When Did Jennifer Aniston Become The Bad Girl?

When Did Jennifer Aniston Become The Bad Girl? Photo: Horrible Bosses (Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros)

When Did Jennifer Aniston Become The Bad Girl? Photo: Horrible Bosses (Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros)

This is an archived copy of the article that originally appeared June 29, 2011 on Headdrama.com

Jennifer Aniston has a new movie coming out, but that’s not the only reason she’s making headlines. She’s got a new tattoo and new beau. Just this week, she was on Good Morning America and said, “I’m extremely lucky and extremely happy.”

Her new role is uncharacteristically dark. In Horrible Bosses, Aniston plays a sexed up dentist who makes advances on her unwilling assistant. But her new role isn’t the only thing that seems out of character for Jennifer. She’s also changing up her sweetheart image by getting inked (for the first time) and dating a guy who was said to be in a long term relationship when the two met. Does any of this sound familiar?

We wanted to know what’s up with Jennifer. Has our good girl, gone bad? Is she trying to be Angelina Jolie or something? We turned to Celebrity Life Coach and Human Behavior Expert, Patrick Wanis Ph.D. for his take:

HeadDrama: Jennifer’s making headlines with a new tattoo (with the name of her deceased dog, Norman) on her foot. It’s her first tat, is this a “mid-life crisis” move?

Patrick Wanis, Ph.D.: When people choose to get tattoos in their 40s it’s often because they are trying to hold onto their youth, a statement and attempted verification that they are young and hip. And although, tattoos can be perceived as an act of rebellion, when a woman in her 40s, gets a tattoos she is actually conforming to young people – so it doesn’t seem as rebellious as it does childish.

HeadDrama: Jennifer also made headlines recently for dating a guy who was in a relationship when they hooked up. She was cheated on by Brad Pitt – why would she engage in that hurtful behavior with someone else?

Patrick Wanis, Ph.D.: When it was revealed that Angelina Jolie was having an affair with Jennifer Aniston’s man, Brad Pitt, Jennifer responded by saying that she would never do such a thing to another woman because she saw her dad do it to her mom. Now the tables have turned and Jennifer’s decision to have an affair with a man that is in a long-term relationship can be viewed as selfish and narcissistic, but it is probably more motivated by the subconscious desire to reclaim her power, trying to shift from feeling like a helpless victim to a place of
being in control – being the perpetrator. When we are hurt, it is a natural response to lash out, wanting to hurt someone else. Jennifer is not doing this consciously, it is most likely a subconscious motivation.

Jennifer was just nine years old when her parents divorced. “When your parents split up, like mine did, it’s impossible to delude yourself about fairytale romance and happy endings,” she said. “I think it taught me that life isn’t always perfect
and gave me a realistic approach to marriage, which I value. Marriage brought up all the kind of things I pushed to the back-burner – the fear, the mistrust, the doubts, and the

insecurities.” The question remains, has she truly healed the pain of her parents’ divorce and her father’s betrayal?

HeadDrama: Her new beau, Justin Theroux, has a reputation of being something of a bad boy. Is she trying to break out of her “nice girl” mode by dating this new fella?

Patrick Wanis, Ph.D.: Jennifer has often been viewed as one of America’s sweethearts – unlucky in love and in dating. However, on-set romances are nothing new; recall it was an on-set romance that paved the way for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s affair. When people act out a role of being in love or infatuated with someone else on camera and when they engage in kissing
and intimacy on camera (simulated or real) it becomes easy for those feelings to take root and to become real feelings off set and off camera. Actors and celebrities are more than foolish and naïve to expect and believe that the roles and emotions they create on camera do not have an impact short or long term on their emotions and psyche. Thus, it is
difficult to unreservedly argue that Jennifer was attracted to this bad boy because she consciously wants to shed her ‘nice girl’ image or if it was simply the result of her playing the aggressor and bad girl on set which sparked the dark side in her.

HeadDrama: Jennifer’s playing a darker, sexier role in “Horrible Bosses”. What do you make of this break from her usual rom-com character?

Patrick Wanis, Ph.D.: It is common in Hollywood to be quickly and easily typecast. And for decades, Jennifer Aniston has been playing the sweet girl searching for love in all the wrong places, having her heart broken and then finally finding love. This role has been progressively less appealing to audiences who have become tired of the same and predictable role. Playing a darker,
more sexually aggressive boss and role might be the injection of new blood that Jennifer’s career has needed.

HeadDrama:

We hate to ask, but is Jen trying to be like Angelina (who has a bunch of tattoos and a bad girl rep)?

Patrick Wanis, Ph.D.:

There is the famous old expression “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” Jennifer has often chosen the immature boys who make her laugh and she once expressed frustration at her own poor choices in men. But Jennifer now sees Angelina Jolie who captured the man that was once committed to her as a very happy and fulfilled woman: Angelina and Brad have a strong relationship, a family, success on and off screen as well as mutual and meaningful goals and Angelina remains a strong, independent and sexy woman who seemingly doesn’t care about what anyone else thinks. So even though Jennifer may have resented Angelina for her affair with Brad, Jennifer might also subconsciously idolize or at least desire to emulate aspects of Angelina.

Jennifer needs to be careful on one thing, though, that she hasn’t picked another bad boy who has clashing values and morals the way America’s sweetheart Sandra Bullock did with Jesse James. And if a man can dump his 14-year long girlfriend for you, how do you know he won’t do the same thing to you and maybe even sooner?

Final thought: Have you ever noticed that Jennifer is always rumored to be dating when one of her new movies debuts?

Of the recent changes personally and professionally, Aniston told Good Morning America, “I wouldn’t say I’m squeaky clean in any way.” Horrible Bosses is in theaters on July 8th.

What do you think? Do you prefer to see Jennifer Aniston in good girl roles or do you like this new naughty twist?

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