Justine Bateman on Aging & the Mistake of Googling Herself

Justine Bateman is opening up about how a “big mistake” led her to rethink how she views aging and beauty. The actress and director’s new book, Face: One Square Foot of Skin, released on Tuesday, and an interview with ET’s Nischelle Turner, she explained how it came to be.

“I made the mistake of Googling my name and autocomplete was, ‘Justine Bateman looks old,'” Bateman revealed. “I’m 55 now, I was about 41 at the time, and that really threw me.” 

“Instead of thinking, ‘Oh they’re wrong and I’m right,’ I decided they were right and I was wrong. And that was my fatal misstep, because that really affected me deeply,” she added. “It was a big mistake to do that.”

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Bateman was 16 when she found fame on Family Ties, playing Mallory, the sister of Michael J. Fox’s character. Through her decades in Hollywood, Bateman has seen more of an “emphasis” on women’s looks than the appearance of male stars, like her brother, Jason Bateman. She’s hoping to change that by encouraging women to take a step away from the fillers and filters — and embrace their natural face. 

“Now a lot of younger woman are looking at older women in the public eye… and they see that they’re getting their faces cut up and plastic injected in and toxins and everything so if you’re 20, 25 years old, you look at that and you go,’Oh, I guess that’s what I have to do,'” Bateman said. “Or you see these women who seem frightened about looking older and then you think, ‘Oh, I don’t want to put the breaks on, because I don’t want to be frightened. I don’t want that to be my future.'”

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Bateman’s new book, Face, is a collection of 47 short stories about what it means to age and the emotions that come with it. It’s based on interviews she conducted. 

“One of the things that I came across when I was doing interviews is there are couples wherein, if the woman has not had plastic surgery, it reflects poorly on the man,” she shared, offering an example: “Now he has someone who looks like she could get some work done and hasn’t had any work done. ‘Are they having troubles with their finances?'” 

Since her time as a child star, Bateman has written two books, directed movies and earned a degree in Computer Science at the age of 50. Looking back at her first ET interview as a teenager, Bateman got emotional, noting she ended up doing “lots of things” her younger self aspired to do.

“I’m glad I look different,” she noted. “When I look in the mirror, I know what I’ve achieved.” 

“The people that comment about my face online, go for it, keep doing it. I don’t care because you’re telling me about you. You’re not telling me about me,” Bateman said. “That’s how I want to live.” 

Face: One Square Foot of Skin is out now. 

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