So Grateful for Representation

I was so excited to find out about the Allure interview with Jennifer Aniston, the one where she reveals that she is a CNBC woman, too. WOW! What an amazing interview. How awesome that she chose to share pieces of her very personal, very vulnerable history with infertility and IVF failure. Thank you, thank you for being a very public figure who shares that IVF did NOT work. And that it is hard, and lonely, and awful to go through the process and face judgment for choices known and unknown. My favorite part of the interview is when she talks about her resolution: 

"Coming out on the other side is what she calls “a little mosaic. It gets blown apart and then somehow gets put back together into this beautiful mosaic.”"

Okay, I am in love with that phrasing. I tend to go back to the caterpillar-goo-butterfly analogy, but a "beautiful mosaic?" PERFECTION. Broken and whole at once, taking what was dismantled and rearranging it into something new and beautiful that honors what was while being something new. Just gorgeous. 

You can read other takes on the news and the beauty of representation in the media, representation that Jennifer Aniston did not have to provide but chose to, and we appreciate it SO DAMN MUCH: 

Infertile Phoenix: One of Us: Phoenix Rising

Silent Sorority (Pamela Tsigdinos): Jennifer Aniston Is Officially One of Us! 

The Road Less Travelled (Loribeth): She IS "One of Us"!!

I loved Pamela's take on the egg freezing bit. I have bristled at the idea of egg freezing as an infertility failsafe. It is not the Hail Mary it gets touted as, and she goes into more details on that. It annoyed me when Mindy Kaling said that parents should give college graduates egg freezing as insurance for their future. Even when you freeze your eggs, you're susceptible to the same success rates as "regular" IVF -- which ALSO aren't great. And it's super expensive, which brings in issues of privilege and equity. 

I digress. 

I always felt a kind of kinship with Jennifer Aniston, for all the times she spoke out about how motherhood is put on a pedestal, and you can mother in different ways, and how maybe society is broken. My favorite (until the Allure interview) is: 

"We don't need to be married or mothers to be complete. We get to determine our own 'happily ever after' for ourselves." 


"There is a pressure on women to be mothers, and if they are not, then they're deemed damaged goods. Maybe my purpose on this planet isn't to procreate. Maybe I have other things I'm supposed to do." 

The "beautiful mosaic" quote though -- my ultimate favorite. Thank you for putting yourself out there even though you owe it to no one. Thank you for being a very public story of "I tried to have kids and it didn't work out and it was awful but my life is beautiful." 


  1. Validation is a wonderful thing, isn't it, Jess? I still marvel that our failed IVF stories are only NOW getting any serious recognition or audience. If it take Jennifer Aniston talking about failed IVF to open the floodgates, well, let our stories flow!

    Funny her metaphors and memoir title make me wonder if she's read our blogs or books. The mosaic IS actually the cover of Silent Sorority. I first wrote about mosaics back in 2007!

    And her Phoenix reference -- hello Infertile Phoenix! Jenn really is one of us ... she's speaking our language, after all!

  2. I love this post. Representation does indeed matter.

  3. "Beautiful mosaic" is the phrase that spoke to me too.
    And yes, I always cringed at the "baby bump" stupid articles, or the speculation that she didn't want children (as if that is a problem!), etc etc. It infuriated me at the time. I hope the people who wrote all those articles feel a little or a lot of guilt and remorse now.

  4. I wonder if she was going through treatment at the same time her costar, CC, was, as well. I wonder what that was like for both of them.

    The "beautiful mosaic" phrasing is exquisite.

  5. Representation matters -- and to have someone like Jennifer Aniston as our "poster girl" -- well, it's amazing. I am so, SO grateful to her. Love Pamela's speculation that she's been secretly reading us! lol (If you're out there -- hi Jen!)