Justine Bateman has a lot to say about the ridiculous societal pressures women face as they age.
Piggybacking off her headline-making recent interview with 60 Minutes Australia, the 57-year-old writer, director, and former actress sat down with TODAY Show hosts Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie for a candid conversation about getting older.
In her chat with Kotb and Guthrie, Bateman recalled receiving a kind message from a mom in response to her 60 Minutes interview. “I never realized what impact this conversation was having on younger women until my [16-year-old] daughter came in from the other room,” the message read. “She said, ‘Hey, did you guys see the 60 Minutes thing with Justine Bateman?’ She said it was great. Now I’m not afraid of getting old.”
Bateman was grateful for the kind words — and honored to help “at least one person” ditch her fear of aging.
“It’s silly. I’ve never been smarter, I’ve never had more connections,” the Family Ties alum explained. “It’s like when you’re younger you know the [guy at the] door of the nightclub? When you’re older, you know the person who owns the building that the nightclub is in.”
When Kotb and Guthrie asked if she had any advice for younger women, Bateman didn’t mince her words: “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. Whatever fears come up in you [about aging]… write about that, deal with that.”
Her frank response is an important reminder of the myriad ways women are told (both implicitly and explicitly) that their value diminishes as they age. Advertising for anti-aging beauty products doesn’t help, either. This market is worth a staggering $60 billion and only getting more profitable over time. In fact, its value is projected to double by 2030. So, yes, ageism is very lucrative.
These factors are certainly worth considering when making decisions about appearance-altering procedures, including plastic surgery and Botox. Personally, Bateman has opted to forgo these interventions and age naturally.
“Some [older] 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. And that fear, my position is, that fear existed before their face started changing,” she continued. “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.”
In the aforementioned 60 Minutes interview, Bateman also spoke honestly about how she doesn’t care what people think about her appearance. In fact, she loves her wrinkles and thinks she looks “rad.” It troubles her that so many women are fixated on halting or trying to reverse to natural process of aging.
“Forget about your face!” the Violet writer-director advised. “That is what I’m saying. Get rid of the fear that your face being wrinkled is going to ruin a bunch of opportunities for you.”
Bateman joins a growing number of female celebrities who’ve opened up about the pressures they feel to resist aging or alter their appearance to look younger. Thanks to these honest discussions, more women will hopefully feel comfortable in their own skin.
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