Since Friends finished airing more than a decade ago, it’s become increasingly apparent how strongly the show influenced ‘90s pop culture. Stop any ‘90s kid on the street and they’re bound to at least know all the names of the main characters. Most folks can probably even give you a quote or two from their favourite episodes; can we hear a Joey-style ‘How you doin’?’
However, beyond the quotable lines, and the sitcom silliness, one startling controversy still rages on even 15 years after the finale aired: What is the deal with Jennifer Aniston’s nipples?
Wait, What? That’s A Thing?
Oh yes, Jennifer Aniston’s nipples on Friends has been a subject of much intrigue since the day fans caught a glimpse. Although Jennifer Aniston never had a major nip slip on the show, her breasts have still drawn a lot of attention from eagle-eyed viewers. Despite wearing a bra onscreen, the outline of her hard nipples seemed to always show through her top no matter what kind of shirt she was wearing!
We can’t exactly pinpoint when this obsession with Rachel Green’s visible nipples began, but we can tell you how enduring the phenomenon is.
Exhibit A: There’s an entire Tumblr blog dedicated to Rachel’s hard nipples called The One With Rachel’s Nipples. As you may have already guessed, it’s chock full of stills from the show wherein Jennifer’s nipples are awake on camera.
Exhibit B: Do a quick Google search on Rachel Green’s nipples and you’ll find countless articles on the topic, from big magazines to message boards!
Jennifer Aniston’s Nipples, Explained!
Though she’s skirted the topic of Rachel’s visible nipples in the past, she finally opened up about it in 2017. In an interview with Vogue, Jen had this to say:
“Yeah, I don’t know what to say about that! It’s just one of those things, I guess. I wear a bra, I don’t know what to tell ya! And I don’t know why we’re supposed to be ashamed of them — it’s just the way my breasts are!”
We love that. She’s so honest and real! Jennifer Aniston has actually been known to push back against the relentlessness of Hollywood paparazzi when it comes to shaming and obsessing over female celebrities’ bodies, so we know she’s always fighting the good fight.
Jennifer has been hounded relentlessly for her boobs, just as she’s been hounded relentlessly on her divorces and pregnancy rumours. While it’s kind of sad how it’s followed Jennifer around so many years after her time on Friends, we do love how she’s handled the issue.
In an interview with Marie Claire, she delivered a biting statement on how damaging the celebrity obsession is.
"My marital status has been shamed; my divorce status was shamed; my lack of a mate had been shamed; my nipples have been shamed...It's like, why are we only looking at women through this particular lens of picking us apart? Why are we listening to it?"
She also wrote an op-ed in 2016 where she spoke up about the scrutiny and objectification placed on women’s bodies, saying it was “absurd and disturbing”.
In the show, Rachel Green was one tough cookie, and it looks like Jen was simply channeling her own fighting spirit into the character!
Reclaiming The Nipple
In the past, Jennifer Aniston may have been scrutinised and shamed for her nipples, but when faced with adversity she dug her heels in, stood up for herself, and embraced the title of being the “OG” voice of the #FreeTheNipple campaign.
For those who don’t know, the #FreeTheNipple campaign is a worldwide movement advocating for the rights of women to show their breasts without reproach or reprimanding. In the U.S., some women are fighting for rights to go topless at the beach.
We think it’s high time gals started to reclaim their bodies! It’s 2019, and women shouldn’t have to be subjected to a scandal over accidental nip slips, unnecessary censorship on social media and even breastfeeding shaming. After all, what’s so offensive about nipples and boobs? Men have them too and they’re allowed to show them off at the beach, right?
Jennifer Aniston may have been the subject of ridicule and public scrutiny for her awakened nipples during her time on Friends but the actress has since reclaimed her body and fought back against the ridiculous body standards set on women. Turns out, the issue isn’t so much about Jennifer Aniston’s nipples, but in how we, the audience, grew to become obsessed with what is otherwise a natural part of a woman’s body.
Lesson learned! It’s 2019, and it’s high time we made women feel better about their bodies rather than tear them down for it. After all, you don’t hear people obsessing over Chandler’s hairline or Ross’ lankiness do you?