Jennifer Garner: ‘I guard my kids’ privacy as much as I possibly can’

As Kaiser covered with Gwyneth Paltrow earlier today, InStyle has a feature celebrating their 25th anniversary where they ask celebrity women to reflect on their cover shoots and stories. The pieces read like first person essays but seem to have been conducted as interviews. I’d like to know which questions were asked as some topics might make more sense in context. Garner talked about her career, her kids and her charity work with Save The Children. She came across similar to how she usually does, I’ll say that.

On her career and self image now vs. then
I feel a lot less stressed about the industry and my place in it now than I used to. When you’re one of the “hot girls” of the moment, you’re making choices that define you. I was defined first by choosing to go on hiatus, and then I was very quickly defined by pregnancies and babies. Now my choices are defined by different things. I don’t have the offers coming at me that I had during that first cover, but I know that what does come my way is because someone really wants to see me take a shot at a role.

On protecting her kids
I guard my kids’ privacy as much as I possibly can, and I’ve never posted pictures of them on Instagram. I used to refuse to say their names during interviews — but everyone knows their names! I would just say “my eldest,” which I still do out of habit a lot. I’m sure there are times my kids would really love to see themselves reflected on my social media in a fun way and to have the attention they would get from that. But I’ve fought too hard against it. It would feel hypocritical. There’s no implied judgment of people who do put their kids up there; I just don’t think most kids have been hounded in the way that mine were when they were little. We were completely hounded 24/7 for 10 solid years, and it changes you. You no longer take things like being able to go to your mailbox for granted. I even stopped going to the farmers market because I was being photographed there constantly. I realized, “I’m ruining the farmers market for everyone; this is selfish.” [laughs]

On social media
I’m grateful I came up when I did and I didn’t have to deal with social media. It’s a whole other job. I know, cry me a river. But I’m glad we didn’t have the pressure on us that girls have now. I was such a baby about having to join [Instagram] — I kicked and screamed. Whatever I post has to feel authentic to me, like getting dressed for a red carpet. You’re in control of whatever you’re putting out there, and it’s got to be you.

How she describes herself
In 2004: Optimistic, Empowered, Flat-stomached
Today: Optimistic, Humbled, Seeking wisdom, Grateful

[From Instyle]

I just read an interview with Naomi Watts and was struck by how low key and legitimately under the radar Watts is compared to Garner. Watts may seem boring to some, but she’s cultivated the art of not being highly quotable. Garner is talking about how private she is and how she guards her children’s privacy, which is true she doesn’t post photos of them on Instagram, but she tells stories about them she knows will be picked up. Although Watts and her ex, Liev Schreiber, tell personal stories and post photos of their children they seem much more private than Garner and her ex, Ben Affleck. (I suspect there are other parallels between those two couples, but Watts and Schreiber keep it tight.) Yes Affleck and Garner are bigger celebrities and they live in LA instead of NY, but they’ve courted that. They know how to get headlines and they know how to keep the paparazzi coming back. Remember when Garner came out and negotiated with photographers when she took Affleck to rehab? That all felt performative. It’s like feeding stray cats and then complaining that they keep coming back and that you sometimes get scratched. All that said, I do feel badly for her kids and I hope she means it about trying to protect their privacy. I believe she thinks she means it.

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“I really love that young girl on the cover. Bless her buttons,” says @Jennifer.Garner looking back at her 32-year-old self on the cover of InStyle in 2004. “When you’re one of the ‘hot girls’ of the moment, you’re making choices that define you. I was defined first by choosing to go on hiatus, and then I was very quickly defined by pregnancies and babies. Now my choices are defined by different things. I don’t have the offers coming at me that I had during that first cover, but I know that what does come my way is because someone really wants to see me take a shot at a role.” Jennifer Garner looks back—and forward—at the link in bio. #InStyle25 | Photographed by @emmanmontalvan; Styled by @jillandjordan

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photos credit: Backgrid and via Instagram

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41 Responses to “Jennifer Garner: ‘I guard my kids’ privacy as much as I possibly can’”

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  1. Sierra says:

    Is she forgetting the daily pap walks she did back in the days?

    On the superficial side, she looks amazing.

  2. minx says:

    Sure Jan, I mean Jen.

  3. Mia4s says:

    She said WHAT???

