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Thread: Justine Bateman Doesn’t Want You to Call Her New Book Brave

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    Default Justine Bateman Doesn’t Want You to Call Her New Book Brave

    https://www.vanityfair.com/style/202...new-book-brave



    Writer, director, and producer Justine Bateman, who broke through in the 1980s as one of the fresh-faced teen stars of the NBC sitcom Family Ties, has already grappled publicly with the fickle nature of fame. In 2018’s Fame: The Hijacking of Reality, Bateman recalled the “nauseating experience” of discovering how strangers on the internet were critiquing her looks; a number of online critics made it clear that “Justine Bateman looks horrible now.”
    In her new book, Face: One Square Foot of Skin, out now, Bateman has produced a follow-up that expands into a more specific account of how she, and other women, must grapple with the “imagined reality that older women’s faces” are often thought of as being “unattractive, undesirable, and something to be ‘fixed.’” It may go without saying that in Hollywood, it’s even tougher.
    In Face, Bateman provides the reader with 47 “short narrative blasts” that take into account other women’s experiences, which Bateman herself has gathered from dozens of interviews she conducted. Ahead, she discusses the “Ponzi scheme” of plastic surgery, the actors who embody the kind of aging she hopes to do, and what it takes to walk out into the world with an attitude that says: “Fuck you, I look great.”

    Vanity Fair: The word brave is used frequently in your new book’s blurbs. Do you think of yourself as being brave?


    Justine Bateman: [Laughs] No. I think that whole phrase is such bullshit. To me it says, “I’m so embarrassed for you. This is so brave.” I fucking hate that term. No, I don’t think it’s brave at all. I’m just saying that we as a society somehow leapfrogged from “Wow, that plastic surgery is so extreme” to “When are you getting your plastic surgery? Is it going to be at 20, or is it going to be at 40?” It’s almost your duty now as a female to start cutting up your face. How did this thinking become so set in our society? How about just saying no?
    This pressure to alter one’s appearance is that much more intense under the microscope of celebrity and Hollywood. It’s merciless.

    When we talk about Hollywood, we’re talking about a bunch of fairly attractive people. So if these fairly attractive people, by society’s standards, are looking to erase character from their faces, what does that say to people who don’t look like that? What does that say to people who are, by society’s standards, more average-looking? Are they getting the message that “Jesus Christ, you better catch up”? I just think it’s the wrong direction. Everybody’s talking about “empowering women,” which I also find to be kind of a flaccid statement. Empowering them for what? To shove plastic in their faces? I don’t get that. How about feeling empowered to walk out in the world with an attitude that says, “Fuck you, I look great”?
    Can you understand, however, when an actor does make the decision to undergo some form of cosmetic surgery?
    Well, I think there are a few things going on. First of all, it’s germane to being an actor, wanting to make changes that you believe will encourage more employment. Of all jobs, I find acting to be the least proactive. It’s like grammar school; you’re waiting in the line to be picked by the team captain during recess to play dodgeball. You’re not generating work, and so you start getting into your head, What can I do to help this along? Which is silly. Most of the time it’s not at all about what you are, or are not, doing. It just comes down to the fact that you’re not the right ingredient for that particular recipe, that film. But you’re like, Maybe if I dyed my hair blond. Or maybe if I had different representation, maybe that would do it. Or maybe I need to lose 10 pounds. Maybe I need to gain 10 pounds. But it doesn’t really work that way.

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    So these actors are doing what? They’re trying to control and navigate through this extremely difficult world by kowtowing to what they think others want them to look like?
    They’re trying to control the variables. You can’t control a lot in this world. You’re chasing your tail. It’s often not true that you weren’t picked for a role because you have blond hair or because you have a crease on the side of your mouth. And in fact, you might be making changes to your looks that do become reasons you won’t get picked. It’s like a Ponzi scheme. You’re never going to win.
    You’ve been in the business a long time. Why do you even read online reviews from mean-spirited people? As you write, one compared your face to that of a crack addict’s.
    That’s a good question. When I first came across negative views of my looks, I was morbidly fascinated and shocked. I was, like, 42 or 43. I didn’t really have anything going on with my face. Does someone really think that?! Should I be subscribing to this? Am I kidding myself that I look okay?




















