A family affair! Jennifer Garner posed with her mom Patricia and two sisters, Melissa and Susannah, for the March issue of Southern Living — in part, she joked, “so people can finally stop asking if [her] lips are real,” but also to share the family values that have kept her grounded amid all the glitz and glamour of her Hollywood life with husband Ben Affleck.
“What my mom did that I valued so much was to not place beauty high on the list of priorities,” the Men, Women & Children actress, 42, explained of her upbringing in Charleston, West Virginia. “It was a shock when I got to college to hear people say I was pretty.” (As her mother told the mag, “We weren’t raising a celebrity; we were raising a daughter.”)
That down-to-earth sensibility is something she wants to pass on her to own children. “It’s really important for my kids to see that everyone doesn’t have the lives they see in Los Angeles,” she explained, referring to Violet, 9, Seraphina, 6, and Samuel, 2.
“That doesn’t reflect the rest of the world,” Garner continued. “I want them to grow up with the Southern values I had — to look at people when they say hello and to stop and smell the roses. If I could do half as good a job as my mom did, I’d be pretty happy.”
Part of that is finding other people who share her values. “I feel so fortunate to have grown up in a place where people look out for each other,” she said of her upbringing. “Community is the one thing people crave most, and it’s hard to come by. I grew up with such an excess of it that now wherever I go, the first thing I do is build my group.”
That group will always include Melissa and Susannah, she says. “Being the middle sister of these three girls is the relationship that defines me more than anything else,” the Danny Collins star said. “More than being my kids’ mother, more than being my husband’s wife, I’m first and foremost the middle Garner girl.”
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