    I mean yeah she doesn’t post their photos on Instagram but let’s face it. We could always anticipate a paparazzi outing after one of Ben’s screw ups. You could set your watch by it.

    I also can’t get the tone when she talks about being known now for the “mom” stuff. Is she complaining? Wistful? Bragging? That was 110% her own doing. I mean Cate Blanchett has four children, Marian Coilltaird has two, Keri Russell has three (trying to think of women who thrived from 30s into 40s) and none of them are defined by it. She leaned into it…hard.

    • minx says:


    • Ali says:

      Cate Blanchett has 4 kids??

    • Meg says:

      all very good points, I totally agree

    • Julie says:

      Exactly. There’s a ton of high profile female celebrities I always forget even have children. And it’s not that they hide that part of their life or never mention their children or are never seen with them, it’s just that they don’t build their image around it.

      As soon as Garner had her first child she started building her image around being the relatable mom. It’s not like she wasn’t working, she always did a few projects a year (some years she worked more than Affleck), but she never made her work the focus. She chose to promote herself as a wife and mother who acts sometimes, and so that’s how people see her. That’s entirely on her.

  4. Pixie says:

    She seems like a nice person, but this is complete bs in my opinion. All she ever does is talk about her kids and motherhood and the constant pap walks are very obviously choreographed. They absolutely court the media, and whilst I don’t doubt that the paparazzi have been difficult to deal with, they certainly played along for pr purposes. I mean, are we seriously supposed to believe that Jennifer who hasn’t had a hit movie in ever and Ben Affleck are hounded more by the paparazzi than Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling, or Blake Lively and Ryan? Even Brad and Angelina didn’t give us daily pap walks in their hey day. If they wanted to go off the radar, they absolutely could so I’m definitely side-eyeing this.

    • Jegede says:


      She and Affleck used their kids big time – esp during their marriage breakdown. Compete with getaway ‘exclusives’.

      I will say that in Europe, we get clear shots of many celeb kids who are pixielated elsewhere. Even privacy obsessed France.

      I mean recently there were clear cut pics of Emily Blunt & John Kransinski’s girls on the DF, when in the past they were blocked. (I don’t think I had seen them before).🤷‍♀️

    • Kebbie says:

      She talks about interest in her family as if they are the Jolie-Pitts or something. No one ever cared or hounded her like that, she just always made herself and her kids readily available to photograph.

      Like that nonsense about being followed to Timbuktu, it’s just not true. Nobody ever followed them anywhere but their breakup holiday after it broke that he slept with the nanny. The JP kids have been photographed in all corners of the world, they are hounded no matter what.

      • Pixie says:

        Exactly. I get that they’re famous, but if they hadn’t courted the paparazzi for the last 10 years she wouldn’t have a career, and she knows it! We have seen her kids in LA way more than we have the JP kids, and there are SO many famous couples that live in LA whose children we hardly/ever see. I get that she doesn’t want to admit publicly to using her family for PR, but the blatant lying is a bit much.

  5. Layla Beans says:

    “I guard my kids’ privacy as much as I possibly can…” HAHAHAHAHAHA, good one. Hey Jen, shall I post an endless string of links of you pap strolling with your kids all around LA, on vacation, going to church, that stupid pumpkin patch, the Grove, the LA Farmers Market?

    Cut the sh*t, lady.

  6. Hyacinth Bucket says:


  7. Mariettaj81 says:

    Apparently they just do it when they want to. Ben recently took the kids to Martha’s Vineyard with his mom. They were not photographed.

    I remember when she said something to the effect of “We could be in BFE and they’d still find us”. And yet they continue to go on vacation to Turks & Caicos and Montana. And are never photographed.

    I really don’t think she protects them that much. If I was famous and had kids, I’d like to think I would be like Julia Roberts. She is barely seen with her kids, at all! And she lives in LA, although technically Malibu.

    You can totally be hidden in LA if you want to. Plenty of other celebs do. She’s just too much for me lol.

  8. Andrea says:

    Gawd she is so full of it. Most celebrities have children and yet are never photographed with them and rarely discuss them in interviews. Their family lives remain private. This lady has only remained relevant *because* she has made being a mother her entire platform and uses her kids as a way to be seen. Her whole image is “frumpy relatable mom.” And now she is acting like she’s been pigeonholed because she’s a mom? That’s the image she’s been selling for the past 15 years and now she’s complaining about it?!?! Ugh just go away Jen Garner. I find her to be so utterly phony.

