As Kaiser covered with Gwyneth Paltrow earlier today, InStyle has a feature celebrating their 20th 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
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
photos credit: Backgrid and via Instagram