Like mother, like daughter! Violet Affleck looked all grown up — and just like her mom — as she joined Jennifer Garner at the White House state dinner on Thursday night. And, it just so happened to be her 17th birthday!
For the special evening honoring French President Emmanuel Macron, Violet wore a black A-line dress with heart-shaped jacquard detail while Garner, 50, stunned in a black velvet Ralph Lauren Collection gown. The teen looked elegant in clear eyeglasses and a slicked back hairstyle.
This is Violet’s first public appearance since she joined her siblings, Seraphina, now 13, and Samuel, now 10, at Garner’s Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony in 2018. Garner shares her three kids with ex-husband Ben Affleck, who married Jennifer Lopez over the summer.
The mother-daughter duo weren’t the only famous faces at the event hosted by President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden. John Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen, Anna Wintour, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her son, Charlie Hall, were also in attendance.
The public eye, however, is something both Garner and Affleck have tried to shield their children from since they were babies. But, when it comes to a high-profile event at the White House, it sounds like Violet is the perfect guest. When she was just a kindergartner, Garner recalled her daughter standing up for herself during a meeting about the paparazzi with local authorities and other celebrity moms.
“Violet’s hyper-articulate — she is Ben Affleck’s daughter,” Garner told The Hollywood Reporter in 2021, “and she stood up on a chair in a little velvet dress, with her hair a bit back and her glasses on and she didn’t say her R’s right, and she said: ‘We didn’t ask for this. We don’t want these cameras, they’re scary. The men are scary, they knock each other over and it’s hard to feel like a kid when you’re being chased.’”
In 2013, a few years after that meeting, Garner testified before the California State Assembly Committee on Public Safety in support of a bill intended to protect kids of public figures. It was signed into law later that year.
As for how the photographers and media attention affected — and still impact — her children, Garner said, “We’ll have to ask them when they’re older.”
“When they were smaller and there were things out there that were shocking, my request to them was always, ‘Let Dad and I talk you through whatever it is,’” she explained to THR of the countless tabloid headlines that surrounded her family. “I’d tell them, ‘If you see an image on the front of a magazine, I’ll look at it with you and we’ll process all the scary feelings that come up together.’”
Now, Garner and her children step out on their own terms and get to enjoy certain public events together. What a fun, and surely festive, birthday celebration at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue!