Jennifer Garner Gave the Best Mom Advice to These Denison University Graduates

Class of 2019, listen to your mothers—or to Jennifer Garner.

By: Amanda Mushro


BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 29: Jennifer Garner speaks onstage during the 32nd American Cinematheque Award Presentation honoring Bradley Cooper at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 29, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Photo by: Matt Winkelmeyer

Matt Winkelmeyer

She may be a lot of things—an actress, entrepreneur and host of her own pretend cooking show—but Jennifer Garner is first and foremost a mom. Even when speaking to a graduating class about life lessons, Garner gave her best mom advice, and we loved it.

The mom-of-three delivered a commencement speech at her alma mater, Denison University, after receiving an honorary doctorate of humane letters. From practical to important lessons we all need to hear, Garner’s speech was packed with pearls of wisdom.

Just like the best pieces of advice, Garner broke it all down into bite-sized lessons for her audience to take in. Here are a few gems from her speech:

  • "When it comes to Halloween costumes, go funny over sexy. Why would you dress like a flirty nurse, when you can be a mailbox?" Truth—go for the funny.

  • "Nothing looks better in your '50s than sunscreen in your '20s." Yes, girl— same for your 30s and 40s. Wear the sunscreen! Your skin will thank you.

  • "Don't smoke and don't vape. We know, vaping smells like maple syrup or pineapple or cotton candy, whatever it is. But now that you're going to be adulting, it's not cute. Just don't do it." Don’t do it, kids.

  • "Don't walk down the Grand Canyon to see what it looks like from the bottom. It's great from the top, you should do that. But when you get to the bottom, it's just a big hill, and it's a pain in the ass to climb back up." Helpful for any post-graduation road trips.

  • "Impose self-discipline around three things: have a book on your bedside table at all times—and read it, obviously. Be in charge of your consumption of social media and foster a sense of humor about yourselves because otherwise, you run the risk of being boring." We approve all three of these messages.

  • "Mixed signals are not mixed signals—they're a no." Exactly.

  • "If you're a woman—and pardon me for being binary for just a second—the stage has been set. The world is yours to grab. Go out and get it, girl." Yes, mama!

If you are looking for more of Garner’s words of wisdom to the class of 2019, you can watch her full speech here. While Garner’s own kids might not want to listen to her mom advice, we are sure the graduating class was all ears.