Real Quick: Jennifer Aniston looks wicked creepy in Allure

By | January 19, 2011

The EYES! They're boring into my SOUL!

I have poked fun at Jennifer Aniston around here before, for apparently not knowing what a Cobb Salad is, though I am not as a rule anti-Aniston. I honestly don’t have a horse in that race. I’m pretty sure the only film I’ve ever seen her in was Office Space, which probably says something about my taste in movies. But generally I am apathetic on the Aniston front.

So it’s kind of unfortunate that this other little piece of lady-media daftness should also be connected to Aniston, but you know, some days you just have to laugh at shit. Aniston is on the cover of the February issue of Allure, and also in several partly-clothed pictures inside. This alone would not be of particular interest, except she’s been photoshopped so thoroughly that she looks like a RealDoll. For those in no-clicky environments, RealDolls are wildly expensive sex toys in the shape of full-sized human women, constructed and weighted to feel just like people, except, y’know, for being inanimate. Lest you think I am opposed to RealDolls, I am not. I figure if such a device serves a need, then have at it! But I do think something has gone awry when actual human women can be mistaken for dead-eyed silicone simulacra.

I mean, look:

Who needs pores when you're FAMOUS?

WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT, you guys? Is there a soul in there? Is Jennifer Aniston a heretofore unknown model of Cylon? And what is up with her mouth?

When I first saw these pictures, I honestly thought the photoshoot was supposed to be Real-Doll-themed, which I admit would be an odd choice for Allure, although I could see it happening in an edgier and/or more high-fashion mag. But no, the shoot was purportedly “inspired” by a 1960 photograph of Brigitte Bardot. The info on the Allure website does not specify which photograph, but here’s a picture of Bardot lounging sexily in bed in 1960, and I am not seeing the similarity. For one, Bardot looks like a living human. Let us also remember that Jennifer Aniston is forty-one years old, and yet appears above to have the face — and arm and neck and hand — of a virginal sixteen-year-old. It’s creepy, folks. This is not what people look like. This is certainly not what 41-year-old women look like, and setting this up as a reasonable goal to aspire to is frankly laughable.

The second image available online is even creepier, if that’s possible — and again with the weird mouth! WHAT DOES IT MEAN? — but it is the caption that truly encapsulates why I find so much of what is in women’s magazines and celebrity culture so preposterous:

The actress arrived just after noon and almost immediately requested black coffee with a shot of espresso and a side of steamed skim milk from Starbucks. No wonder she wanted caffeine: She’d flown into New York the night before, directly from the Atlanta set of her upcoming movie Wanderlust.

Y’all, Atlanta is not in Zanzibar. It’s a two-hour flight from New York. Two. Hours. If having arrived on a nonstop two-hour flight the night before and turning up to work past noon the next day demands coffee, I must be in need of a defibrillator. Is this supposed to seem relatable? Am I supposed to go, Oh wow, I totally know how she feels! I hate it when I get a measly ten hours’ sleep after a two-hour flight the evening before a photoshoot!

Please note, Aniston-lovers: I am not bashing Aniston individually. She is just one of the multitudes of celebrities that magazines like Allure edit, polish, placate, mollycoddle and photoshop into character-free oblivion. But I have a hard time passing up on such a golden opportunity to remind us all of how ridiculous our beauty culture is.

Now will SOMEBODY bring me my fucking coffee? And if skim milk has even been in the same room with it at any time, you’re fired.


J on January 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm.

This is thoroughly disturbing. Thanks for shining some light on it.


Marinn on January 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm.

Bardot looks like she knows exactly what she’s doing. In pretty much any situation, any photo. I think that’s part of her sex appeal. Aniston just looks vacant, and it is decidedly creepy.

Also, I love you for mentioning Cylons.


Ashley on January 19, 2011 at 2:05 pm.

I can’t help but suspect that this is some kind of hoax or publicity stunt on Allure’s part, which they are doing a great job at because they certainly know how to get people talking.

But playing along here, yes the photos look very Real Doll like, although the eyes on the cover look very beautiful.


Lesley on January 19, 2011 at 4:04 pm.

