Director and producer Justine Bateman remembers being in her early forties and Googling herself only to find that the search engine’s auto complete feature followed her name with the words… “looks old.”
It shocked the now 56-year-old who has largely been out of the public eye since rocketing to fame as Michael J. Fox’s sister, Mallory Keaton, on the hit 1980s show Family Ties. Bateman told The New Abnormal’s Molly Jong-Fast she didn’t previously have an issue with her face but then started thinking that the online trolls must be right.
“I didn’t think that I looked particularly old and uh, oh boy, there were a lot of results. And there were a lot of message boards dedicated to this. And so that affected me far more deeply and for longer than I expected it to,” she said. “I certainly got the comments because I had previously been in the public eye in a big way, but I mean really part of it was like, why are they even talking about me? I’m not even really on the radar, you know, but for me it messed with my head because I didn’t know what to do with it. It sounds kind of arrogant, I hope it sounds just matter of fact, but I had always had what society had decided was an attractive face,” she said.