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Snippet of Jennifer Aniston Speech: Find Your Voice

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Duration: 03:07
October 2019 - Jennifer Aniston speaks of how she always felt strong, but never powerful. It wasn't until "Friends" became popular that she realized that her voice mattered and she could use it to help others.
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October 2019 - Jennifer Aniston speaks of how she always felt strong, but never powerful. She recalls once being excused from the dining table because she "didn't have anything interesting to add to the conversation," and feeling like her voice was meaningless. It wasn't until "Friends" became popular that she realized that her voice mattered and she could use it to help others.
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I mean, you would think after 30 years of being in this industry, getting up here would be easy. And, uh, it's not. It's terrifying. Um, it's not that often we are surrounded by people who found their voice and are using it and using it to hold people up and bring people together. And that, to me, is true power. I mean, it's funny because I've never you know, I've never actually thought about myself as powerful. I mean, strong, yes, but powerful. Not, um, it's a It's a distinction I've actually been thinking a lot about lately because the word power, um, and its counterpart abuse of power keeps coming up in light of what is happening in our country. Um, in our in our industry, a rebalancing of the scales, I guess you could say. And, uh, I've been thinking about my own relationship with that word with the word power which got me thinking about, um, my first. My early associations from, uh, my early associations with my own sense of power, something I believe comes from using our voice. And I remember the parental figures saying to me around the rather critical age of about 11 after a dinner party, um, that I was excused from the table because I didn't have anything interesting to add to the conversation. Ouch. And it's stuck with me. It's stuck with me like painfully worded sentences can. And if I'm being honest and I'm being honest because I'm 58 you know that comes with the territory, that's right, Yeah. So I carried that sentence with me into adulthood, and I always felt incredibly comfortable giving a voice to the words of others. But put me at a dinner table with strangers or at a podium like this, and I go right back to being 11 years old. This last. The last two years has made me think a lot about the messages that we send young kids little girls, especially how the things that we say and you can either build them up or it can tear them down and make them feel like maybe their voices don't matter. And it wasn't until friends took off that I started seeing myself in a different light. I started meeting all of these people who expressed to me how much the show meant to them, how it lifted their spirits during a bad breakup or or got them through an illness. And I was just so incredibly moved by that, and I began to change the way I thought about my own voice and what it meant to have a platform to use it.
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