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Jennifer Aniston: Actress

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“When it’s time for a change, stay out of Jennifer Aniston‘s way. The shaggy cut worn by Friends‘ sweet-but-spoiled Rachel was once America’s must-have do. But while Aniston, 30, was flattered by the craze, she has moved on. Now, says her stylist Chris McMillan, her hair is “just long. She curses me every time I trim a tenth of an inch.” That’s not the only seismic shift for the Picture Perfect star. Late last spring she became the object of Brad Pitt‘s affection.

Among her other attributes, says makeup-artist friend Collier Strong, Aniston, 5’5″, “has a body that rocks the world.” And the star, who stays in shape with thrice-weekly workouts at the gym, learned early on to accentuate the positive. Longtime pal Andrea Bendewald, of the Suddenly Susan cast, says Aniston’s makeup was “never gaudy” when they attended Manhattan’s High School for the Performing Arts. The thanks goes to the influence of her mother, Nancy, a model-actress. (Her actor father, John, was a longtime regular on Days of Our Lives). And when she hit L.A. in the early ’90s, Aniston reluctantly realized that she had to pare down. “It’s unfortunate that Hollywood puts pressure on women to be thin,” she told PEOPLE in 1997, “because it sends the wrong message.” Still, she melted away 30 pounds in about a year. “She didn’t bounce around from diet to diet,” says Bendewald. “She just started eating better.” And what happened to that girl-next-door image? That may have been a mirage in the first place. “She has a bit of that quality,” says her father. “But you should be so lucky to find a girl next door like her.”