I am mostly amused by the fact that Allure is a magazine about BEAUTY PRODUCTS, ultimately, and yet nothing about Aniston’s face was achieved with cosmetics!


polianarchy on January 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm.

I don’t know what’s creepier: the teddy bear, or the dick-suckin’ lips. Combining the two is, of course, the creepiest part of all. Well hell, why choose between infantilism or over-sexualization when you can have them both? Finally, the virgin and the whore are together in one neatly airbrushed package.


Kaia on January 19, 2011 at 2:24 pm.

On the cover she looks super shiny and airbrushed within an inch of her life but still, you know, alive. The one inside, though. Oh God. I’m trying not to be vulgar here (more than I can possibly help), but I can’t decide if it’s the vacant look or the mouth that makes her look the most Real Doll-ish. But it’s creepy.

And the fact that I adored Friends to an insane level while in high school now makes me feel kind of dirty.


Barry Glibb on January 19, 2011 at 2:24 pm.

I was just reading about this photo shoot over here and noticing how Jessica Alba-esque she was trying to look. And they need to stop saying the Bardot thing out loud, it makes them look like damn fools.


Lesley on January 19, 2011 at 4:03 pm.

Right? Saying it doesn’t make it true!


clownremover on January 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm.

“This is Pris. A basic pleasure model, used in military clubs in the off-world colonies…”


Lesley on January 19, 2011 at 4:03 pm.



Cathy S. on January 19, 2011 at 2:42 pm.

I cannot get over how creepy those pictures are. When I first saw them on Jezebel, I had no idea who she was. I’ve never seen a person look so plastic. The teddy bear picture is particularly disturbing. She’s almost as old as I am and she looks like a plastic baby girl doll. I don’t understand why they did that to her. I mean, did they sit there looking at the pictures thinking she looked great all retouched or did they make her look that scary on purpose? And if yes, why? Wow, these disturb me even more than I thought.

Brigitte Bardot, though, looks amazing in the picture you linked to.


Shieldmaiden1196 on January 19, 2011 at 2:44 pm.

Clownremover: Comment made my day.

Seriously, I used to get Allure, mostly because I like makeup, but it used to crack me up how they’d tell you what time the cover person got there for there shoot, what they were wearing, and what they requested for lunch. They always made much of what the person ate and acted like it was the cutest (and weirdest) thing ever if they wanted something more than a watercress latte and bean sprout springrolls.


Willow on January 19, 2011 at 3:00 pm.

The Stepford Wives! *screams and runs away*


raven_feathers on January 19, 2011 at 3:01 pm.

haha, oh, goodness. i actually thought that second picture was FROM the the Real Doll site!! Blah, gah!


sizeoftheocean on January 19, 2011 at 3:49 pm.

I’m most disturbed by the coffee order. What the hell is “black coffee with a shot of espresso and a side of steamed skim milk”? Is that a mix-your-own skinny latte? My caffeine-deprived brain does not understand!


Mimi on January 20, 2011 at 1:24 pm.

That mix is a red-eye where I’m from. Probably because she was SO exhausted from that 2 hour flight that crosses no time zones!


Marley on January 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm.


as I drink my white chocolate mocha WITH WHIP CREAM.

(Which isn’t really funny, except that I frequently end up buying coffee with the double-tall no-fat skim-milk two-splendas whatever-else folk and always have to make sure I get my whip!)


Kate on January 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm.

Bridget Bardot, huh? I thought that maybe they were using this as inspiration


kbryna on January 19, 2011 at 9:45 pm.

gods, that’s creepy! the original ad AND the similarity. NO ONE IS BEING FOOLED – we all know Jenifer Aniston is over, you know, 16. Over 30, even. Over 40, in fact.

Wanting to look like a sexy child is profoundly odd, creepy and distressing. the fact that “sexy child” is even a phrase I can create is odd, creepy and distressing.


I’ve never liked Aniston, and in recent years she’s just gotten kind of sad/desperate/creepy. It really is okay to be 40, or 45, or 80, or whatever. It’s great, even!


xenu01 on January 19, 2011 at 9:55 pm.

That ad is AUGH so creepy!


