December 7, 2019

How Jennifer Aniston Became America's Eternal Sweetheart

“Picture this: Jennifer Aniston is the star of a much talked-about TV show. Her love life is constantly being dissected in the tabloids, with headlines perennially concerned about whether she’s really as happy as she seems. Her fashion is the stuff of envy, her hair is flawless and her funny, vulnerable interviews make it feel like she could be your best friend, too.

It’s 2019 — but it also could be 2009, or 1999. The star of Apple TV’s “The Morning Show” has filled the role of our most beloved celebrity for nearly two and a half decades now, and there are no signs of her being replaced anytime soon.

Although several other stars have been crowned “America’s Sweetheart” before, arguably none have kept the title as long as Aniston. Back in the ‘70s, there was Mary Tyler Moore, but she was given the label more for her loveable TV persona than her actual life. In the ‘90s, movie stars like Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan claimed the spot, but both actors saw public interest wane as they stepped back from the spotlight.

At the start of the millennium, Reese Witherspoon and Sandra Bullock both took the mantle, but their on-screen roles typically garnered more attention than their personalities or love lives (with a few notable exceptions, including Bullock’s divorce and Withespoon’s arrest). Most recently, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone and Anne Hathaway have all risen up as “it girls” for a year or two, but none of them are so universally adored that women use them to inspire everything from their haircuts to fertility choices, like they do with Aniston.”

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