Justine Bateman gets candid on aging and the idea that women's faces are 'broken' and need 'to be fixed'




Justine Bateman is getting candid about her new book, "Face: One Square Foot of Skin," and explaining what in her personal life inspired her to write the project.

The book is a collection of stories from 47 women Bateman interviewed regarding how they feel about aging and the pressures to continue to look young as they age. She is hoping that through reading these stories, audiences will be able to look inward and identify some fears they have leading them to want to look young.

Bateman was inspired to write the book after she googled herself to find some old comments that were made about her, and the Google auto complete function assumed she was searching "Justine Bateman looks old." This shocked her, because she never thought of herself that way.

"It affected me more deeply and for a longer period of time than I expected it to," the "Family Ties" star explained to Fox News Digital. "I dug in and had to understand why that affected me like it did, and then once I did, I thought, why do we even have these ideas in society that a woman's face is broken and needs to be fixed?"

Justine Bateman was inspired to write her new book after she googled herself and found out people think she looks old.
Justine Bateman was inspired to write her new book after she googled herself and found out people think she looks old.  

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During the interview, Bateman hypothesized people fear that if they look old, they risk not getting the job they really want, or losing the job they already have, and essentially be passed over for opportunities for someone who looks more youthful.

In her opinion, this could stem from different children's stories such as "Cinderella," "Snow White" and "Sleeping Beauty" where "most of the villains are old women." She thinks these stories subconsciously planted specific fears surrounding aging, a fear she thinks is important to understand.

"I find it very helpful to understand why I've adopted some negative idea about myself. Like, what am I getting out of that? What fear is that sort of neutralizing," she asked. "For people who have had plastic surgery or still want to, I'm just saying, like deal with the fear that it brings up, and then you're not going to have some irrational unconscious fear kind of running your show and make causing you to make decisions you don't really necessarily want to make."

The actress then explained how the plastic surgery industry is just "a marketing tool" in which a problem is created to attract customers for the solution in which the problem was created for. She provided the example of these industries telling young people certain procedures are preventative.

"The idea that it's almost a woman's duty or responsibility to start cutting it up and injecting it after a certain age or doing it preventatively… I wish people would see it's just a marketing tool," Bateman said. "They put the fear in them that if you don't do it, all these bad things will happen to you, which is just so silly and ridiculous."

Justine Bateman explained her thoughts on how the plastic surgery industry is one big marketing tool.
Justine Bateman explained her thoughts on how the plastic surgery industry is one big marketing tool.  

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Bateman says the fear is different for every woman, and it is up to them to understand what fear is driving them before they make changes to their appearance.

"The fear is the cause of the feelings, not the face," she explained. "If after you deal with the fear, you still want to cut your face and dye your hair and change your body, it's your body and your face and your skin and your hair. It's yours, do whatever you want with it. I'm just suggesting get at the fears that are underneath it."

"Find out what that fear is for you underneath it, and then deal with that, and then you won't feel like you need to," she said. "I think for some people, it's… a fear of being left out, it's a fear of not being part of what's going on right now."

Regarding social media, Bateman thinks it has caused the fear surrounding aging to worsen because "you're no longer just comparing yourself to everyone in your school…you're comparing yourself to everybody who has an Instagram account."

After discovering and understanding her own fears surrounding aging, Bateman no longer concerns herself with the traditional restraints society puts on people of a certain age, saying she is not going to let her age keep her from pursuing any opportunities.

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Justine Bateman does not let the fact that she is getting older stop her from pursuing opportunities.
Justine Bateman does not let the fact that she is getting older stop her from pursuing opportunities.  

"I think there's two ages. You're either alive or you're dead, so while you're alive, do the things you want to do," Bateman said. "I'm not going to X myself out of my own opportunities by telling myself, 'Oh no, you can't, because your x age,' that doesn't make sense to me. I went to college at 46, graduated at 50. You have your life until you don't have it anymore."

Bateman says society is trying to get women to focus on their appearance instead of their true purpose in life, and she hopes more people will realize this through reading her book.

"My hope is that more and more people can kind of reject that distraction, get it," Bateman, who is also producing a film based on the book, asked. "Why they themselves have a fear of people thinking they look older and then be more themselves and live their lives more fully because when somebody is living their life to the fullest extent, you know, and really being themselves, we all benefit from that."

"Face: One Square Foot of Skin" is out now.

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