Moe on January 19, 2011 at 9:16 pm.

I just finished watching the accompanying behind the scenes video and it just baffles me. She’s a beautiful woman. I don’t understand the need to make her or any other 40ish woman into a living doll.

One of the things I love about photos from the 60s is that there was real photographic talent in play. Nowadays it’s “let’s fix it later”. Photography has gotten lazy.


Morgan on January 19, 2011 at 11:29 pm.

The eyes definitey do a lot to make her look doll-like, especially in the second photo – the pupils are far too large for the amount of light that seems to be around. It’s creepy.

Of course, the airbrushing, mouth and general weirdness of the shots also add to the overall effect.


Melissa on January 19, 2011 at 11:39 pm.

She looks even *less* human in the second photo. She looks like an airbrush portrait rendered by an alien who is guessing at what humans might look like. And the teddy bear just adds an extra element of creepiness.


Veronica on January 20, 2011 at 5:35 am.

I saw this cover, and didn’t recognize her at first. They’ve photoshopped her until she doesn’t even look like herslef anymore. The thing I don’t understand is, why does Jennifer Aniston think this is okay? One would think a grown woman like her would have learned to live peacefully with herself, and not want photos of herself in magazine where she so obviously has been changed dramatically.


Berdawn on January 20, 2011 at 8:14 am.

OMG, if you haven’t seen “Friends with Money” see it, see it, see it! Nicole Holofcener is a totally awesome director (and Ms. Aniston does a good job in it–the only film I’ve seen her in other than Office Space).


Mimi on January 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm.

This is just so sad. If you hadn’t told me this was Jennifer Aniston, I wouldn’t have known. I also wouldn’t have known it was a real living human being.

If she would insist on being (and being portrayed as) a woman near her actual age, she’d be loads more beautiful. THE AIRBRUSHING ABOMINATION MUST STOP!!!


Holls on January 20, 2011 at 8:38 pm.

Apropos of nearly nothing, the artist Laurie Simmons has a series of photographs of a real doll, dressed and shot to appear human.


thirtiesgirl on January 20, 2011 at 8:41 pm.

You hit the nail on the head. She completely looks like a RealDoll(tm). Doesn’t Aniston or her publicist have to sign off on the pics that get used in magazines? Why would they sign off on these? …Unless they’re cool with it…?

Personally, I have an issue with RealDolls. I feel that they contribute to furthering many guys’ already unhealthy feelings about, interactions and relationships with women. I can’t condemn RealDolls entirely, since I know they provide benefits for some people with physical limitations and very severe social disorders. But for those without physical limitations or severe social disorders who use RealDolls as a replacement for interactions and relationships with real women, I find it a deeply unhealthy thing.


thirtiesgirl on January 20, 2011 at 8:43 pm.

Comment #2: Seconding the suggestion for checking out Friends With Money. Also recommending The Good Girl, one of Aniston’s best acting jobs, imho.


Audrey on January 25, 2011 at 11:02 pm.

I submitted it to Photoshop Disasters. I had to. Her blank, plastic expressionless face will haunt me in my dreams forever. 😀


Lesley on January 26, 2011 at 9:14 am.

Oh, GOOD CALL. Here’s hoping they post it.


Marya Hart on January 27, 2011 at 3:53 pm.

It’s Cindy Sherman!

Without the irony…


Kath on January 28, 2011 at 4:38 am.

They’ve killed her! That’s how bodies look when they’re laid out for a viewing.


Erica on January 30, 2011 at 5:05 pm.

wow I just discovered-& am now a devoted fan of-this blog. just read this post and the one about Feeling Good. really great posts, educational and funny to boot. awesome job.


Sweetnfat on January 30, 2011 at 8:21 pm.

I wonder very much what the original photos must have looked like. At any rate, it’s sad and frightening how desperately it seems like she’s (and the staff that retouched the pictures are) clinging to “youth” with this photo shoot.


Rebecca Keesing on February 14, 2011 at 9:59 pm.



AnonyMouse on March 19, 2011 at 3:57 pm.

She looks like a doll of Barbra Streisand. Excellent craftsmanship, I must say.


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