    But here’s the thing: If you had gotten work done to your face, you would have most likely been criticized for that.

    Oh, 100%. By the same people.
    At the same time you’re never going to see Tommy Lee Jones being told to get a face-lift.
    That’s true. It just comes down to a real fear women have that is irrationally attached to the skin on one’s face. Or in an irrational assumption that if I do such a thing, tighten or change my face, then I will have all these things come to me. Which is sort of a weird connection to imagine. It’s a little OCD to me. If I knock on the door jamb five times before I step through, XYZ will occur, or I’ll be making sure ABC doesn’t occur. It’s not a direct correlation. People may think it is. They’re like, “Here’s my math proof. It worked out. I did this and then I got that.” Well, what if that opportunity was coming your way anyway? Whether you changed your face or not?


    Buy Face: One Square Foot of Skin on Amazon or Bookshop.

    You write in the book about idolizing and admiring older European actors when you were young: “I longed for Jeanne Moreau’s under-eye bags, Charlotte Rampling’s sharp cheekbones and hooded eyelids, and Anna Magnani’s deep and dark creases extending down from the inner corners of her eyes.” Beyond saddened, you seem genuinely puzzled that an aging woman can nowadays be looked at with such disdain.
    I am genuinely puzzled, but I don’t think I’m so uniquely insightful or anything like that. I think that when I look at those women, the thing that shines through for me is their confidence. And so for me, in my 20s, that’s what I wanted, that confidence. I’ve not found that level of confidence oozing from the pores of women who’ve had a lot of plastic surgery. It’s just not been my experience. I’m sure they’re out there, but it’s not been my experience.
    Do you think that being critical of an aging face is an inborn trait, or is it something that we’re all taught from a young age?
    I do think it’s taught. And this is just anecdotal from my experience, but when I was younger, I don’t remember being repulsed or taken aback or needing to adjust my perception of a person if they had an older face. I was just able to get a sense of who they were as a person. One of the ways we’ve been able to survive as a species, through evolution, is our ability to read people and to notice that they’re aging: Oh, they’re older. They’ve had more experience. They’re a little wiser than somebody who has a face that looks like it hasn’t been around as long.
    But beyond that, how do they carry themselves? What are the things they’re saying? What’s the tone they’re using? How are they sitting in their chair? How much attention are they paying me or not paying me? These are all things that give us a lot more information than how many wrinkles somebody has on their face.

    What do you hope to achieve with this book?
    I really wanted to touch on all these different reasons why women have this vulnerability. Because it’s not really tied to the actual look of your face. It’s tied to what we think that means. In essence, a lot of these women are getting plastic surgery because they don’t want any of the things they assume will happen if they have wrinkles on their faces. They want to shove those things off. But the truth is those things could still possibly happen. And then you have two problems: You’ll still have the things you were afraid would happen as a result, and you’ve also cut up your face.















    I think it’s possible that I’ll be criticized by those who have decided that plastic surgery is some kind of feminist position. That criticism of “how dare you be critical of women that have taken control and are making the changes that they see are necessary?” But look, this is just how I see things. My hope for women is that they can get a steel spine as far as how they feel about themselves. That the condition of their face is completely immaterial. We assume others are going to reject us. We don’t trust that things are going to be okay. Because of that, women feel they have to make sure all these other people are okay with what they look like. As if that’s the only way they’re going to move forward.
    And I don’t believe things actually work that way.




  2. #2
    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    I get what she's saying, and unfortunately how futile that is in Hollywood as an actress; it is totally true and regular people need to be reminded of that, disabused of their instagram and tik tok notions of how they should look. Her message can fly in the real world, but in celebrity culture it's a much harder sell. Celebrities and actors are generally paid to look better than everyone else.

