Stop Caring About Brangelina
September 30, 2016
Last week, Angelina Jolie broke the Internet. Her announcement that she had filed for divorce from Brad Pitt rocked seemingly all social media users to their cores. While no one may ever know what truly caused the Brangelina split, the way the media is portraying their divorce is very troubling. Some newspapers referred to Jolie as “insane” while others even tried to loop Jennifer Aniston into the story.
There is no denial a divorce is a delicate period in any couple’s life — especially when it involves children — but the act of defining women by their marital status is not only unnecessary, but just plain ridiculous. It is 2016; when will the stigma of divorce finally go away?
Asking for divorce does not make women insane; nor does it determine who they are. If anything, it only further solidifies a woman’s role as the owner of her life; if something is wrong, she — as well as her partner — should have the power to change the narrative. Women should not be publically berated for breaking off marriages with people they have decided they do not want to share their lives with anymore. Jolie cited that her break with Brad was due to “irreconcilable differences,” and after 12 years together, she should not be questioned on whether or not this choice was what was best for her.
While Angelina’s attitude may be portrayed positively when covered by media outlets that have women as their target audience, there are unfortunately still many nasty tabloids that seem unable to not bring Jennifer Aniston into the equation. This is a beyond confusing and blatantly sexist move.
Pitt and Aniston broke up over a decade ago. Their relationship is ancient history. This portrayal of Aniston as a one-dimensional character in the plot of someone else’s story blinds people to what a successful and talented person she is — regardless of her relationships. Jolie is also written into this same tiresome narrative. She is an Oscar-winning actress and a special envoy for the United Nations, but that is never brought up when she is spoken of — even before the Brangelina fiasco.
Despite the obviously complex role women play in our society today, tabloids and the public are constantly entranced by the story of the divorced woman. But these women are more than just characters to gossip about. They live full lives and are entitled to be treated like it. As Jennifer Aniston herself wrote: “we [women] are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child.” Women should not be labeled by their relationship status. Actually, they should not be labeled at all. Apparently, tabloids and mainstream media somehow missed the last 80 years when women stopped being defined by their marriages and started defining themselves.
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