Jennifer Aniston is undeniably successful. The actress has been a force in Hollywood since '90s, when her starring role on Friends catapulted her to household name levels of fame, and she's set to star in Apple TV+'s highly-anticipated series The Morning Show alongside Reese Witherspoon this fall.
For these reasons and many, many more, Aniston was among the six women honored at Variety's Power of Women luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles on Friday, where she was joined by Awkwafina, Mariah Carey, Chaka Khan, Brie Larson, and Dana Walden.
During the event, Aniston shared a story about her own early experiences with power as a woman:
"I remember a parental figure saying to me around the critical age of about 11, after a dinner party, that I was excused from the table because I didn’t have anything interesting to add to the conversation. Ouch. It stuck to me, it stuck to me like painfully worded sentences can and if I’m being honest—and I’m being honest because I’m 50 and that comes with the territory—I carried that sentence with me into adulthood".
"I always felt incredibly comfortable giving a voice to the words of others but put me in a table full of strangers and I’d go right back to being 11 years old."
Although Aniston says she finally started to see herself differently while working on Friends, she added that she's recently found herself thinking more and more about the messages we send to young girls about power:
"These last two years have really made me think a lot about the messages we send young kids—little girls especially. How the things we say and do can either build them up—or tear them down. And make them feel like maybe their voices don’t matter.
"I started meeting all of these people who expressed to me how much the show meant to them—how it lifted their spirits during a bad breakup or got them through an illness. I was just so incredibly moved by that."
From Harper's Bazaar U.S.