Jennifer Garner, 49, wants to 'normalize looking normal' and set realistic beauty expectations

Jennifer Garner attends the Baby2Baby 10-Year Gala Presented By Paul Mitchell at the Pacific Design Center on November 13, 2021 in West Hollywood, California
Photo credit Getty Images

Jennifer Garner is opening up about her experiences with society's unrealistic beauty expectations.

In a recent talk with Today, Garner, 49, spoke of her exasperation with the expectations that she must look perfect all the time.

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“I want to look normal,” she said, “and I want to normalize looking normal. I always have felt really strongly about that.”

The actress explained the everyday ways that she incorporates into her beauty routine.

“We can almost all wear less [makeup] than we think,” she said. Her daily beauty routine consists of just concealer, blush, mascara, and “a little something on my lips.”

Age and wisdom have brought the “13 Going on 30” actress to the conclusion that she went a little crazy with the makeup in college.

“When I was in college, and I’m sure after college, my idea of makeup was what I would wear if I was doing a ballet recital or 'The Nutcracker',” she admitted. “It’s really made any picture from college unusable, because if I thought I needed to look nice, that’s what I did. I literally opened up my fishing tackle box of theater makeup and just went at it.”

Of course, Garner made her mark from modeling and acting, so she’s well aware of the fun and self-reinvention that makeup can offer. When thinking of her kids and the topic she says, “I want them to have fun and to know what feels good, looks good. Makeup is a great form of expression. They don’t wear a ton of makeup, but they’re also not afraid to play, and I think that’s really important.”

As Yahoo reported, it's not just a directive against sky-high standards of beauty but a matter of mental health. “I try to not see unflattering pictures of myself,” she noted, “because I know I look better in real life than paparazzi pictures make me look, and if I don’t, I don’t want to know it.”

The “Yes Day” actress offers a simple bit of advice, should you start getting down on your own looks: “When you start getting super critical of yourself, turn around, pivot in that spot, and go do something nice for someone else. Or go work out, or just take that and make it active instead of letting it just fester in you.”

She garnered that smart tactic from her mother, as she told Glamour last spring: “She said as you get older, the temptation is to stare into the mirror and focus on what’s changing, and here’s the secret: Don’t look! Just care less, be grateful that you’re getting older, and use the time you have to be leaving the world a little bit better instead of staring at yourself in the mirror and worrying.”

But it was from being a mother herself that Garner realized the many ways expectations can be ingrained.

“I don’t want my kids or people to only see the actor version of me that is perfectly made up by brilliant artists and think that’s how I look,” she concluded. “And then if I’m dressed up, I like that my kids are like, ‘Woo, look at my mom!’”

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images