    But beyond that--she looks like she really has a LOT of sun damage that could have been avoided. I mean, she's 55, her brother is 52 and doesn't look like that, remotely. it really makes me want to use sunscreen.

    Also: she reminds me of a geriatric Mary-Kate Olsen.

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    I too get what she is saying. I dislike the amorous language with which she writes based on interviews of her reading excerpts from her book. At knocking on the door of 54, I know genetics and life choices have an effect on how one looks. I don’t romanticize jowls or grey or menopausal changes. Just accept them because they are what they are and that’s life. Not my place to tell another my opinion regarding their choice about “cutting up a face.”
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    Her body looks great, but she's past face-or-ass age and probably has been for awhile and the choice is obvious. I think it would make a big difference for her facially if she were about 10lbs heavier. I don't even remember her this thin when she was young. Jason looks way younger than her than 3 years. So what has he been doing? Was it just staying out of the sun?

    But I love Justine so she can do what she wants. But there's a whole lot of things (natural things) in between doing nothing vs going whole hog Wildenstein-Lardassian with the cutting and injecting stuff.
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    Elite Member InigoMontoya's Avatar
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    I love her too. Family Ties was big back in the day when critics were much more harsh, and she was lovely then. And, to me? Just a normal woman I could relate to rather than the ideal that was being purported. I love her. Am sure she had to deal with her share of critics back in the day.

    also, she was great in the much-maligned movie “Satisfaction.”

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    I am all for aging gracefully. I don't think there is a thing wrong with wrinkles. I also think we have such unrealistic views of what normal aging looks like.

    That being said -- she is really, really wrinkled for 55 and that dark eyeliner is doing her no favors. I understand not getting plastic surgery, but it doesn't look like her takes care of her skin at all. Her choice, but it is startling to see.

    That's probably the point of her book -- to be OK with how people choose to age.
    holly, palta and sputnik like this.

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    i kind of love that she doesn't give a fuck and it's kind of sad to me that in this day and age, a woman not doing anything to try to look younger is such an act of rebellion and no one - but, ironically, especially not other women - will forgive a woman for not caring about 'ageing well' and refusing to try to cling to her youth by any means possible. and i totally get what she means about looking at jeanne moreau's wrinkles and charlotte rampling's naturally ageing but still beautiful face, hooded eyes and all.
    i also think she's playing up her wrinkles since it's sort of the theme of her book - that first photo was shot with very harsh light and high contrast, which will add 10 years to anyone's face, and you can tell it's definitely intentional. and sure, she could use a haircut but i'll still take her justine bateman's face and wrinkles and hair over any of the real housewives with their golf ball cheekbones and disgusting extensions and excessively made up faces. those women are far more extreme and offensive looking to me.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MsDark View Post
    Her body looks great, but she's past face-or-ass age and probably has been for awhile and the choice is obvious. I think it would make a big difference for her facially if she were about 10lbs heavier. I don't even remember her this thin when she was young. Jason looks way younger than her than 3 years. So what has he been doing? Was it just staying out of the sun?

    But I love Justine so she can do what she wants. But there's a whole lot of things (natural things) in between doing nothing vs going whole hog Wildenstein-Lardassian with the cutting and injecting stuff.

    I loved her on "Family Ties". Not just cute, but had a very cool, low-key personality. Michael J. Fox has raved about working with her.

    Anyway, the body and face thing reminded me again of my brother. He lost something like 30-40 pounds and then started wearing a CPAP device at night. Sometimes it seems like half the weight he lost was in his face and the mask seems to have put creases into it. I am still not used to it. But it probably means his four young daughters are going to have him around a lot longer than they would have if he hadn't made those changes.

