GROWIN’ UP WITH BRAD & JEN: A Lesson in Friendship

Brad & JenPhoto Credit, Getty Images

If I were to be a paparazzi reporter whose aim is to sell tabloid “news”, these would be possible headlines for the picture seen “round the world (worldwide web is more like it!) in the last 12 hours.

Do you remember where you were when you saw Brad & Jen hug for the first time?”

Take that Angelina!”

And just like that, Megxit knocked off the front page!

And this morning’s real headlines are as silly & speculative as they get!

From E! “Where were you when you saw Brad & Jennifer hug?”

From The Cut: “Brad Pitt Grabs Jennifer Aniston’s Wrist, Causing Widespread Emotional Chaos”, going on to say “Brad Pitt & Jennifer Aniston shared A Moment at the SAG Awards. A conspicuously tender moment; a moment instigated by Brad grabbing Jen’s wrist as she walked away from him, as if all his mistakes had just crystallized inside his brain; a moment captured on camera for posterity”

Seriously? Can it get any sillier & speculative about something that is really none of our business anyway?

This is the power of the media. As Harry (still a prince to me) said so well this past weekend, the media is a force. As we all have seen, the media an be a very negative force, but also can be a force for great good.

If I had to craft a headline, this is what mine would be, inspired of course by none other than my personal hero Bruce Springsteen:

Growin’ Up with Brad & Jen: “Friends” No Matter What”

Brad & Jen 2Photo Credit, Getty Images

One of the Boss’s earliest songs “Growin’ Up” navigates the waters of growing up & challenging the status quo. The first stanza says it best:

Well I stood stone-like at midnight suspended in my masquerade
And I combed my hair till it was just right and commanded the night brigade
I was open to pain and crossed by the rain and I walked on a crooked crutch
I strode all alone into a fallout zone, came out with my soul untouched
I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, when they said “sit down” I stood up
Ooh, ooh, growin’ up

In all seriousness, Brad Pitt & Jennifer Aniston win the award for suspending the masquerade, for rising above the fray, for the ability to laugh at themselves & the media, for the ability to not take it all seriously & for feeling comfortable & confident enough in themselves last night to just not care, bc congratulating & supporting one another in that moment, along with showing the genuine affection & respect they have for each other is what mattered most, regardless of the flashbulbs. This is what they call authenticity, maturity, and just plain old “growin’ up”.

These 2 have navigated thru the negative & leveraged it well for the positive force that it can be. They have weathered the media storm and the emotional storm so well, that they are mature enough to just be themselves and not engage in the negativity.  These photos capture how much they have grown and grown up, that they are “friends” who support one another through thick and through thin, tears and laughter, silliness & gravitas, the lies and the truth….through this thing called life.

I have always admired and respected each of them, not only for their tremendous talents, but also for being so grown up through all of this.  Growing up is hard and painful as it is, but doing it through the lens of the media and the opinions of the world? They have come through all of this being friends who support each other no matter what.  These pictures show that and impart this lesson more than anything silly speculation that is in reality, none of our business!

All of this said, I do believe that all of the speculation is rooted in the genuine human instinct to want two human beings who seem to be meant to be, to be. I will always root for each of them individually because they have each brought me a great deal of joy over the years through their talents, and because I have in a sense, grown up along with them. If they are meant to be together, so be it. But these photos show that no matter what happens, they will always be “friends” no matter what…a lesson to us all.

Congratulations & Bravo to Brad Pitt & Jennifer Aniston for their well-deserved honors from the Screen Actors Guild, but also for as my hero Springsteen says “suspending the masquerade”, for growin’ up, and for very simply, showing us all what it means to be grown ups  about the whole thing.


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