Jennifer Aniston has always been a trendsetter—who didn't immediately run out and buy a plaid miniskirt when Rachel Green wore one on Friends? But nowhere is her influence stronger than the arena of hairstyles.
It's difficult to measure the cultural impact of the Rachel. New variations on the classic ’90s chop buzz around the internet every season, including the butterfly haircut—the of-the-moment take. In fact, her style is so iconic that #RachelGreen has more than 1 billion views on TikTok, an app known for its Gen Z user base, almost three decades after Friends first premiered. The Rachel is forever.
That said, the Rachel's popularity tends to overshadow Jennifer Aniston's essential contribution to messy beach wave culture, and that's something which I can no longer allow. Because back in 2002, when Aniston was up for the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series, the intentionally tousled look wasn't considered red-carpet-friendly. In fact, the new millennium had prompted a surge in overstyled—and colored—looks. Aniston's contemporaries sported stick-straightened hair, over-the-top blowouts, and black-on-blonde balayage. But that didn't stop the Friends star from rocking effortless waves to the Emmys that year, looking amazing—and taking home the Emmy for her performance as Rachel Green—in the process.
While Aniston's fellow attendees sported more “done” styles for the red carpet (mostly sleek blowouts and updos), the Friends star opted for the epitome of effortless glam, wearing a look that resembled air-dried beach waves in the best way.
In more recent years, uncomplicated waves and curls have skyrocketed in popularity, so much so Dry Bar has an option for them on its menu (the Mai Tai). Zendaya wore her hair in effortless water waves on the 2021 Academy Awards red carpet, while everyone from Lizzo to Kylie Jenner to Kim Kardashian have proudly sported mermaid waves as well.
But of course, before all of that, Jennifer Aniston made messy beach waves a red-carpet staple. And for that, Ms. Aniston, we thank you.
If you suddenly have a craving for tousled beach waves, you're in the right place (and not alone, because very much same). Re-create Aniston's iconic look just in time for the 2022 Emmys on September 12: Simply spritz texturizing sea salt spray into your hair and let it air-dry, and/or style with a beach waver, and you're good to go…to Central Perk.
Originally Appeared on Glamour