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Face: One Square Foot of Skin


Writer/director/producer Justine Bateman examines the aggressive ways that society reacts to the aging of women’s faces.

*While supplies last, books ordered through the Akashic Books website will include a bookplate SIGNED by Justine Bateman!

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$17.95 $13.46

What people are saying…

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

“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

A Book Soup #1 Best-Seller!

“[Bateman] studies the topic of women and aging in her new book Face: One Square Foot of Skin.”

“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

“The actor and author of Face: One Square Foot of Skin wants to push back against the ubiquity of plastic surgery.”
Vanity Fair

“Bateman’s latest book, Face: One Square Foot of Skin . . . explores aging through a series of interviews and short stories that she’s adapting into a feature film.”

“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.”

“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 is] putting an inspiring spin on aging by celebrating her face just as it is. Leaving us with an inspired State of Mind!”
Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper

“Bateman asks, what if we just rejected the idea that older faces need fixing. What if we ignored all the clanging bells that remind women every day on every platform that we are in some kind of endless battle with aging.”
TIME; One of 7 People who Defined 2021

Face: One Square Foot of Skin [is] a kind of manifesto on Justine’s general premise that women should embrace, rather than fear, the way they look as they get older.”
Sunday Life

“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.”

“Reading online comments about yourself can be a risky move, especially for those in the public eye. But for Bateman, it planted the seed for a hot-selling book and jump-started a candid conversation about outdated beauty standards and rampant ageism. And it all began when she typed her name into a search engine.”
AdWeek (Justine Bateman is one of AdWeek’s 35 Women Trailblazers for 2021)

“[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.”

Face: One Square Foot of Skin [is] a creative nonfiction tome about the ways society responds to women as they age . . . [Bateman] said she was compelled to take a deeper look at the unfair expectations placed on women, particularly women in the public eye like her, as they grow older.”
Hollywood Reporter

“Filled with short stories about women at different ages dealing with beauty standards, Bateman says she interviewed and included experiences from famous actresses—changing their names and details to protect identities, but sharing nonetheless because of how often actors are eviscerated online for their appearance.”
Yahoo! Life

“Right on, Justine Bateman. Thanks for helping us embrace our faces just as they are.”

“Facial creases and folds are a sign of a rich life well-lived, not proof that you just don’t take care of yourself. Laugh lines confirm that you guffawed often, with abandon, not something to be filled in with toxins and erased. But if you embrace those lines, you’re considered a renegade.”
ScaryMommy Book Club

“[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.”
Alta Journal

“It’s been a long time since I read something that made me want to stand up and cheer.”

“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

“Both protest and paean, Bateman’s chronicle advocates for a power shift away from buying into the incessant selling of cosmetic perfection and toward the recognition that a woman’s unaltered face is a record of earned intelligence, wisdom, and confidence. Bateman issues a call to invert the age-old paradigm, stop stoking shame about signs of growing older, and name the ultimate accessory that is powerfully individual to each woman, an aging face that has faced life.”

“The message Bateman leaves us with is an important one. Basically, it is this: there’s nothing wrong with your face.”
Winnipeg Free Press

“A much-needed viewpoint on an important and seemingly universal issue.”
Manhattan Book Review

“This is what Bateman’s book emphasizes—celebrate who you are, wrinkles and all.”
The Cyberlibrarian

“Totally enthralling and wholly engrossing from start to finish.”
Exclusive Magazine

“I can’t think of anyone better than Justine Bateman to start the conversation about how we’ve devolved into a society that doesn’t allow women to age. Brave, brilliant, and unflinchingly honest, Justine is that writer you trust because she goes after every subject with a warrior’s focus, and throws herself to the lions while she’s at it. It doesn’t hurt that she’s a gorgeous woman who hasn’t tried to erase an ounce of history from her face. I love the way she thinks, and am amazed at the many sublayers she manages to excavate while everyone else is scratching the surface.”
—Mary-Louise Parker

“These honest, no-flinch stories about womanhood, beauty, and meaning will make you mad, break your heart, will have you longing for a better world, have you rooting for her, yourself, for all women. And you will stand up and cheer when Bateman slides into home plate with an ending of grace and revelation. Riveting read! Profound glimpses into the soul of our society.”
—Deb Olin Unferth, author of Barn 8

Critical praise for Fame by Justine Bateman:

“Wholly riveting.”
New York Times Book Review

“Justine Bateman was famous before selfies replaced autographs, and bags of fan mail gave way to Twitter shitstorms. And here’s the good news: she took notes along the way. Justine steps through the looking glass of her own celebrity, shatters it, and pieces together, beyond the shards and splinters, a reflection of her true self. The transformation is breathtaking. Revelatory and raucous, fascinating and frightening, Fame is a hell of a ride.”
—Michael J. Fox, actor, author of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future

“In a new book, Fame: The Hijacking of Reality, the two-time Emmy nominee takes a raw look at the culture of celebrity, reflecting on her stardom at its dizzying peak—and the ‘disconcerting’ feeling as it began to fade.”
People Magazine

“As the title Fame: The Hijacking of Reality more than implies, this is a book about the complicated aspects of all things fame.”
Vanity Fair

“Bateman digs into the out-of-control nature of being famous, its psychological aftermath and why we all can’t get enough of it.”
New York Post

“The Family Ties alum has written the rawest, bleakest book on fame you’re ever likely to read. Bateman’s close-up of the celeb experience features vivid encounters with misogyny, painful meditations on aging in Hollywood, and no shortage of theses on social media’s wrath.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Bateman addresses the reader directly, pouring out her thoughts in a rapid-fire, conversational style. (Hunter S. Thompson is saluted in the acknowledgments.) . . . But her jittery delivery suits the material—the manic sugar high of celebrity and its inevitable crash. Bateman takes the reader through her entire fame cycle, from TV megastar, whose first movie role was alongside Julia Roberts, to her quieter life today as a filmmaker. She is as relentless with herself as she is with others.”
Washington Post

“Bateman takes an unsentimental look at the nature of celebrity worship in her first book, Fame: The Hijacking of Reality.”
LA Weekly


*While supplies last, books ordered through the Akashic Books website will include a bookplate SIGNED by Justine Bateman!

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.

Read features on Justine Bateman at the Los Angeles TimesPeople, Upworthy, and ScaryMommy.

Listen to interviews with Justine Bateman at the Megyn Kelly Show, Pop Culture Confidential, Mondays with Mindy, and Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan (Radio New Zealand).

Read interviews with Justine Bateman at Vanity Fair, W MagazineGlamour, TIME, AARP, Kirkus Reviews, ScaryMommyShondaland, and Page Six.

Watch interviews with Justine Bateman at The TODAY ShowThe Drew Barrymore Show, Entertainment Tonight, Dennis Miller + One, The Dr. Oz Show, ET Canada, and Yahoo! Life.

Read a reader response to Face at It’s All in Your Head.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Published: 9/13/22
  • IBSN: 9781636140339
  • e-IBSN: 9781617759376
  • Hardcover
  • IBSN: 9781617759222


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.

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