MM: What is the biggest misconception about you?
JA: Oh, boy, there are so many. Let’s see. I’ll just Google myself and find out. [starts typing] Oh, look, I’m having a $100,000 revenge makeover!
MM: I didn’t want to say anything, but you really need one. But wow, the tabloids are relentless.
JA: It’s pretty crazy. The misconceptions are “Jen can’t keep a man,” and “Jen refuses to have a baby because she’s selfish and committed to her career.” Or that I’m sad and heartbroken. First, with all due respect, I’m not heartbroken. And second, those are reckless assumptions. No one knows what’s going on behind closed doors. No one considers how sensitive that might be for my partner and me. They don’t know what I’ve been through medically or emotionally. There is a pressure on women to be mothers, and if they are not, then they’re deemed damaged goods. Maybe my purpose on this planet isn’t to procreate. Maybe I have other things I’m supposed to do.
MM: Yes! For starters you have this new movie coming up, Dumplin’. You play an ex–pageant queen, and you do it beautifully. Did you ever want to be in a beauty pageant when you were younger?
JA: That’s hysterical. No. Do you know what I looked like as a kid? The truth is, that’s all changing now. That’s what this movie is all about. It’s about redefining beauty and how we as a society interpret what beauty is. I love that the Miss America pageant is going to get rid of the swimsuit competition altogether.
MM: Me too. I’m sure my daughter will be shocked when I tell her that was actually a quantifiable form of judging women in my lifetime.
JA: Definitely! You know, a swimsuit body is a body in a swimsuit, no matter what that body is. It’s time to just stop thinking beauty is in the shape of a size 4 and the right butt size and the right waist size and the right measurements. It’s just old. We’ve done it. We’ve been there. Let’s move on.
For more with cover star Jennifer Aniston pick-up the October issue of InStyle Australia available from September 20th.