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A Jennifer Aniston Sandwich

Aniston De Rossi DeGeneris

Aniston De Rossi DeGeneris

I know Aniston has her fans, and the only Vanity Fair magazine I have failed to buy in the last twenty years was the one with her on the cover, because it sold out, but I’m over that. So over that. I don’t blame anyone. Particularly not Jennifer Freaking Aniston. Noooo, not me.

Where was I? Oh, right, explaining why I ran this picture although I get on with Jen about as well as Angelina. Except Jen doesn’t know I’m alive. But other than that, the same.

I ran this picture because:

a) anything with Aniston is a guaranteed hit machine. Wouldn’t be surprised if she’s hired an army of Indian IT grads to sit there and churn out scripts to keep reloading pages with her on them.

b) it has Portia de Rossi in it, and I got her book Unbearable Lightness for Christmas and it is quite literally the best celebrity-written book I’ve ever read, not counting Stephen Fry’s, because Stephen Fry is not a celebrity, he is a demigod.

I’d no idea she was in law school when she broke for Hollywood, achieving near-instant success, nor any idea she’d been a child model. Nor that when she starred in the very enjoyable caper film Falsa Identidad (Who Is Cletus Tout?) she weighed less than 85 pounds, and passed out in the makeup chair. At one point in the book she mentioned how grateful she was to the wardrobe department at Ally McBeal for designing ingenious pads to round out her pants and skirts, so she didn’t look emaciated on-camera.

She never once thought of herself as anorexic or bulimic. She thought she was a “gym rat” who was concerned with fitness. She defined being in good shape as lying in her bed with one knee stacked on the other: if the thighs didn’t touch, she was fit. She was also less than a hundred pounds. Intervention after intervention went by without making a dent on her skewed self-image.

You’ll have to buy the book to find out how this A student, successful model, Hollywood A lister, and deeply reflective woman learned to identify, then overcome, a form of self-torture that she had been perfecting since she was twelve years old. Buy it. Anorexic or not, there are lessons in it for all of us.