In an interview with Instyle, 49-year-old actress Jennifer Aniston opened up about her childhood, claiming that she was bullied in middle school for being slightly overweight.
After co-head Jimmy Kimmel Live! writer Molly McNearny, who is also married to Kimmel, asked Aniston about how she thinks social media impacts kids growing up today, the actress began to open up about her own childhood and the bullying she experienced in school.
Aniston told McNearny, “I was one of those kids who got sort of bullied, and I don’t know why.” Referring to her years in middle school as an awkward phase, Aniston noted, “I was a little on the chubby side, so I was just that kid.”
Aniston claims she is grateful that she was not immersed in the realm of social media when she was still a kid. “Childhood is a such a vulnerable time,” she said, stating that, when she was growing up, she only wanted to play games and have fun.
Regarding the social pressures that social media apps and networking sites often place on children, Aniston commented, “I think iPhones and Snapchat and all this stuff is just fueling narcissism,” claiming that all the filters available on Snapchat and Instagram just help people mask who they really are. The actress also noted that kids today are “starting way younger than when I even gave a crap about what I looked like or what makeup I wore or what guy I liked.”
Aniston also went on to comment on her own experience with social media and how time-consuming it can be. “There are times when I’ll look through and think, ‘Oh my god, what a time suck,'” she said. “I’ve been with people who spend maybe an hour figuring out this one post, and you’re like, ‘That just took up an hour of your life, and it’s gone in 60 seconds.'”
Claiming that she feels our society as a whole is losing both connection and the ability to converse, Aniston added that being a teenager now seems much more difficult than when she was growing up.
“It’s hard enough being a teenager and feeling like you fit in,” she said. “Now we’re actively creating an environment and a platform for you to tell someone, ‘I like you’ or ‘I don’t like you.'”
“That seems like an unhealthy formula for already-insecure adolescents,” Aniston continued. “We’re pouring fuel on a fire.”