The actress has recently spoken up about beauty standards in Hollywood and why she will never get plastic surgery
In 1982, a teenage Justine Bateman entered living rooms as Mallory Keaton, the sharp older sister on the NBC sitcom Family Ties. In the years following she continued working steadily in film and television with roles on Men Behaving Badly, Easy to Assemble and Men in Trees, as her younger brother Jason Bateman's star was rising, too.
In recent years, the 57-year-old actress and mother of two has become an advocate for aging naturally in Hollywood, first speaking to PEOPLE about skipping plastic surgery in 2013 and talking more recently about the stereotypes as she promotes her book, Face: One Square Foot of Skin.
Here, everything the star has said about staying natural.
"I'm glad I look different," Bateman told Entertainment Tonight in 2021. "When I look in the mirror, I know what I've achieved."
"Why in society is the idea that an older woman's face need to be fixed?" Bateman asked on Tamron Hall in 2021. "Why did we get from facelifts being unusual to 'Yes'? Why are we even suggesting that all these women need to fix their faces?"
She continued: "There's an absolute opportunity for anyone to grab onto [aging] and say ... even if you spend five minutes going, 'Hey, I look great!' and then notice what comes up: what fear comes up? That's how I go through it: whatever irrational fear comes up I've got to write it down or say it out loud so I can expose it and it can start to erode."
In her chat with Entertainment Tonight in 2021, Bateman mused: "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. 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.'"
The actress (reuniting with Family Ties costars Michael J. Fox and Meredith Baxter) spoke to Glamour in 2021 about her book and choosing happiness over a fixation on her looks.
"I think things are going to come my way whether my face is wrinkled or my skin is loose on my neck and under my eyes, or not," she said. "Am I going to enjoy it or not enjoy it? Because right now I have a book coming out and I have a film that just premiered at a big film festival. If I was fixated on the fact that my face looks like it's 55, I would be completely screwing myself out of enjoying this moment in my life. It's happening whether I'm happy with the way my face looks or not. So what's my attitude going to be? Am I going to spend time obsessing on the fact that my face is naturally aging? It's ridiculous. No. I'm going to have a good f---ing time!"
"I think getting all this plastic surgery is just people pleasing," Bateman told PEOPLE in 2021. "You don't want people to criticize you anymore so you appease them. The more you do that, the further away you get away from your true self. It doesn't work for me. If somebody said to me now we could do some surgery, wouldn't I be signaling that I'm super insecure? To me, it would."
Promoting her book to the Sydney Morning Herald in 2021, Bateman brought up the bright sides of aging.
"I think about how many tears have come through this face, how much joy, how much exhaustion or exuberance – that's an incredible collection of experience that this really small area of my body has taken on," she said. "Of course I see someone who's older, but when I first saw my neck skin getting looser, I said to myself, 'Well, that's what a cool neck looks like.' "
"I really liked it when I got angles under my cheekbones. The darkness under my eyes – I think that looks cool," she continued. "To me, though, it's all about attitude. It's not about the elements on my face. That's always been true for me: if I see a picture of myself at any age, and I look insecure, I immediately hate that picture and never want to see it again."
"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 told Fox News in 2021. "My hope is that more and more people can kind of reject that distraction. 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."
"I just don't give a s---. I think I look rad. I think my face represents who I am. I like it," Bateman said on 60 Minutes Australia in 2023.
"I feel like [Botox and fillers] would erase, not only all my authority that I have now, but also, I like feeling that I am a different person now than I was when I was 20," she added. "I like looking in the mirror and seeing that evidence."
In a chat with Today in 2023, Bateman shared of anti-aging products, "I would say to any young woman, you're being lied to. Who is making money off this? You're being lied to and you're being tricked off your path... You've got awesome things coming your way. Just stay on your path and just ride it out."
"Some people are afraid they'll lose their job or never get a job or not get a mate or no one's going to listen to them or whatever," she continued."And that fear, my position is, that fear existed before their face started changing."
"I'm just somebody who got myself on the other side of what that fear was for me in particular, and I'm just sharing what worked for me," she continued. "Lots of ways to get there, but for anyone who wants to get free."
Speaking to CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta on his Chasing Life podcast in the summer of 2023, Bateman expanded on her stance.
"To me it's just there's two ages dead or alive, and you're one or the other," she said. "My whole goal is just to become the most me possible. And that to me involves getting rid of any buttons I've got. So I'm not making any fear-based decisions. I'm just making instinct based decisions."
She continued, "When I was young I had, of course I had a lot of buttons, which causes you to people please and, do things that aren't you. And then over, many years I have a process of understanding what my root fear was that caused me to behave contrary to who I am. And yeah. The more you more one does that, the more one can be themselves."
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