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Jennifer Aniston says media 'took advantage of' young '90s stars like Britney Spears

“(They were) feeding on young, impressionable girls,” Aniston said.
/ Source: TODAY

Jennifer Aniston came of age as a star in the 1990s, but she says that may have come at a cost.

In a new interview for the September issue of InStyle, the “Friends” star explains how the media preyed on many young women who rose to fame in that decade, including Britney Spears.

“(They were) feeding on young, impressionable girls,” she said. “Half of these kids started on ‘The Mickey Mouse Club.’ I was lucky enough to be raised by a very strict mother. The priorities were not about becoming a famous person. It was, ‘Study your craft, learn what you're doing, don't just go out there and get lucky.’”

Aniston questions the media's treatment of stars like Spears.Getty Images

Aniston said while she scratched and clawed her way to stardom, Spears and her contemporaries had other voices defining who they were, which had a negative effect.

“I waitressed for years. I got a Bob's Big Boy commercial on my 900th commercial audition,” she said.

“I was doing theater on, like, Long Island. I think that (Spears') group of girls as teens didn't have any kind of ‘Who am I?’ They were being defined by this outside source. The media took advantage of that, capitalized on them, and it ultimately cost them their sanity. It's so heartbreaking.”

Jennifer Aniston, left, played Britney Spears in a 2004 "Saturday Night Live" sketch that poked fun of her wedding to Jason Alexander, played by Jimmy Fallon, right. Rachel Dratch, center, appeared as the priest.NBC

Spears has remained in a very public battle with her father as she seeks to remove him as her conservator. Last month, she said during a court hearing that she is “extremely scared” of him. It’s a far cry from the Spears fans saw when she burst onto the scene in the late ‘90s as a pop star.

Aniston also said the media paints a picture of celebrities that is simply not true.

“My level of anxiety has gone down by eliminating the unnecessary sort of fat in life that I had thought was necessary,” she said. “Also realizing that you can't please everybody. And what good does that do if you're just little bits of yourself? Let's try to be the full all of who we are so we can come to the table.

“The way the media presents us folk in this business is like we're always trotting around the world, on beaches having fun. But there are a lot of other, less obvious things that go into it.”

Aniston can also be counted among the many who are grateful for the “Friends” reunion, which aired earlier this year. She said the show is “eternal” and was reminded of the impact it continues to have.

“It's not just out there in the ether or on a television set you've passed by, but in our actual bodies — our DNA, our bloodstream, our cells,” she said.

“It was a unicorn of an experience. For whatever reason, we were all at the right place at the right time, and we created something that landed its little flag on a lot of people's hearts around the world.”