    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    i kind of love that she doesn't give a fuck and it's kind of sad to me that in this day and age, a woman not doing anything to try to look younger is such an act of rebellion and no one - but, ironically, especially not other women - will forgive a woman for not caring about 'ageing well' and refusing to try to cling to her youth by any means possible. and i totally get what she means about looking at jeanne moreau's wrinkles and charlotte rampling's naturally ageing but still beautiful face, hooded eyes and all.
    i also think she's playing up her wrinkles since it's sort of the theme of her book - that first photo was shot with very harsh light and high contrast, which will add 10 years to anyone's face, and you can tell it's definitely intentional. and sure, she could use a haircut but i'll still take her justine bateman's face and wrinkles and hair over any of the real housewives with their golf ball cheekbones and disgusting extensions and excessively made up faces. those women are far more extreme and offensive looking to me.
    I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with her aging per se, it's just the way she works her makeup and hair the way she does. I also agree that the photo we see is presented as harshly as possible. It almost looks like silver gelatin print (which picks up every detail in the skin as if it's 3D). Except a color version. I said in the other (hopefully to be merged) Justine thread that Mrs Mo and I are almost the exact same age as Justine. Mrs Mo hasn't had any work done and I probably have taken more photos of her in the last year and a half than I did in the previous 25 - so somebody out there appreciates you old broads.

    Oh, and speaking of Jeanne Moreau, here is a cool clip from La Femme Nikita. Her character is brought in to glam up Nikita who is a hot mess criminal with no style. Moreau laments her own aging, and discusses what they can do for Nikita. Great soundtrack by the way.....


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    Elite Member MsDark's Avatar
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    She doesn't have to do anything if she doesn't want to. But when people remember her as pretty young Mallory Keaton of course they're going to comment on the radical difference. If I saw her in anything more recent in order to get accustomed to how she looks now, along with her no doubt improved wisdom and personality most women have at this age I probably wouldn't think anything of her looks. She's not a young girl anymore. And that's not a bad thing. She will always be an attractive woman.

    Me personally? I want to look different than this at 55. Because looking a certain way makes me feel better. I will never have a body like hers then or now so I concentrate on my face. And I do not want this kind of wrinkling and aging in my face in 5 years. I stopped the sun worship or being out without sunscreen or hat/shades in my early 20's and I'm pretty oily still so as long as menopause doesn't dry me out too hard I don't think I'll get more than I can live with too fast.

    That said I really don't want to do injecting and cutting either. Except....if I get droopy jowls. That's something that will be dealt with. I'm a little curious what will be happening when I get down to the weight I want to stay. So far my face doesn't look too different. Still full just slightly less fat.

    Did Justine mention if she takes any hormones?
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    Bronze Member mopar's Avatar
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    I agree the first photo is under a really harsh light, but the second photo looks great. She looks great.

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    Elite Member DeChayz's Avatar
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    Like, yay for self confidence and all that, but DAMN that is a rough 55. My mom is 10 years older and looks much younger that her, no PS
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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Can these posts be added to this earlier thread: Actress Justine Bateman's book "Face: One Square Foot of Skin"
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    Elite Member louiswinthorpe111's Avatar
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    Was she a smoker? That could do it also.

    I'm 48, and time has started the march across my face. I'm not opposed to a facelift if the time comes, depending on money. It's really hard for me to part with money, so I would have to look like absolute dogshit to get a facelift.
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    I think Justine always got by on her looks, because she was/is absolutely beautiful. As she got older, she was bombarded with people telling her to have work done, which probably seemed so foreign to her, so she finally said, this is who I am and she embraced it.

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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    I think there is and will be a lot of technology for outpatient skin treatment, like resurfacing and tightening. I still hang my hopes on the idea of Fraxel (laser) to deal with age spots, wrinkles, blemished skin. And that was quite a while ago, I think surely the technology will only improve with time. Pricey, but no one is cutting or injecting anything.

    At 44 I still don't have any wrinkles except on my forehead because I evidently raise my eyebrows all the time. But one day I'll look like grandma Coco, and I hope I'll be ok with that.


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