One Square Foot of Skin
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Writer/director/producer Justine Bateman examines the aggressive ways that society reacts to the aging of women's faces.
"Face...is filled with fictional vignettes that examine real-life societal attitudes and internal fears that have caused a negative perspective on women's faces as they age."
--The TODAY Show, a Best Book of 2021
"There is nothing wrong with your face. At least, that's what Justine Bateman wants you to realize. Her new book, Face: One Square Foot of Skin, is a collection of fictional short stories told from the perspectives of women of all ages and professions; with it, she aims to correct the popular idea that you need to stop what you're doing and start staving off any signs of aging in the face."
"Justine Bateman extends her creative talents to include fiction in this collection of vignettes that focus on how we've learned to react to women's faces as they age. Based on Bateman's own real-life interviews, the stories dig deep to uncover why we're uncomfortable with faces of a certain age, and argue that confidence--and not cosmetic procedures--are the answer to the problem."
--Town & Country, one of the Best Books of Spring 2021
"Through a selection of short stories, [Bateman] examines just how complicated it is for women to get older, both in and out of the spotlight."
"[Bateman] argues that American society has long equated the signs of aging on a woman's face with unattractiveness. But she also asserts that women need not participate in such prejudice by accepting and internalizing it."
"[Bateman] recounts her own experiences and interviews more than 20 other individuals to present a series of fictional vignettes that argue that women's aging faces should be viewed as beautiful--the proof of complex lives well lived."
"In Fame, Bateman deconstructed the flimsy edifice of celebrity. In this equally fiery and potent follow-up, she does the same for our notions of what constitutes a beautiful face...Combining the author's intensely personal stories with relevant examples from the culture at large, the book is heartbreaking and hopeful, infuriating and triumphant."
--Kirkus Reviews, STARRED Review
Face is a book of fictional vignettes that examines the fear and vestigial evolutionary habits that have caused women and men to cultivate the imagined reality that older women's faces are unattractive, undesirable, and something to be "fixed."
Based on "older face" experiences of the author, Justine Bateman, and those of dozens of women and men she interviewed, the book presents the reader with the many root causes for society's often negative attitudes toward women's older faces. In doing so, Bateman rejects those ingrained assumptions about the necessity of fixing older women's faces, suggesting that we move on from judging someone's worth based on the condition of her face.
With impassioned prose and a laser-sharp eye, Bateman argues that a woman's confidence should grow as she ages, not be destroyed by society's misled attitude about that one square foot of skin.
Justine Bateman is a writer/director/producer/author with an impressive acting résumé that includes Family Ties, Satisfaction, Arrested Development, and many more. She has earned a Golden Globe nomination and two Emmy nominations. Bateman wrote and produced her directorial film short debut Five Minutes, which premiered at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival and was chosen by seven more festivals, including the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. Violet, Bateman's directorial feature film debut of her own script, stars Olivia Munn, Luke Bracey, and Justin Theroux, and was an official selection at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival. Her best-selling first book, Fame: The Hijacking of Reality, explores society's need for its presence, and was published in 2018 by Akashic.