Justine Bateman grew up as America’s sweetheart as she played Mallory, the sister of Michael J. Fox’s character, on the iconic 1980s sitcom “Family Ties.” Now 55 years-old, Bateman is opening up about the difficulties of aging in Hollywood, and to reveal the “big mistake” that she made that led her to rethink her views on both beauty and getting older.
“I made the mistake of Googling my name and autocomplete was, ‘Justine Bateman looks old,'” Bateman told Entertainment Tonight. “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 continued. “It was a big mistake to do that.”
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Throughout her decades in the entertainment world, she has noticed that there is a way bigger “emphasis” on women’s looks than on men’s. She’s seen this firsthand by comparing her own situation to that of her Hollywood star brother Jason Bateman, who is not judged by his looks at 52 years of age the way a woman is. Bateman does not like the message that this is sending to a younger generation of women.
“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.'”
That’s why Bateman penned her new book “Face,” which is a collection of 47 short stories about what it means to age and the emotions that come along with it. She wrote the book after conducting interviews with women of all ages.
“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 said. “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?'”
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Bateman has accomplished quite a lot since her days on “Family Ties,” as she has written two books, directed movies and even earned a degree in Computer Science at the age of 50. She could not help but become emotional as she said that she’s done “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. That’s how I want to live.”