Jennifer Garner is the cover star of People's Beautiful Issue and I don't know about you guys, but I'm really fine with this. Not because I think she is more beautiful than some other actress or anything like that, but because I think she is a genuinely beautiful human being. And I think her place in this issue, which has historically been rather focused on physical beauty, marks a bit of a change in theme. A reminder that beauty is about more than the physical, something this actress understands down to the ground. In fact, Jennifer Garner shared a compliment her kids gave her recently, and to me this compliment embodies exactly the way most parents want our children to appreciate us. In a natural, loving way.
The 13 Going On 30 actress has three children with ex-husband Ben Affleck; according to USA Today, they share 13-year-old daughter Violet, 10-year-old daughter Seraphina, and 7-year-old son Samuel. And while I'm sure her kids are well aware that their mom is a household name-type celebrity, they are less interested in her glamorous job than they are in her just being their regular mom who hangs out with them just as her regular self, apparently. No fancy gown and three hours in the makeup chair needed.
As Garner explained to People, her kids have a definite preference when it comes to how she looks and they don't mind telling her after she comes home from a fancy photo shoot.
"I’ll feel like the best possible version of myself. 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?' And I see the compliment in that. They just want me to look like Mom," she shared with People.
Which makes sense, especially considering the Camping star is the kind of mom to go to a cub scout camp out with her son Samuel, as she shared on Instagram, and proudly take an early morning selfie on his Spider-Man pillow.
This is the mother they recognize.
Garner also admitted that she feels her best when she's not focused on her looks in the same interview with People. "I feel like I'm happier and feel prettier the less I look in the mirror and the more I think about my impact outside," she told the magazine. "You know, whether it's smiling at people on the street or going out and actually trying to help people. It's about what you're getting back from people rather than what you're putting out there, I think."
Beyond making an impact on others, Garner has made real effort to be present in her kids' lives, which presumably is one of the reasons they are so intent to see her as she is at home. In 2016, for instance she opened up about making her kids her focus in an interview with HuffPost, saying,: "They need you to focus, and they need your attention, and you never know when they are going to drop some nugget of insight into their brains that you have been waiting for... The trick now is just to be available — and in a chill way — to receive it when they finally do. I give it all I can."
It seems as though Jennifer Garner has managed to figure out how to be a confident person in an industry that is hyper-focused on looks all the time.
What's her secret? Her kids. They clearly aren't all that interested in Jennifer Garner, movie star. They're only interested in Jennifer Garner, mom. Which is the most natural and beautiful thing in the world, if you ask me.
Taking beauty ideals out of your daily conversation with your kids and replacing that with something deeper. Something more enriching. A little something called family, which is more important than any level of celebrity out there. Jennifer Garner knows that and now I guess we can too.