How Jennifer Aniston Embodies Our Cultural Shift Around Aging

As the actress turns 50, she’s redefining what it means to get older, and we’re celebrating her inspiring perspective.

Jason Merritt / Staff/ Getty Images
Jason Merritt / Staff/ Getty Images

“We live in a society that messages women: By this age, you should be married; by this age, you should have children,” Jennifer Aniston said in an interview with Elle in December. “That’s a fairy tale. That’s the mold we’re slowly trying to break out of.” And as the actress celebrates her 50th birthday on February 11th, it’s clear she’s not letting a little detail like age define her.

The iconic Friends actress, who recently starred in Netflix film Dumplin’, has always been reluctant to fall victim to society’s expectations, and her perspective on aging embodies the cultural shift that’s happening around perceptions of getting older. Role models like Aniston remind us that wherever you are in life, focusing on your own happiness is key. “Everybody’s path is different,” Aniston added in the Elle interview. “What brings me happiness? I have a great job. I have a great family. I have great friends. I have no reason to feel otherwise.”

Anison has spoken candidly about finding success on her own terms — and about carving out small pockets of time for her favorite rituals. “It should be one of our number one priorities to take care of our inner minds, souls, and bodies, because it helps us prepare for the day,” she told Allure, referring to her morning routine. “When that starts to fall by the wayside, I feel it in my energy,” she confessed to Arianna Huffington on the Thrive Global Podcast. “There’s a bit of anxiety, worry, and unnecessary feelings.”

Aniston’s happiest days start with the things she loves: meditation and quality time with loved ones. And when it comes to social media, she finds she’s better off steering clear of the platforms that take us away from the present moment. “I don’t feel like I’m missing out,” she told Huffington, “I love being able to connect with the people that [I’m] with.”

Whether the actress’ youthfulness stems from her tech-free lifestyle, her meditation practice, her positive reframing (or likely all of the above), the actress is modeling how to embrace and encourage ourselves, no matter our age. “[Beauty is] inner confidence… Not feeling like a failure or allowing people to critique your life and make you feel like you’ve failed at something,” she told People in 2016. “That’s just toxic noise.”

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To find out more about Aniston and how she finds happiness in an always-on society, listen to her full conversation with Arianna Huffington on iHeartRadio, here.

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