October 19, 2019
October 15 2019, will go down in the history books as the day elusive megastar Jennifer Aniston joined Instagram. Within mere moments of posting a photo with her Friends co-stars, Jennifer’s new account crashed as millions of users tried to “follow” her. She eventually claimed the record for the account that reached one million Instagram followers most quickly, beating out Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s SussexRoyal channel.
When A Celebrity Tabloid Fixture Joins Instagram
After sharing that cast selfie, Jennifer poked fun at her Instagram-breaking moment with a clip from her upcoming Apple TV Plus series, The Morning Show, in which she throws her mobile phone. She captioned the post, “I swear I didn’t mean to break it... Thank you guys for the kind, glitchy welcome ❤️.”
She also uploaded some content to Instagram Stories of her appearance on The Howard Stern Show and behind-the-scenes videos at Jimmy Kimmel Live.
At the time of this story’s publication, Jennifer had more than 12 million followers and three posts, including one for throwback Thursday.
But why, pray tell, is this such a big deal for the internet? It’s that Jennifer ― a tabloid fixture, America’s sweetheart and the self-professed “most reluctant” social media user ― decided to join the very public, highly addictive Instagram, opting to give ordinary admirers a more authentic glimpse into her life
After evading social media for years — and being constant fodder for gossip magazines and news sites for decades — Jennifer has a chance to take control of her publicly personal life. She can react to false stories about her changing body and private relationships. She can choose which bikini photo to share. She can maybe even break some Friends reunion news.  View this post on InstagramAnd now we’re Instagram FRIENDS too. HI INSTAGRAM 👋🏻A post shared by Jennifer Aniston (@jenniferaniston) on Oct 15, 2019 at 6:03am PDTSince her star-rising turn as Rachel Green on the hit 90s sitcom, Jennifer Aniston has been chewed up and spit out by the celebrity news machine. Her name has been splashed across tabloid covers and displayed front and centre on every gossip website in made-up headlines like Dumped After 21 Days, Shattered World and I’m Finally Pregnant!. Jennifer has been emotionally and physically shamed and humiliated. She’s been through the stardom ringer, more so than perhaps any other public figure in the world. 
“I’m fed up with the sport-like scrutiny and body shaming that occurs daily under the guise of ‘journalism,’ the ‘First Amendment’ and ‘celebrity news,’” Jennifer wrote in a passionate opinion piece for HuffPost in 2016. “I used to tell myself that tabloids were like comic books, not to be taken seriously, just a soap opera for people to follow when they need a distraction. But I really can’t tell myself that anymore because the reality is the stalking and objectification I’ve experienced first-hand, going on decades now, reflects the warped way we calculate a woman’s worth.” 
Jennifer has faced enormous amounts of press attention beginning with her relationship and subsequent marriage to Brad Pitt in 2000. It only heightened following their divorce, which was surrounded by rumors involving Brad’s Mr And Mrs Smith co-star and eventual wife, Angelina Jolie.
From there, her every romance was documented, her every heartbreak dissected. In the last few years, she’s dealt with countless false reports about her now ex-husband Justin Theroux, her “hopes” of becoming a mother and her changing body. It all came to a head in 2018 when, after Jennifer and her then-husband announced their separation, she was once again linked to “Brangelina”, who also split following a decade-long relationship and six kids together. Many started rooting for an Aniston-Pitt reunion and freaked out when he was spotted at her 50th birthday party in February. The rumour mill has started churning once again; the machine is relentless. 
Now, Jennifer perhaps plans to put a wrench in it.When Jimmy Kimmel asked Jennifer what made her finally decide to join Instagram, she suspiciously told the late-night host, “I don’t know.” HuffPost also reached out to her rep for comment, but didn’t get a response.
Particulars aside, Hollywood’s golden girl was welcomed to the platform by fellow celebrities who are also using social media to give fans a closer look into their daily lives.
Jennifer Garner, another tabloid mainstay whose marriage to ex Ben Affleck was given an enormous amount of media attention, has used social media to propel her off-screen personality further than imagined. The very private actress joined Instagram in September 2017 and has been surprising her followers with snippets of joy ever since. A day-to-day that was once filled with out-of-line paparazzi and exhausting battles with gossip magazines has turned into a more controlled experience as she shares videos, photos and comments of her own accord. The protective mother of three has single-handedly steered the conversation surrounding her private life in a new direction ― one focused on her own personal brand of humour rather than her famous marriage. 
Instead of being hooked by the latest salacious tabloid headline at their local grocery store, people can now relate to her in a new way ― and feel like they are truly a part of her tribe as she shares inspirational quotes, photos from her kitchen or videos of her dog. She even posts clips of herself praising Broadway phenomenon Hamilton while high on laughing gas and Novocain after a dentist visit. You can’t get that kind of unfiltered access anywhere else! View this post on InstagramThrowback Thursday-- that time I had dental anesthesia...laughing gas + novocaine + Hamilton = you're welcome. #TBT @hamiltonmusicalA post shared by Jennifer Garner (@jennifer.garner) on Sep 14, 2017 at 10:45am PDTThe same could be said for Will Smith, a movie star who traded a personal life away from the cameras for one more in tune with his audience. 
“In the shift into this new world, it’s almost like a friendship with the fans,” he told HuffPost in 2017. “The relationship is less like the time of Madonna, Michael Jackson, when you could make the Tom Cruise these gigantic figures, because you can’t create that anymore. The shift is to ‘we’re best friends’... I love trying to make that shift and make that transition into the new demands of the fans in this business.”
Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, has connected more closely with her followers as well, launching the intimate Facebook Watch show Red Table Talk in 2018. Jada co-hosts the show with her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, and her daughter, Willow, and created it as a way to journey “towards my healing and my need for more authenticity from within myself.” In one poignant episode, she and Will address the gossip-fueled reports of their open marriage and explain, for themselves, what it means to be in a “life partnership”. View this post on InstagramIn case you were wondering how my birthday party wentA post shared by Will Smith (@willsmith) on Sep 25, 2019 at 4:00pm PDTThere’s no doubt social media has stunted the circulation of tabloid magazines and websites. Tabloid culture, which was once a way to catch up on the latest celebrity gossip ― most of which is made up with help from unnamed “sources” and “insiders” ― is rapidly disintegrating. For instance, the monthly average circulation for In Touch Weekly reportedly dropped from 431,038 magazines in June 2014 to 266,441 by June 2018, according to Morning Consult. And paparazzi are certainly struggling to keep their jobs. A poll by Morning Consult and The Hollywood Reporter found that 44% of adults consider these kinds of photographers to be intrusive.
This new age of technology has further forced a necessary shift in the celebrity news cycle. Whereas Jennifer Aniston used to be hounded by the press for comments on her baby plans or chased down during private beach vacations, she now has the agency to decide for herself what she’d like to share with the world ― if she wants to share anything at all. READ MORE.. Paul Rudd Recalls Mortifying Jennifer Aniston Blunder On His First Day On The Set Of Friends Ralph Lauren's Friends Collection Celebrates Rachel Green 8 WTF Moments The Cast Of Friends Have Experienced Since The Beloved Show Finished
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