Jennifer Aniston received a lifetime achievement award in Italy this weekend, and not for Dealing with a Lifetime of Pregnancy Rumors from the Italian branch of the International Society of Supermarket Tabloids. It was just a plain old lifetime achievement award from Europe’s largest children’s film festival, the Giffoni Film Festival.
Because it would have been rude of Jennifer to show up, grab her lifetime achievement award and a couple sfogliatelle from the catering table, and hop back on her private jet, she answered some audience questions. If my teen self got to ask Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Jennifer Aniston a question, it would probably be for an itemized list of every designer Rachel Green wore during all 263 episodes of Friends. The children and teens of Europe are much more mentally deeper than I was at their age, because The Hollywood Reporter says they asked serious questions about gender equality and bullying.
Jennifer was asked how Hollywood could do better to tell the stories of women, and according to her, that starts with women putting down their phones and picking up a copy of Screenwriting for Dummies.
“I think we need to empower women to not just be about dresses and beauty and selfies. We need to start having conversations and put our phones down and get out of social media, take social media breaks. That’s why we’re not seeing the right stories being told, because everyone is stuck in their phones.”
“Excuse you, but I told a very compelling story about a woman last Sunday with the help of my phone” thought Kim Kardashian.
Onto the topic of bullying. One teen asked Jennifer how she would have handled bullying. Would have? That teen obviously isn’t aware of a little group called The Brangeloonies.
“When you see a bully, you have to, in a group of you, take the bully down and not allow it. You have to support each other in just eliminating that. People didn’t stick up to bullies enough. And now with the Internet, it is endless, and it is a bunch of anonymous bullies that can sort of be stalking. We used to think that it was just in childhood that we would be bullied or made fun of. I was. I think many of us can say that we were. And it’s the worst feeling in the world. And now that we are grown up, the Internet is filled with them. And they’re cowardly, and they’re anonymous and they hide behind their computers, so it’s about not allowing it to penetrate and have again, put your computers down and have conversation.”
I’ll take Jennifer’s word for it that she was bullied when she was a teen. Although I have no idea who would have the audacity to make fun of her. According to IMDB, Jennifer Aniston’s first acting job was as a dancer in the McDonald’s scene of Mac and Me at 19. I would assume that appearing in Mac and Me would be the kind of thing that would win you friends, not lose them. If someone actually was bullying teenage Jennifer, they were doing it because they were clearly very jealous of her.
Here’s more of Jennifer Aniston at the Giffoni Film Festival over the weekend. Slow clap to Jennifer’s stylist for not trying to make Jen look hip and cool for the 90s-obsessed teens in the audience by accessorizing her ensemble with a choker and some jelly platforms.