  9. Suzanne says:

    I always think Jennifer is trying to keep her feet in two very different worlds. She seems sentimental about the values she was raised with, and about a life outside the public eye, but she is a true Hollywood woman, and made/makes choices to be one. I respect her work with Save the Children, and she seems like a good, warm mom. But that false/fake note she hits seems to be from trying to reconcile two incompatible value systems.Like previous commenters said, if you really want your kids to have their privacy, you have to quit courting personal fame.

    • Green Desert says:

      So well said, Suzanne. Love this: “But that false/fake note she hits seems to be from trying to reconcile two incompatible value systems.”

  10. Tonya says:

    who does she think she is fooling. LOL

    Oh well, at least she finally kicked toxic Ben to the curb. Baby steps.

    Being married to that loser must have been like dealing with a stupid teenager every day.

  11. Meg says:

    I think her being honest with us, ‘I like attention, it keeps me relevant and when my career hasn’t gone well my cute kids keep me popular and talked about’ that admission would sound unattractive. I would roll my eyes when Lindsay lohan complained about the press too, she was asked on regis and Kelly what’s your new years resolution, ‘for the paparazzi to not follow me around so much.’ um a new years resolution is some change you want to make for yourself, but always the narcissist nothing was ever her fault. and you loved attention, don’t lie. she remained famous and talked about for years after her last successful film came out because of the paparazzi

  12. Original T.C. says:

    LOL this is major gaslighting by Jennifer Gardner. I’m sure even her Hollywood friends are rolling their eyes all the way to the back of their skulls.

    Can’t wait until her kids come of age and spill the beans about being forced to do family pap walks!

  13. skeptical says:

    I mean. I just snorted. What ever you have to sell, OK.

    • marjorie says:

      Same. What made me snort was “I was such a baby about having to join [Instagram] — I kicked and screamed..” Excuse me, “HAVING”?????!!! Who held the gun to her head?

      Edit: I think Dlisted said it better than me – It’s news to me that celebrities are required by law to run Instagram accounts…

  14. Bella Bella says:

    I joined Instagram kicking and screaming too, so I can relate.

  15. truthhurts says:

    No doubt that she wants to protect her kids but she goes to church and the paps are there. Didn’t I see photos of them at soccer games. Look just be honest and not address it all. Be more like Angie. That woman doesn’t give a damn what people say or think. She goes out with her kids and just does her. If you are famous they are gonna hound you. The kids know the deal so stop it woman. She doesn’t care she is just trying to instill some hokey good mom and dad narrative in dumb folks minds.

    • skeptical says:

      Honestly the both use their kids for PR.

      • Lena says:

        Oh, I agree Angie uses her kids for PR as well (also all the famous moms putting their kids in their instagrams) but I think truth hurts meant she shouldn’t address it at all the way Angie doesn’t.

      • Skeptical says:

        You know, her fans do that for her. They explain it away when she does. Angie doesn’t use social but she definitely uses pap walks with her kids for personal promotion and very deftly.

  16. Semblance says:

    Thanks, Celebitchy, for an on-point post. Garner is the one of the most disingenuous in HW. She does pap walks with her kids all the time! And she was never a “hot girl”; her film career never took off and Alias was her peak.

  17. prettypersuasion says:

    Total bullshit. I’ve watched her kids grow up on paparazzi cam. I cannot say the same about every celebrity’s kid.

  18. Sonja says:

    STFU. She and Ben are constantly talking about their kids publicly, deliberately generating interest. Both use them for press. Both live on pap-infested streets by choice. She is fooling no one with this spin and I’m glad to see that. Also, she needs to quit whatever it is that she’s doing to her face. She looks like an alien.

  19. Carolnr says:

    Both Ben & Jen chose to live in LA. They could move back to Boston where they lived when they first got married. but they both got caught up & consumed by LA. LA is where their children have grown up & where they call home.

    • Lena says:

      Actually they’ve never lived in Boston other than the times Ben was on location. Jen has lived in LA since the middle ‘90s and Ben even longer. She has said all her friends are there and she’s not likely to move.

  20. Flying Fish says:

    Except when she pap strolling with her kids….JG is full of crap.

  21. Andrea says:

    Not sure if anyone has commented… She’s had her interior eye hoods removed and her upper lip injected. Result: sultry, but “done”.