Everybody loves some kind of a scandal - especially a scandal involving the rich and famous. Leaked photos, text messages nobody was ever meant to see, rumours of an affair, an embarrassing arrest after a brawl at a night club. These are things which we all, to some extent, take an element of enjoyment in reading about, so it's no surprise that news of Angelina Jolie filing for divorce against Brad Pitt "broke the internet" on Tuesday. Logging in to Facebook, my newsfeed was drowning in articles about the split, jokes about the possible reasons behind it and GIFs of Jennifer Aniston looking smug. Brangelina are the A-list dream-team, the power couple of Hollywood and their six-child family completes the picture of a glamorous, modern day Brady Bunch. They're so deeply in the public eye that it's no wonder we feel a right to weigh in on the situation and felt the aftermath of their glitzy illusion of perfection being shattered.
Admittedly, over their twelve years together, the controversial circumstances in which they got together has been glossed over - after a year or so of scandal and speculation over Pitt's split from Jennifer Aniston in 2005 and his alleged affair with Jolie, they quickly became an adored picture of the perfect couple. The press and the public quickly ditched their loyalty to Jennifer Aniston to swoon over the newly branded 'Brangelina'. But with jokes about Jolie getting the karma she deserves and how smug Aniston 'must' be feeling being plastered all over the internet, we have to ask: is our reaction to the split slightly cruel?
With fame comes a sacrifice and that sacrifice is privacy. Going through a split or divorce is bad enough for most people, but going through that split so overtly in the public eye? It must be a nightmare. Yes, Angelina Jolie may have played a part in Aniston's public humiliation. Yes, there may be a tiny part of Jennifer Aniston which is ever so slightly itching to say "I told you so". But, with it being twelve years on and with several other relationships and career successes under her belt, the internet using Jennifer Aniston to react to Brangelina's split is more disrespectful than supportive of her. There's nothing more frustrating than someone you're over, thinking you're not over them; Jennifer Aniston is literally having that painted all over the internet. In every status, every GIF, every meme that's been shared, we're suggesting she'd be petty enough to take pleasure in the fact that six children are about to become children of divorce (albeit, a divorce of at least $300million).
If the rumours are true that Pitt had an affair with Marion Cotillard, should we really be adopting such a "that's karma" attitude? In my opinion, it's not particularly feminist to laugh at another woman because they're about to go through the same gruelling humiliation that you once did and, in this case, there's children involved. It overlooks the wrongdoings of the man who also played a part and made up 50% of that relationship. It places two women in stereotyped boxes; an immoral femme fatale and a bitter, vengeful shrew, whilst the man in the equation slips quietly under the radar and his possible infidelity gets brushed under the carpet.
Regardless, the fact of the matter is that a relationship consisting of twelve years and six children has broken down and a family will be separated. A-listers or not, that's never something we should find funny.
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