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The human face is a marvel. Just try to imagine the map of information contained in its creases and folds: the face holds stories of history, heritage, and emotion. Yet, despite the reverence deserved by such a wondrous bit of human biology, there are countless ways to try and “fix” faces. Digital filters smooth and blur; surgical procedures tighten, remove, and shape in a quest to defy time. Why?
Filmmaker and author Justine Bateman examines the aggressive ways that society reacts to the aging of women’s faces in her book Face: One Square Foot of Skin. Drawing from her own experiences and interviews with nearly 50 women, Bateman recounts their stories through fictional vignettes to explore what it is that causes society to view women’s aging faces as undesirable and invisible. She explores ageism and rejects the assumption that faces need fixing in the first place, suggesting that it’s high time to move on from judging people’s worth based on the appearance of their face.
Justine Bateman is a director, producer, and author with an impressive, decades-long resume in film and TV that includes Family Ties, Satisfaction, Arrested Development, and many more. She earned a Golden Globe nomination and two Emmy nominations. Her previous book, Fame, was published in 2018; her writing has also been published by Dame, Salon, and McSweeney’s.
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