I have to give props to People Magazine for featuring older women as their “most beautiful.” That may sound like I’m exaggerating, but I remember when Rene Russo was considering old to be hot on Thomas Crown Affair in 1999 when she was 45. Things have changed since then. Last year Pink was People’s Most Beautiful, then 38, in 2017 it was Julia Roberts, 49, and in 2016 it was Jennifer Aniston, 47. So they’re featuring older women which is nice, although I would like to see more women of color. (Halle Berry, Beyonce and Lupita Nyong’o are the only three women of color I see on that list of 29 years.) I suspect People’s choices are influenced both by their editorial staff and the celebrity publicists. This year they’ve chosen Jennifer Garner, 47, who is beautiful for being a caring mom or something. I mean she’s lovely I’m not saying anything about her looks, I just question how she got picked for this. The excerpt they’re including online features Garner’s on-brand comments about how she goes out in workout gear and was a band geek in high school.
Garner insists her own style could initially be described as “band geek-chic,” she says, laughing. “I was so not one of the pretty girls that I just bypassed insecurity and didn’t see myself as attractive at all. It was not part of my life.”
Yet the actress was grateful to her family for keeping her so grounded. “I felt good about myself back then! That is the lucky trick,” she adds. “Looks weren’t a big deal in my family. I don’t think my parents ever said ‘You’re pretty’ and so we just didn’t think about it.”
When she doesn’t need to be red-carpet ready, Garner admits her “uniform” more often than not is workout clothes. “I try so hard to get out of [them],” she says. “But sometimes the day just doesn’t give you a break to shower and put on my other uniform, which is jeans, a sweater and sneakers.”
And don’t get her started about makeup. “Do I seem like someone who’s good at applying makeup?” she says, laughing. “I own the nicest brushes and I own contouring things. If I used it, I would just look bruised.”
Which is just fine with her three kiddos. Arriving home after a glam photo shoot, “I’ll feel like the best possible version of myself,” Garner adds. “They’ll look at me and say, ‘Can you wash your face? Can you put your hair in a ponytail and put your glasses and sweats on?’” she says, smiling. “And I see the compliment in that. They just want me to look like Mom.”
In the intro to this piece, People mentions Garner’s work with Save The Children, and it’s true that she’s been a great ambassador for them for many years. It’s a cause that’s close to her as she saw a lot of poverty growing up in West Virginia. She does have that “every mom” kind of vibe and she’s leaned into that. It’s genuine and she’s used it as part of her public image. As I usually say, I wear makeup every day as I like it and am good at it. Some women aren’t and prefer to go without it and that’s ok too. I don’t think that matters when it comes to how we nurture our children, but it seems to always come up in stories about her. Garner does look so much happier and freer now that she’s rid of Affleck though. I wonder if there are any quotes in this piece about her boyfriend, John Miller.
Photos credit: Backgrid and via People