, wear masks. And then after George Floyd’s murder, she was firmly in support of Black Lives Matter. As the election approached, she was clear that she was voting for Joe Biden and the Democratic ticket and specific on the issues that matter to her: racial equality, reproductive rights, 2SLGBTQ+ rights, the environment, and more. And now, in this interview, she is taking it to the anti-vaxxers:
“And there's still a large group of people who are anti-vaxxers or just don't listen to the facts. It's a real shame. I've just lost a few people in my weekly routine who have refused or did not disclose [whether or not they had been vaccinated], and it was unfortunate. I feel it's your moral and professional obligation to inform, since we're not all podded up and being tested every single day. It's tricky because everyone is entitled to their own opinion — but a lot of opinions don't feel based in anything except fear or propaganda.”
A couple of things here – in Jen’s Hollywood and general LA circle, where there are a lot affluent wellness and lifestyle people, there’s definitely an anti-vaxx presence. So she’s calling out, and in some cases cutting off, as she explains, those in her immediate vicinity and sending a message to those in the wider orbit. Like the cross-section of MiniVan Majority members and Karens on Facebook who’ve identified with her since Rachel Green but won’t get vaccinated, and are one of the big reasons this f-cking pandemic isn’t over and is heading into a fourth wave in many parts.
Sure, Jennifer Aniston is wealthy and privileged, so it’s not like there’ll be an impact to her livelihood for taking this stance. But it’s still a positive that she doesn’t give a sh-t about alienating these people. It should be the powerful to take these kinds of hits, they have the armour for it.
That’s the pull-quote from this profile, and if these are the kinds of pull-quotes we’re getting from her after three decades…great. More please.
As for Jennifer Lopez, she comes up in conversation when Jen Aniston and Laura are talking about red carpet posing and Jen doesn’t think she’s any good at it, even after all this time. She says she’s not nearly as good as JLo. Girl, who is?
“You know who I think masters the red carpet? JLo. I want to know what gives her the look like she's about to be seething. It's amazing. She's almost stuck getting mad at somebody, but she's just so gorgeous. She's like, "I can't believe I'm standing here." But I don't think she's trying; she fell out of bed that way. She's a performer.”
First of all, LOL that Jennifer Aniston calls Jennifer Lopez JLo. Like she sees her the same way we do. Also, they’re the same age. And I’m sure you’re aware, Jen Aniston gets the same “OMG look at her at 52!” comments that JLo gets. Aniston was trending yesterday when this article and the photos came out for precisely this reason. The photos are indeed really, really good.
I like the one they’ve chosen for the cover, with the backlight, and she looks great in green, I wish she’d wear more of it, and there’s a 70s Laurel Canyon vibe to it, even though the pose is a bit awkward, that really works for her.
Every outfit works for her in this shoot, but I’m partial to the striped knit dress in the second photo of this carousel:
Again, that 70s Laurel Canyon vibe, and there’s a better shot of it in the article, with her lying flat on her stomach on a couch, that really suits the mood.
Head to InStyle to see all the pictures and a video of Jen doing a feature where she unpacks a bag of surprises.