Instead, she wanted her face to reflect the moods and undertones of her character. She aspired to look like the older European actors – say, Charlotte Rampling – who carried their complexity and confidence in the folds of their skin, emphasized by features such as hooded lids or bags under the eyes. She was elated when creases appeared at the top of her cheeks. So when she read comments like “Justine Bateman looks horrible now” she asked herself, “How could it be that they saw the opposite of what I saw on my face?”
So what does she see, when she looks at her reflection? “I think of the number of tears that have flowed down that face, the joy, the exhaustion or the exuberance – it’s an incredible collection of experiences that this very small part of my body has gained.” True, she is aware of the physical changes that age has brought about, but she does not criticize them. âSure, I see someone who’s older, but when I first saw the skin on my neck loosen up, I was like, ‘Well, this is what a neck looks like. cool.’ “
She is still happy, she says, with the signs of aging.
âI really liked it when I had angles under the cheekbones. The darkness before my eyes – I think that looks cool. For me, however, it’s all about attitude. It’s not about the elements on my face. This has always been true for me: if I see a photo of myself at any age and look insecure, I immediately hate that photo and never want to see it again.
In his first book, Fame: The diversion of reality, she wrote about the other reasons she hates old pictures; the times she appeared on the red carpet thinking she looked good, only to be gutted by the fashion police. This book has been described as “totally fascinating” by The New York Times, and Face follows an equally subversive path.
“Wouldn’t it be cool if everyone was really themselves?” Creatively, for me as a writer and filmmaker, if I’m so focused on what the beauty or intellectual standards are right now, I’ll never do anything newâ¦ I’m never going to get into who I am. am as an individual. “
Justine, whose sharpness matches her aforementioned cheekbones (she recently returned to college and earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and digital media management), wants you to think about it. And she will do it by startling you, facing you: dropping F-bombs and rapid-fire dialogue and presenting concepts that keep you awake at night, encouraging you to wonder if the pressures on women. are part of a plot to prevent them from doing too much.
She thinks that the pursuit of youth is similar to the pursuit of fame: neither necessarily reaches the end one imagines. “It would be nice if people were like, ‘Once I’m famous I’ll have or enjoyâ¦ what? Because it’s important not to get into this endless loop where you are always on the chase and the chase never ends. And if you could identify what you think you will get in the end, it’s entirely possible that you could achieve these things anyway, without changing your face or becoming famous. Why not remove the middleman? â
On her list of accomplishments is her directorial debut in 2021, Purple, which she also produced and wrote. With Olivia Munn, Justin Theroux and Australian actor Luke Bracey, her theme is linked to her books. “It’s about the voice [inside our heads] that criticizes us and causes us to make decisions based on fear. The film is about: “How do you bridge this chasm of what you have become because of fear-based decisions and become what you should be? “”
She pauses for a second and thinks again. “Wouldn’t it be cool if everyone was really themselves?” Creatively, for me as a writer and filmmaker, if I’m so focused on what the beauty or intellectual standards are right now, I’ll never do anything newâ¦ I’m never going to get into who I am. am as an individual. “
Justine’s record is set to grow longer, since a film adaptation of Face will be filmed, with a documentary also in development. But as a married woman with two teenage boys, she knows that changing society is too ambitious a goal; instead, she hopes some women will take her book and react to her different approach. âI got almost a thousand DMs on Instagram,â she says. One of them said, ‘I wish I hadn’t been worried about my face as long as I just found out I have stage four cancer. I would have liked to spend this time when I was healthy to be happy. Another wrote: âMy friends said I had to do something, and I felt so lonely because I didn’t want to. Now I know I’m not the only person who thinks I look good. “
She adds, âMost DMs are an exhalation of relief, saying things like, ‘Oh my god, I thought I had to deal with it! I didn’t know I could step out of line. And when you think about it, it’s pretty psychotic to tell women it’s necessary: ââthat your face is broken and needs to be fixed.
Justine hopes people will look at her book objectively and say to themselves, âI don’t have a problem with the skin on my face, it’s okay. I’m older, so what? That’s the approach she took, and it worked.
This article appears in Sunday life magazine within the Sun-Herald and the Sunday age on sale July 18. To learn more about Sunday Life, visit The Sydney Morning Herald and Age.