Justine Bateman Says Something You Don't Normally Hear in Media About Women and Aging

Actress and author Justine Bateman appears on NBC's "Today with Hoda & Jenna," April 3, 2023. Credit: Screenshot.

Something we could talk about more often as conservatives is the stark difference between how those on our side talk about women and progressives talk about women—especially when it’s women in the workplace.

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On Monday, author, producer, and actress Justine Bateman, who has written several books—including a new one—on how women deal, or don’t deal, with beauty and the aging process, sat down with “Today with Hoda & Jenna” co-hosts, Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager. She’s likely best known from her work in the movie “Satisfaction,” or as the “Mallory” character on the hit ’80s sitcom, “Family Ties.”

Near the beginning of the interview, a clip from a March interview the 57-year-old Bateman did with “60 Minutes Australia” is played, and it gives insight into the actress’ attitude toward beauty and women being seen as old:

“When you say, ‘Is there beauty in aging?’ aren’t you really saying, ‘Do you think it’s possible for other people to find aging beautiful?’ And like, I just don’t give a s—.

I think I look rad. I think my face represents who I am, I like it. And so,that’s basically the end of the road.

Rock on, “Mallory.”

Family Ties
AP Photo/Charles Sykes

Co-host Hoda reacts to Bateman’s chill philosophy similarly, then states that “[she feels] like we’re all trying to live the life you’re describing. But when reality hits, and you feel like, ‘Why didn’t I get promoted?’ or ‘Why did I get overlooked?’ Sometimes, we think it’s because of our looks.”

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Bateman says that it makes a difference to how women successfully manage their lives, whether in various interactions with others or in a job search, by considering how they react to disappointments or losses:

That’s interesting that you put it that way because often times, if we want something to change in our world, we’d like the reason to be something we feel like we have control over.

This is the way anorexics think, too. “If only I…”  If I lose 15 pounds or get down to X number, you know, anyway, then everything else around me will change.

That’s not how life works. Good things are coming your way, whether you change your face or not. So, like, what are you doing? … It’s all about fear.

She expanded on what she means by “fear” in a different hour of “Today” on Monday, with Kotb and co-host Savannah Guthrie:

“I think that everybody has a completion to this sentence: ‘I’m afraid if people think I look old then therefore …,’ and for different people, it’s different things,”

“Some 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,” Bateman continued.

“My position is: That fear existed before your face started changing. So, it’s an opportunity to take care of that fear so it’s not leading you around by the nose and making you make other decisions that are not you, taking you off track,” she said.

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Back on the segment with Hoda and Hager, there was an important question focusing in on work and women. Hoda asked:

What about the practical sense, that sometimes people do not get jobs, sometimes people age out of things….?

I loved the practical tone of Bateman’s answer, especially the last part about attitude and taking personal responsibility: [emphasis mine]

Maybe you aged out of that job, and they didn’t want to hire you because you’re so experienced [that] they know they’re going to have to pay you. They’d rather hire somebody young, who can have an entry level salary.

And also, you probably have another opportunity coming your way. You need to be out of this, so that you’re available for this other thing. To me, in life you always trade up.

Well said. Now, what I found remarkable about the interviews with Bateman on Monday was actually what wasn’t brought up, especially on a legacy media outlet—NO mention of wokeness, male privilege, or the misnamed, fake discrimination against women known as the gender “wage gap” The fact is, as RedState has written before, any perceived “wage gap” is often, in part, due to how valuable someone’s work is to their employer.

But I would also argue that it’s related to the innate differences between mothers and fathers. That’s something Hoda may have some experience with, especially recently, when she took off large swaths of personal time from NBC.

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It was reported by Page Six on Saturday that Hoda first took days off to care for her three-year-old daughter Hope, whose late February medical emergency caused her to be placed in the ICU for several days, followed by a week-long hospital stay. More recently, Hoda was absent from the “Today Show” set to spend the week of her kids’ spring break with them. We make choices because of who we are as women—and that can affect our careers.

You can watch the full interview on “Today With Hoda & Jenna” below, via NBC News:

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