Dame Helen Mirren Says All the Right Things About Confidence and Beauty
At 69(!!!), the sublime Dame Helen Mirren continues to defy every age-related perception ever perpetuated by dated attitudes. I mean, just look at her!
Better yet, listen to her. Representing L’Oreal Paris in their latest campaign, this glorious woman has a wonderful outlook on age, beauty and self-image.
“People say to me, ‘Oh, you’re so self-confident,’ but I am not naturally self-confident, I just have had to be in my work and my life. If it’s a problem, it’s my problem — I’ve got to deal with it.
My whole life has been slightly different from most people’s in the sense that I’ve always had to look at images of myself from when I was 21 years old. I’ve either been in front of a camera or in the theatre, being photographed, having my picture in the paper, so I’ve grown up with what I look like and aging has never sort of come as a shock.”
On the aptness of that “You’re worth it” slogan:
“Everybody has moments of massive insecurity and I think anything that makes you feel more confident and more secure in yourself is a great thing. It’s tough for a lot of women with busy schedules or limited resources: they are incredibly busy and have difficult lives. To stop for a few seconds to say: ‘You know what, I can sit down, have a breather, a cup of tea or a bath and think “Yes, I’m worth it, my life is worth it’” is so important.”
On getting older:
“I used to worry a lot more about my looks than I do now. ‘I think the great advantage of getting older is that you let go of certain things. Having said that, I think all women worry to some degree — and I don’t think men are exempt.”
Advice on not getting stuck in an age-related rut:
…I loved it when I dyed my hair pink. A lot of women get stuck at what they are good at and what they did between the ages of 18 and 28 and they never have the courage to change that.
You see women from the Sixties still with their beehives and now they’re in their 70s. You see women from the Eighties who still have those Eighties hair-dos. My advice is to look at what’s happening now and go with the flow — don’t do what you did when you were 24.”
On the differences between beauty and attractiveness:
“I don’t really like the word ‘beauty.’ There are physically beautiful people in the world (David Beckham, for instance, is unbelievably beautiful), then there are other people that are not beautiful, but are very attractive because of their personality, energy, brilliance, genius: all kinds of things.
So I have a resistance to the word ‘beautiful.’ I wish we could find another word that takes it away from physical beauty and brings it more into the world of true attractiveness.”
Myself, I don’t mind the word “beauty,” as long as we’re all open to others’ perceptions, and don’t get stuck believing there’s any set standard on what is or isn’t beautiful. And by gum, this woman’s attitude is a beautiful thing…
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