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Title: From the woman who 'had it all' to the tragic, ageing spinster: The Shifting Star Persona of Jennifer Aniston
Authors: Berridge, Susan
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Editors: Jermyn, D
Holmes, S
Citation: Berridge S (2016) From the woman who 'had it all' to the tragic, ageing spinster: The Shifting Star Persona of Jennifer Aniston. In: Jermyn D, Holmes S (ed.). Women, Celebrity and Cultures of Ageing: Freeze Frame, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 112-126.
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Abstract: First paragraph: In a montage episode of Friends (NBC, 1994–2004), ‘The One Where They All Turn 30’ (7.14), Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) sits down to a birthday breakfast with her friends and 24-year-old boyfriend, surrounded by colourful balloons. Dressed in a plain white T-shirt and pyjama bottoms, with shoulder-length bobbed hair and wearing a child’s birthday crown, her youthful girlishness is highlighted. Yet, while the episode underlines Rachel’s youth, it simultaneously suggests that she is at an inappropriate life stage in relation to her age. Rachel’s narrative in the episode revolves around her anxieties about getting older without having achieved any of her self-imposed life goals – goals that include meeting a man, getting married and having children. Reinforcing the idea of Rachel as in a state of arrested development, she is currently living in Joey (Matt LeBlanc) and Chandler’s (Matthew Perry) former apartment, a space that connotes immaturity in the series more widely – connected as it is with bachelor and often childish lifestyles. In keeping with the generic conventions of the sitcom, Rachel’s response to turning 30 is portrayed as a comedic overreaction. Yet, the narrative ultimately culminates with Rachel splitting up with her boyfriend to concentrate instead on her realising her long-term aims. In doing so, the episode clearly articulates some of the central tenets of postfeminist discourses of ageing and ‘time crisis’, which measure success through the attainment of particular life goals such as marriage and motherhood (Negra, 2009).
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. Jermyn, Deborah, Holmes, Susan (Eds.), Women, Celebrity and Cultures of Ageing: Freeze Frame, 2015, Palgrave Macmillan reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan. This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript and has not been edited. The definitive, published, version of record is available here:
Type: Part of book or chapter of book
Affiliation: Communications, Media and Culture

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