Face: One Square Foot of Skin (Paperback)
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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." —TODAY, 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." —W Magazine
"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.
About the Author
JUSTINE BATEMAN is a writer/director/producer with an impressive, decades-long résumé in film and TV that includes 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 critically acclaimed 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 and the 2021 Toronto Film Festival. Her best-selling first book, Fame: The Hijacking of Reality, was published in 2018 by Akashic. Face: One Square Foot of Skin is her latest work.
With her new book Face: One Square Foot of Skin, Justine Bateman . . . is trying to push back against the notion that women’s faces are ‘broken and need to be fixed’ . . . The book is a meditation on women’s faces, and the cultural pressure to be ‘ashamed and apologetic that their faces had aged naturally.
— New York Times
In her superb new book, Face: One Square Foot of Skin, Bateman invites us to intimately explore the fears that lead women to alter their faces to erase the signs of aging.
— Los Angeles Review of Books
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 and Country
Recent months have also seen a number of celebrities and other public figures speak out about embracing older skin. For example, in Face: One Square Foot of Skin . . . Justine Bateman explores women’s relationships to their wrinkles . . . [Bateman’s] message to readers is that they can interrogate these fears rather than feeling they have to alter their appearance to please someone else.
Bateman wrestles with what it says about a society if we prioritize youth above all else. In small vignettes that are based on interviews she conducted, we meet a variety of people of all ages and occupations who are grappling with what it means to age.