Justine Bateman: Stop Trying to ‘Fix’ Women’s Faces


Justine Bateman is ready for her Hollywood closeup. 

She would prefer you not look at her face or other physical features. There is much more power in her words. 

At 55, Bateman is punching back – and hard – at stereotypes and expectations about women and plastic surgery. 

It’s all chronicled in her new book, “Face: One Square Foot of Skin.” The book includes 47 short narratives on how she, and other women, face the inevitable reality of growing older, and the baggage that comes with it in terms of being labeled “unattractive, undesirable, and something to be ‘fixed.’” Bonus pressure points if you work in the entertainment industry. 

“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?’” she told Vanity Fair. “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?” 

Bateman, an actor and filmmaker, is best known for playing the role of Mallory Keaton on the hit ’80s NBC sitcom “Family Ties.” But now she is stepping front and center stage with her words, promoting the book. 

She’s not at all enamored with the Hollywood set and the protocol one must follow to get roles in films or television. 

“Of all jobs, I find acting to be the least proactive,” she told Vanity Fair. “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.” 

Justine Bateman stands proud of her looks, recently posting a picture on Instagram pointing out wrinkles, crow’s feet, and loose skin. 

The girl has got game. Best tread lightly with those Hollywood stereotypes.

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