Every time we talk about perfect bodies, pretty faces, gorgeous hair, and undying glamour; the one name that comes to mind is Hollywood. Beauty and Hollywood have an age-old connection. But what we don’t see is the dark side of it that hides behind its glittery veil. One of the most successful and gorgeous stars of Hollywood, Jennifer Aniston has suffered years of self-worth issues under toxic expectations of beauty from the hands of none other than her own mother.
Nancy Dow was an actress and model in the 1960s and was overly obsessive about the cliched beauty standards, so much so, that her urge to make Jennifer look beautiful gave a toxic turn to their relationship and left Jennifer questioning her own identity. In an interview with ELLE, Aniston mentioned that she has had a tough childhood where she witnessed the dissolution of her parents’ marriage and unwarranted pressure from her mom to adhere to toxic beauty standards.
“She was from this world of, ‘Honey, take better care of yourself,’ or ‘Honey, put your face on,’ or all of those odd sound bites that I can remember from my childhood,” the Dumplin’ star narrated. In another interview, she had mentioned that her mother was never happy with the way she was. She was not the kind of girl who would fit into a box and that never went well with her mother.
“She was critical. She was very critical of me,” Jennifer said. “Because she was a model, she was gorgeous, stunning. I wasn’t. I never was,” she added. She continued, “I honestly still don’t think of myself in that sort of light, which is fine. She was also very unforgiving. She would hold grudges that I just found so petty.”
As time passed, she grew apart from her mother and dissolved any connections that she had with her. But being the happy soul that she is, she could never accept the fact that she could turn into a negative person because she was not shown appreciation. She later, reconciled with her mother and made peace with the fact that her mother had a difficult life too and what she did was to make sure her daughter does not have to suffer. Yes, how she did it was wrong, but that’s just who she was.
“My mom said those things because she really loved me. It wasn’t her trying to be a b–ch or knowing she would be making some deep wounds that I would then spend a lot of money to undo,” the 49-year-old reasons. “She did it because that was what she grew up with,” reports EOnline.
“She was missing what was [actually] important. I think she was just holding on and doing the best she could, struggling financially and dealing with a husband who was no longer there. Being a single mom in the ’80s I’m sure was pretty crappy,” she said empathetically.
However, she is of the opinion that her tough childhood is the reason she is who she is today. She never let the negative influences in her life turn her into a bitter human being. In fact, she looked at them as a lesson in life and vowed to never bend to them again. That’s the thing about strong women, despite their scared past and painful experiences they never let the ray of positivity in them, fade away. In fact, they come out stronger after the storm.
“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. If I did, I would need to go get an attitude shift, a perspective shift,” she shares.
Today, Aniston is a global sensation; known for her honey blonde hair and ageless physique. But more than anything, she has accepted herself and created a whole new identity for herself. She is empathetic and views the world in a different light. She has overcome her insecurities and is now spreading the light of love and acceptance in the world.